‘Match Day Memories’ Project. We want to create a Community Hub facility where we can facilitate people with all aspects of Dementia. We trialled a couple of memory sessions with North East Dementia Care and worked directly with the Dementia related Alexander Care unit at Sunderland City Hospital as well as Hospices across our region where we have gained invaluable experience utilising our extensive sports memorabilia collection.
A bit of background - trialling the memory sessions we wanted to break away from the stigma attached to the word Dementia, hence creating ‘Match Day Memories’ where we worked with a group of people who had been diagnosed with Dementia/Alzheimers on a memories theme. Showing some old DVD’s of ‘days gone by matches’, we even had ex-football players pop in for a chat, getting people reminiscing which sparked unforgotten memories where sufferers told us their stories, some of which family had never even heard of. Carers and family members found that these sessions had a positive impact on the person’s wellbeing which resulted in family and carers have asked if we can do more of these.
The trial was very well received by carers, especially those with male sufferers as due to the fact men diagnosed with Dementia are too proud to admit they have the disease. Hence why we used the word ‘Memories’ and manipulate it by bringing ‘Match Days’ at the forefront.
The sessions were very relaxed with our volunteers both male and female, between 16 & 85 years old and of all abilities helping create a more relaxed group who all engaged rather than have male dominant sessions around football. We had a very positive outcome with our trial and we can see this project progressing considerably, not only carrying out the project within our own facility but being able to be mobile to engage further across the region.
We now want to take create a Dementia Friendly Community Hub where we can offer and improve on the sessions, taking it to the next level by opening it up to the whole community and getting away from the stigma will help to attract more people to attend.
Having already had several carers request us for more, we want to hold weekly sessions across a couple of days both am and pm so we can fit in with carers life balance as well as help their sufferers.