The Trent Bridge Community Trust have announced a ground-breaking partnership with several leading Nottinghamshire sports clubs to deliver sports sessions for people living with dementia – the only collaboration of its kind in the UK.
The trust, which has run popular Forget Me Notts classes for the past two years, has rubber-stamped partnerships with Nottingham Forest, the National Ice Centre, Nottingham Rugby and Edwalton Golf Club.
“Living with dementia doesn’t mean that people have to give up their hobbies or interests, and we’ve recognised that many of those who attend Forget Me Notts are keen for an opportunity to remain physically active,” said Mark Clifford, community projects manager for the Trent Bridge Community Trust.
“By bringing these new partners on-board, we hope we can give Forget Me Notts attendees something to look forward to every week, as well as providing their carers with a well-earned break and the peace of mind that their loved ones are being looked after.
“It’s important that we allow everyone who attends Forget Me Notts to enjoy and express themselves, and these partnerships will help attendees to keep their sporting interests alive even after diagnosis.”
The trust will now operate four sessions each month, with the monthly meeting for those who are less physically active supported by activities at the Nottinghamshire Sports Ground or the National Ice Centre.
Luke Colaluca, general manager at Edwalton Golf Club’s operators Lex Leisure, said: “It’s a no-brainer for us to get involved with this.
“The first session we ran was really well-received and provided a good socialising opportunity for people living with dementia. We’re looking forward to the next few sessions we’re running.”
Richie Holmes, head of operations at the Nottingham Forest Community Trust, said: “We’ve done a lot of work with people with disabilities and mental health issues, and we’re keen to expand our work to include those with dementia. This is a great opportunity to start doing that.”
Sam Bignall, community coach at Nottingham Rugby, added: “Rugby is a great sport for making sure everyone is having fun while they stay active, and that’s what our focus will be in these sessions.
“It’s a great opportunity to help people with dementia to enjoy themselves in a safe environment.”
Matt Bradbury, sports development officer for the National Ice Centre, said: “Visiting iconic sporting venues and taking part in physical activity plays a big part in many people’s lives, and attending a session at the National Ice Centre provides another exciting opportunity as part of this fantastic programme for people to get socially active.”