Street League’s Lanarkshire participants had the privilege of meeting a local organisation who specialise in helping older people suffering with dementia.

With our Lanarkshire Academy keen to host a community event, Sporting Memories, the charity in question, was invited along to engage with our young people and reminisce about their sporting days, amongst other things.

The thirteen gentleman, ranging in ages, took part in a game of balloon volleyball, quiz ball and an egg and spoon race, alongside a few other activities which were designed specifically for them by Street League’s participants.

By organising stimulating and friendly activities, usually within the local community, Sporting Memories aim to promote physical and mental wellbeing through fun, stimulating and friendly activities that will enable members to reminisce about their sporting days and engage with fellow dementia sufferers.

According to Sporting Memories’ website, opportunities to reminisce can be therapeutic for people living with dementia and can improve the mood, cognitive ability and well-being of those with mild to moderate dementia.

Street League’s participants arranged everything on the day. From the venue, to the food, our young people put weeks of planning into action and treated the group from Sporting Memories to a special day.

Anthony, an Academy participant, was pleased to put on such a memorable day for all concerned. He said: “When I first heard about the community event it made me feel a little bit nervous as it’s a new experience for me. As a group we had to plan, prepare and organise activities for a local organisation, which turned out to be Sporting Memories. The hardest part for me was deciding which games were suitable for people who had dementia but I got there in the end.”

Following the activities, the winners were presented with a box of chocolates and a rapturous round of applause. Anthony, who was the compare during the awards ceremony, benefitted from the experience greatly. He continued: “Seeing them all so competitive and happy made us all raise a smile. Overall it was an experience that I will take a lot from. It helped me with my confidence, in particular, as I had to address a whole group of people. It was a great success and I’d be happy to do something like this again.”

John, another Street League Lanarkshire participant, said: “Initially I was nervous about meeting people with dementia as I’ve never met anyone with it and I was afraid I would not be able to communicate with them comfortably, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. At half-time I assisted with the serving of tea and coffee and had a chat with the gentlemen, which was really interesting. Some of them were telling me about their backgrounds and one of them even told me he played football well into his 50s! It helped me realise that just because someone has dementia, doesn’t mean they’re any different; they’re still a human being. I feel more confident and proud that I could make someone’s day a happy one.”