The Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland received £349,903 from the Big Lottery Fund as it aims to increase the number of opportunities for social, reminiscence and sporting activities for older people who live with dementia, depression and loneliness. The project will work across Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire, Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Weekly groups across the Central Belt have already had a massive impact in helping tackle dementia, depression and loneliness, appealing to a wide range of older sports fans. They include social and reminiscence activities, as well as games and inclusive physical activities – helping to create new friendships and improving their members’ mental and physical well-being in the process.

Welcoming the award, Chris Wilkins of The Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland added that an important focus of the investment was to recruit both new staff and volunteers to support the activities that the charity will deliver across the region.

He said: “We see day in day out how our groups make a real difference to peoples’ lives and are thrilled to have received this support from Big Lottery which will allow us to add to our staff and to support our growing team of fantastic volunteers.

"We have demonstrated that our weekly groups help improve lives by building confidence, nurturing new friendships and improving well-being and this award will help us extend this impact to more older sports fans across the Central Belt."

Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, said: “This project from Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland is an excellent example of the type of activity which National Lottery funding supports. Like many of the other activities receiving funding today, it will bring people together around common interests, encourage them to develop friendships and feel more connected to the wider community.”

The funding news comes as a double boost for Sporting Memories Foundation in Scotland, which also secured their status as a Volunteer Friendly accredited charity.