Having a Say - Sporting Memories from Sporting Memories on Vimeo.

In our end-of-year survey of Sporting Memories club members, 100% of respondents told us they felt they benefited from participating and 100% told us they would recommend attending. 

“Everyone has their own needs and issues but the group seems to lighten things for people, lets them just enjoy themselves” – “It’s friendly and you aren’t made to feel there is something wrong” – “The group and ages blend together and the group has a lovely spirit/feel to it”

The latest study by researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University, An Empirical Investigation of the Sporting Memories Reminiscence Program (Cassidy G., Paisley A. 2017), data and feedback from club members confirmed our theory of change that weekly Sporting Memories groups are delivering improvements in mental well-being, improving physical well-being, reducing loneliness and improving social connections.

It is also those in a caring role who can benefit from attending. In an interview for FIFA, Beryl and Pat explained what they got from accompanying their husbands to the club:

Beryl was working as a nurse in 1966, darting in and out of the only room in the hospital which had a TV to keep up with the score in the Final.

Her memories, and the recollections of others from ’66, are helping spark her husband’s own recollections.

“People who don’t live with [someone with Alzheimer’s] are always very keen to give you advice,” Beryl said of caring for John. “They really don’t know. You have to live it to understand it. The people at the group are all living with the same things. At the group, I’ve learned that there are three or four of us, the wives who share these stories, and we can have a laugh about it and realise that you’re not the only one. It’s not that they don’t love you, they love you as much as you love them, but they just don’t show it or say it.”

Pat Robinson’s husband Allan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s four years ago. “I know it’s going to get worse,” Pat said. “I’d stopped a lot of activities that I used to do, that I don’t have time for now. I daren’t go off for the day and leave him.”

She found the Sporting Memories groups earlier this year.

“Allan’s not a man that has joined any sort of groups like that before,” Pat said. “He likes going to this one every week though, the friendly and chatty atmosphere that everybody has. They welcome us there. It enlightens us and you come back feeling a lot better. Their life is the talk of old times, that’s what they usually remember. Places they’ve visited, things like that. To bring up the past, like we do at the sessions, is a big help.”