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Exeter Dementia Action Alliance (EDAA) collaborate with Dementia Carer and relentless marathon runner Jo Earlam and Cartoonist Tony Husband as their innovative, wellbeing project for the city is borne. Since this project has evolved we’re delighted to welcome Jo to the EDAA Board.

Link to YouTube clip discussing the inception and health and well-being benefits of COSY Routes

The idea of creating a circular route embracing the city was conceived to mark the community caring and awareness raising role of the alliance, which earlier this year marked its fifth anniversary. Our May 2020 Anniversary plans were affected by the impact of Coronavirus, a time when more people sought outdoor exercise, looking for new routes to complete in a safe, socially distanced way at their leisure.  People looking for this sort of experience would include people living with dementia and their carers choosing somewhere away from more populated routes and parks.

The choice of route was chosen to encompass the widest area of the city as possible, whilst accessing the safest pedestrian options. At some points the route follows the city boundary exactly, in others it weaves a path in and outside the border, giving views from all compass points back to towards the city. It was this embracing nature of the route, that inspired the title COSY, an acronym which stands for Circle of Somewhere Yours, or the idea that you’re walking or running around this central busy heart, which is the community and city of Exeter.

The route breaks down into eight shorter, also circular sections, and part of the COSY route project – more information on those coming soon, with details of dementia accessible options on each section.

The individual routes all have their own character, points of interest and history – these have been captured in a series of stunning illustrations by Private Eye cartoonist Tony Husband and photographed in detail by former BBC Radio Devon breakfast presenter and keen walker and photographer Vic Morgan. The illustrations, a gallery of photographs and route details will be uploaded to this site in coming weeks.

The routes are part of the unfolding and growing picture of the city. As a full marathon distance, the COSY route format differs from existing city marathon concepts, by being away from the city centre, avoiding main roads and provide for a run or walk that could be undertaken in solace or small groups.

Link to the Ordnance Survey digital mapping site, with details of the route…

Jo and alliance lead and founder Gina will be walking the eight routes in World Alzheimer’s Month, September 2020. Jo and her Sidmouth Running Club friend Jane Hemsworth will be running the whole 26.2 mile distance on World Alzheimer’s Day. Further route details will be added once those walks and runs have been completed. Watch this space!

Hand-painted image of The Royal Scot 46100 at Exwick Crossing, by Tony Husband
COSY Routes is supported by Exeter City Council

COSY Route logo, illustrations, website & printed content Copyright© 2020 Exeter Dementia Action Alliance

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