The Sporting Memories Foundation, the World's 1st Charity dedicated to Football and Sports Reminiscence & Physical Activities, has won the Silver Award for 'Best Small Business Serving Football' at a glitzy Football Business Awards 2018 ceremony in London.

Helping tackle three of the largest issues facing an ageing population; Dementia, Depression & Loneliness, Sporting Memories is an innovative approach to supporting some of the most vulnerable in society. 5 million people over 75 live alone in the UK. 850,000 live with dementia. 60% of older people in care have depression yet over 80% receive no treatment for it.

Led by Co-founders Tony Jameson-Allen and Chris Wilkins the social enterprise works across the UK. In 2017/18 we worked with over 300 partner organisations, many of which were football clubs or their community foundations, training over 250 staff and volunteers to support the 110 free, weekly sporting memories groups that have delivered over 57,600 individual attendances by older people. The groups are not time limited and are sustained by an amazing team of volunteers and partner organisations who ensure group members continue to benefit from attending each week, making new friends, gaining confidence, improving their mental wellbeing and becoming more physically active through exercise and sports played at the groups.

Guy Mowbray, Patron of The Foundation said: "This is wonderful news and great recognition for the staff, volunteers and partner organisations who make such a difference to the lives of so many former players and older fans every week across the UK."

Adrian Bevington, Patron of The Foundation said: "A memorable World Cup this summer was a great reminder of how the beautiful game can unite communities and generations. It's those magical moments in the game that help us support over 1,200 older people at our free weekly Sporting Memories groups. It is great to see the work being recognised at these prestigious awards."

During 2017 we worked with the BBC Sport and our group members on the ground breaking BBC 1 prime time documentary, Alan Shearer: Football, Dementia and Me. The documentary featured former Grimsby Town forward Matt Tees and his family. The former England striker visited Matt at home in Grimsby to hear from his wife May and his grandsons on what impact dementia has had on all their lives and on May's views about her grandsons' playing football. Shearer then accompanied Matt and May to their local weekly Sporting Memories group, which they have been attending for the past 3 years. In the programme, Shearer welcomed the new research that has been commissioned into football, concussion and dementia,  but also challenged authorities to support former players living with the disease, through initiatives like Sporting Memories. 

The Sporting Memories Foundation also worked with researchers at the Centre for Dementia Research at Leeds Beckett University and the Professional Footballers' Association to produce a guide for former players who are living with dementia.

Read more about our new campaign #SupportOurClubs to expand the number of Sporting Memories Clubs to help support more former players and older fans