Jesmond Dementia Action Alliance working with Newcastle United on football project
Alzheimer Scotland and the Scottish Football Museum launched Football Memories two years ago. The project aims to re-connect those with dementia to their past through sharing memories of football.
The potential impact of playing football on dementia in later life has been highlighted by new reserach by academics from the University of Glasgow that showed footballers were three-and-a-half times more likely to get dementia later in life.
Last weekend, JesmondLocal deputy editor Chris Stokel-Walker reported in The Telegraph about non-league footballers suffering with dementia.
Felicity Mendelson, the chairperson of JDAA, said that bringing Football Memories to Jesmond will be particularly successful with local men who have dementia.
JDAA is mostly funded by local businesses. The alliance has also received two lots of National Lottery funding to continue their dementia friendly work.
Funding is used to pay for premises, materials and specialist tutors for dementia friendly events. JDAA provides a specialist music tutor who runs singing sessions every Friday at 12pm at St George’s Church.
Felicity Mendelson said that JDAA wants to organise inclusive events for everyone, not just those with dementia. Community members living with dementia and their carers, families and friends are encouraged to participate in events together.
Those with dementia and their carers, families and friends can attend dementia friendly services at Jesmond United Reformed Church (JURC).
JURC agreed to be part of a Dementia Friendly Church in 2015 to support JDAA. Volunteers wear the ‘forget me not’ lapel pin to identify that they have attended dementia friendly sessions and have training in helping people with dementia.
Mae Piggott from JURC said: “Churches have an important role to play in ensuring that worshippers are made more aware of dementia, so that people living with dementia can continue to live their lives and be part of their communities for as long as possible.”