11 March 2021

Students from Vale of Leven Academy (VOLA) in West Dunbartonshire are set to deliver a regular online Sporting Memories Club, in a groundbreaking initiative that will support students in making a positive difference to their lives as well as those of older adults.

It will also highlight the positive aspects of using digital technology to get together across the generations

Three students from VOLA – Abbi Pilkington, Nathan Williamson and Lucy Oliver – have taken part in Sporting Memories training and the school is running a development club for students. Students are also designing a recruitment campaign to attract Club members through reaching out to families and friends.

Abbi says: "I am participating in this project as it gives me the opportunity to provide a caring role and to help elderly people feel less lonely and isolated. This will further develop my skills for a future career in nursing."

Nathan says: "I am volunteering with Sporting Memories as I would like to gain experience in leading a group session and would like to help give some much needed entertainment and fun to the group members during these times."

Lucy says: "I would like to volunteer with Sporting Memories because I find the work carried out by the charity extremely interesting and important. I have a desire to care for people and, with my chosen career choices feel that through hosting the VOLA virtual hub, I will be able to broaden my interpersonal skills, become more confident, and support vulnerable individuals through a challenging time which I believe will be very rewarding."

The VOLA Sporting Memories Club will be supported by current Sporting Memories Scotland volunteers Gerry and Kenneth. The first intergenerational Club takes place on 11 March, to coincide with National Intergenerational Week

Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland Ambassador Stephen Halkett is a teacher at VOLA. Mr Halkett says:

"When we visited the Blantyre Sporting Memories Club as part of our training, it was a real joy to witness the fun, laughter and friendship that the club brings to its members. We are greatly looking forward to replicating this within our own Vale of Leven Academy community. The pupils are bursting with enthusiasm for this project and have been an absolute credit to the school throughout their training. This project has and is continuing to very significantly enhance their employability skills further preparing them for their future career."

If you or someone you know would like to join or find out more about the VOLA Sporting Memories Club, please send an email to Maurice Donahue at [email protected]

To find out more about online Sporting Memories Clubs to join or volunteer at near you, visit our Find a Club pages.