Leeds Beckett University is to play a key role in a project helping people with dementia.
Yorkshire-based Sporting Memories Network will receive nearly £500,000 in National Lottery funding from Sport England over the next three years to help reduce the number of inactive older adults.
The social enterprise works to promote mental and physical wellbeing among the over-50s, using sport as a focus to engage those who are living with dementia, depression or are socially isolated. Group activities use archive images of sport, memorabilia and news reports to trigger fond memories of playing or watching sport. The groups have also begun to include exercise and the playing of accessible sports.
Tony Jameson-Allen, Sporting Memories Network co-founder, said: “Through this new funding, we will be able to significantly expand the range and availability of appropriate physical activity and sporting opportunities for the people living with dementia and their carers we currently work with in England.”
As well as running activities and sports in the new and existing regional groups, Sporting Memories Network will encourage those taking part to also become active in other local schemes and activities.
Staff from the Centre for Dementia Research at Leeds Beckett will work with the social enterprise and group participants to study the impact the approach has on supporting people living with dementia to become more active in their daily lives.
Professor Claire Surr, of Leeds Beckett University, said: “We are very pleased to be partnering with Sporting Memories on this project and to be providing an independent evaluation of impact on group participants.”