Volunteers with a love of sport needed for project supporting older adults
Written by Gavin on 14th June 2021
Age Cymru and the charity Sporting Memories are urging sports lovers to step forward and volunteer for a unique project linking older people with their sporting memories by getting together online or in person.
Sporting Memories supports older adults who are living with conditions such as dementia, depression or loneliness.
By bringing adults together to talk about and remember sport, Sporting Memories re-ignites people’s positive memories and encourages companionship and gentle exercise, that in turn can help improve the physical and mental well-being of participants.
Volunteers facilitate a group around a table for a cuppa and a chat at a local community venue When Sporting Memories Clubs were suspended due to the pandemic, sessions moved online. However, with restrictions lifting, face-to-face clubs will gradually re-open.
The in-person and online sessions provide a great source of support for carers. And while carers are welcome to stay, they often use the opportunity to go out for a coffee, shop, socialise with friends or share stories with the other carers.
Age Cymru’s chief executive, Victoria Lloyd says: “Sporting Memories is a wonderful way of engaging with older people, particularly older males who may have become isolated from their community. And as we look forward to supporting Wales in the European Championships during the coming weeks now would be a fantastic time to see if you could use your love of sport to help an older person.”
Case study: Peter: Sporting Memories Volunteer, Vale of Glamorgan
Since September 2020, Peter has been volunteering for Sporting Memories in Wales as an Online Session Supporter, for clubs based in the Vale or Glamorgan. As clubs were suspended in March 2020, this has meant that Peter has been volunteering online. When Peter retired from full-time work, he felt that he needed to keep his mind and body active and that it would be better to do this through something for which he has a passion.
“I’m delighted to be volunteering with Sporting Memories as it’s precisely the kind of thing I had been looking for. I have always been bonkers about sport, watching and playing, so I wanted to do some voluntary things – not lots of committees; something a bit more active where you meet new people and it would fit in with my interests. Sporting Memories is a channel for all that sporting interest that is in my head.”
For more information about Sporting Memories and their work, visit: www.sportingmemoriesnetwork.com To register as a volunteer please call Zoe Newland on 029 2943 1555.