A charity which helps older people living with dementia, depression and loneliness through sport has set up a new support group in Cleethorpes.
The Sporting Memories Foundation, which encourages people to share their memories of watching and playing sport, set up the group using funds from HMT St Hugh’s Hospital in Grimsby.
The hospital has made an initial donation of £5,000 as part of its commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of the community in North East Lincolnshire.
The group will meet every Tuesday at 10am, starting on Tuesday 16th January, in the Mariners Trust's Youngs Lower Bar at Grimsby Town Football Club.
Sporting Memories Group Leader Kristine Green said: “I’m delighted to be able to offer free Sporting Memories sessions to members of the community who might be feeling withdrawn or lonely or are living with dementia.
“The sessions have been made available thanks to a unique partnership with the befriending and advice specialists Friendship at Home and HMT St Hugh’s Hospital, who recognise the health and wellbeing benefits that the sessions will promote."
“By sharing memories of sporting moments and tapping into their passion for sport we’ll help people to connect with one another and get involved in gentle but competitive exercise too.”
The team at Friendship at Home will be signposting members of their groups with an interest in sport and will attend the sessions to offer advice and guidance to anyone who needs it.
The money HMT St Hugh’s Hospital has donated will be used to buy the equipment needed to play boccia and indoor curling and pay for the ongoing running costs of the group throughout 2018.
Gary Allington, Health Promotion Officer at HMT St Hugh’s Hospital, said: “Through our work with Friendship at Home we’ve been looking for projects which offer wellbeing support as well as an activity, and when we heard about Sporting Memories we jumped at the chance to get involved.
“Staying active is important for everyone, but the Sporting Memories sessions will also offer an opportunity for people with shared interests to come together and combat isolation and dementia.”
In 2017 HMT St Hugh’s Hospital supported Friendship at Home by funding two members of staff for its dedicated dementia team, the Memory Lane Choir and a community drop-in centre in Freshney Place.
For more information about Sporting Memories or to confirm your attendance, email Kristine Green on Kristine@marinerstrust.co.uk or join the group on Tuesday 16th January at 10am in Youngs Lower Bar at Grimsby Town Football Club.
To find out more about HMT St Hugh’s Hospital’s community work, visit: https://hmthospitals.org/st-hughs/community/