Yorkshire Post 3rd December 2014

Sporting memories used to unite lonely

THAT FEELING when Geoff Hurst's hat trick helped secure victory for England in the 1966 World Cup, the pride when Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile or even the excitement when your father took you to see Bradford Bulls for the first time.

Unlocking sporting memories has become a powerful tool to help tackle loneliness, depression and dementia among older people across Yorkshire.

Founded by former psychiatric nurse Tony Jameson-Allen and business partner Chris Wilkins, Sporting Memories uses traditional ideas of reminiscence activities to bring together like minded people to discuss their love of the game.

Whether it be rugby league, football, boxing or athletics, by using old photographs, newspaper articles and memorabilia, discussion is helping once-isolated people forge new friendships and get back into sport themselves.

"Lonely older men are particularly hard to reach, but we've been astounded by how successful this has been. They might have watched Leeds Rhinos for years but now there's an empty seat in the stands, perhaps their wife passed away, and they lost confidence in social situations," Mr Jameson-Allen said.

Read more at: www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/community/sporting-memories-used-to-unite-lonely-1-6981970