Leeds Beckett university professor appointed patron for Sporting Memories charity

A university professor from Leeds has been appointed as a patron for the Sporting Memories charity.

By Rebecca Marano
Monday, 16th August 2021, 4:45 pm
Professor Claire Surr has been appointed a patron of Sporting Memories.
Professor Claire Surr has been appointed a patron of Sporting Memories.

Claire Surr is a professor of Dementia Studies at Leeds Beckett University and also the director of the Centre for Dementia Research at Leeds Beckett University, which has an interest in physical activity and sport-related research.

She has been appointed as a Patron for Sporting Memories, which is a charity dedicated to using sports-based reminiscence, social activities and physical activity to enhance the well-being of older adults and tackle social isolation.

Leeds Beckett University and Sporting Memories have a long-standing relationship, and Professor Surr and other researchers at the university have been involved in a number of research projects supporting Sporting Memories to evaluate their work.

Professor Claire Surr said: “When I moved to Leeds Beckett University, Sporting Memories was one of the first organisations we set up a relationship with.

"I was delighted when Sporting Memories approached me about becoming a Patron.

"We have lots of potential benefits we can both offer each other in terms of the sustainability of Sporting Memories and the evidence base around it.”

Claire will be joining Professor Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia and Older People’s Mental Health at NHS England and NHS Improvement, who has also been appointed as a Patron.

He is Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at the University of Manchester and an Honorary Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist in the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Professor Burns was a key speaker at Sporting Memories’ 2019 Conference ‘Fit for the Future’, where he discussed the power of emotional memory to unlock the limitations of dementia.

As Patrons, Claire and Alistair join Sporting Memories in the charity’s tenth year. Sporting Memories Patrons help to raise awareness of the work of Sporting Memories and contribute experience in their field – be that sport, social care or public health.

Professor Alistair Burns said: “I’ve known about Sporting Memories for some time. As a vehicle to bring people together and to bring out memories for people to enjoy, along with camaraderie, Sporting Memories is incredibly powerful.

"Moving forward post-Covid, post-diagnostic support is such a key area. Many people are interested in the role of charities and Sporting Memories a supreme example.”

Chris Wilkins, Sporting Memories Co-Founder, said: “We are proud to welcome Professor Burns and Professor Surr as Patrons, and delighted that they join us as we mark our 10th year.

"Both have provided support, encouragement and inspiration to Sporting Memories during our 10 years and we look forward very much to a future working with them.”