Ground Breaking Charity Launches in Scotland

Ground Breaking Charity Launches in Scotland

21 September 2017

A brand new charity has been founded in Scotland to become the first of its kind to be dedicated to the development and use of sports reminiscence, inclusive physical activities and intergenerational activities to support isolated older people across the country.

The Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland is the charitable arm of award winning Sporting Memories Network Scotland, a social enterprise that runs 55 weekly sporting memories groups, that brings together local 13-24 year olds and older people living with long term conditions such as dementia through sporting reminiscence and physical activities, with the aim of improving well-being and reducing loneliness and social isolation. 

Using images of sport and memorabilia, older people are assisted to stay connected to their friends and communities, cognitively stimulated and physically active. The volunteer led, intergenerational Sporting Memories groups help people over the age of 50 age well and remain as healthy as possible.

The charity received a major boost with the news it has been shortlisted for the glittering Team Scotland Awards that take place in Edinburgh this Thursday evening. Dubbed the ‘Scottish Sporting Oscars’, The Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland is in the final four for ‘the games legacy award’ for its on-going intergenerational programme, founded in 2014.

A wealth of evidence on ageing well has highlighted the impact remaining connected to friends, family and communities, remaining cognitively stimulated and physically active can have on our health and wellbeing. Sporting Memories groups have proven to help participants, many of whom are living with dementia to do just this. Before joining the weekly groups 84% of participants said they took part in no physical activity, while a recent evaluation showed increased confidence and skills among the younger participants helping facilitate the sessions.

The Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland will raise funds to recruit, train and manage more volunteers to help run groups and to expand the number of weekly groups available across the country.

Maurice Donohue, Chief Operating Officer said “This is another exciting development in our aims to support older people across Scotland and to connect generations through the power of sport. It is crucial we enable more people to be physically active and involved in fun, stimulating interests that help create new friendships. We have seen life changing moments at the groups, the buzz in the room when we bring generations together is quite incredible. We are looking forward to engaging with more schools and youth organisations as we grow.”

Chris Wilkins, Co-Founder said “Being shortlisted for the Team Scotland Games Legacy Award is testimony to that and to the brilliant partner organisations we work with.”

“Sporting Memories Network Scotland has demonstrated over the past six years just how big an impact our groups can have on peoples’ lives. We received funding from The Life Changes Trust to develop dementia friendly communities. Sport has proven to be a community in itself and our nation’s great history and heritage provides a wonderful resource to bring communities together.

To find out more about the work or to get involved visit

The Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland. Registered charity number: SC047268