19 May 2021

A partnership between Sporting Memories - with the support of Suffolk County Council's Most Active County partnership - and Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance will see the distribution of the Sporting Memories KITbag to older adults within the area.

The KITbags will be made available at the Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance stand in Ipswich town centre on Friday 21 May 2021, between 10am and 2pm, as part of Dementia Action Week.

If you live in the area and are interested in receiving a Sporting Memories KITbag, please contact directly either Phil Lown at [email protected], or Debbie Murrell at [email protected] – or via the Facebook page @ipswichdementia. Or telephone 07467 336348

Chris Wilkins, Sporting Memories Co-Founder, says: “At the start of the pandemic our Clubs, like many others, had to move online and although some gentle activity was offered during those sessions it became clear that inactivity levels of many of our members, as with many of the general public, were declining. The organisation therefore developed the #KITBag initiative - a pack of resources which includes exercise equipment and guides, a DVD with exercises and reminiscence material, printed copies of our Sporting Pink nostalgia paper and access to an online group to help alleviate the situation”.

“These packs have been well received across the country and although the situation is thankfully now easing some people are still not able to physically attend sessions when they reopen, and many are still constrained in what they can do outside of their homes. Therefore the opportunity to allow people living with dementia and their support networks in Ipswich to continue to access this resource via this partnership with Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance is a fantastic opportunity.”

Nicola Bradford, chair of Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance, says: “Ipswich has a great sporting history and so having prompts that lead to discussion and recalls of times celebrating peoples sporting heros can bring great happiness and pleasure. It can also inform family members and friends or carers, who maybe weren’t around at the time, or not following sport, so that it becomes a topic that people can share. We’re delighted to be a charity involved in this project and will share it widely across the local area”.

Cllr Matthew Hicks, Leader of Suffolk County Council, added: “Like the whole country, we are acutely aware that people living with dementia, poor mental health, loneliness and isolation have often been disproportionately impacted by the current pandemic. Physical activity and social connectivity can play a major part in supporting these issues so it is positive to hear that Sporting Memories and Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance will be supporting those living with dementia, and their carers, with the provision of activity and memory packs.”