Points of Light: Sporting Memories

Tony Jameson-Allen, from North Yorkshire, and Chris Wilkins, of East Lothian, are using the power of famous sporting moments to start conversations with people with dementia.

Their initiative, ‘Sporting Memories’ records well known sports men and women talking about their favourite moments from the sports they love and shares them in community groups for people with dementia, depression and loneliness. The recollections, which feature house hold names such as Sir Steve Redgrave, help people connect with their past, reawaken positive memories and provide a route in to wider conversations. The groups also include activities such as sport themed cognitive therapy, and physical activity. The charity was awarded ‘Best National Dementia Friendly Initiative’ in 2014. Tony and Chris were recommended for a Point of Light after the Minister for Loneliness, Tracey Crouch, visited a session in April 2018.

In a personal letter to Tony, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“Your innovative work is making a real difference to people with dementia, depression and loneliness. The conversations and activities you and Chris are creating with ‘Sporting Memories’ are reducing feelings of isolation and helping to improve people’s quality of life.”

In a personal letter to Chris, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“As co-founder of ‘Sporting Memories’ your work to support people living with dementia, depression and loneliness, is invaluable. The innovative approach you and Tony take is having such a positive impact, helping people to connect with others and become more active through sports.”

Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, said:

“I am absolutely delighted to hear that Tony Jameson-Allen and Chris Wilkins have won Points of Lights awards for their ‘Sporting Memories’. It’s a great initiative and I have seen for myself how well it works and the positive results that it achieves. Unfortunately dementia, depression and loneliness often go hand in hand and, as a sports enthusiast myself, I can’t think of a better way of addressing it. Congratulations to them both.”

Tony said:

“This is wonderful news for us and we’re both delighted to be recognised for the work that ‘Sporting Memories’ does in tackling dementia, depression & loneliness. Furthermore it is great recognition of the dedication of all the volunteers involved and their commitment to the work of ‘Sporting Memories’.”

Chris said:

“We are very proud to be highlighted for this award and it’s indicative of the strides we are continuing to make and the impact we are having in improving the lives of older people. We hope that being given this award by the Prime Minister during the World Cup and ahead of another great summer of sport, inspires more people to volunteer for ‘Sporting Memories’.”