THE charity arm of Everton Football Club is running a number of activities throughout World Alzheimer’s day tomorrow to help raise awareness and offer support.
Everton in the Community’s (EitC) ‘Pass on the Memories’ programme will celebrate the lifeline it offers to those living with Alzheimer’s and their carers through the charity’s weekly sessions which use a range of interventions such as sporting reminiscence workshops, visits to places of interest as well as sessions on dancing and singing as well as arts and craft which are all designed to keep brain activity at a high level and help people share important memories whilst creating new ones.
The day will kick off with a coffee morning for carers to come together and have some respite with individuals who are experiencing the same issues whilst the afternoon will feature Blue Bingo sessions at The Blue Base for the charity’s participants. The public is also invited to complete an online Dementia Friends training session run by the club to increase their own knowledge and understanding of the disease.
Former Blues midfielder and Club Ambassador, Ian Snodin, will also be in attendance to add to the excitement.
Launched in 2013 in partnership with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, the flagship programme supports people living with dementia as well as their carers to share important memories and create new ones. Each weekly session is hosted at the Blue Base facility and is led by EitC’s dementia trained staff and supported by specialist clinical staff from Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.
Johnnie Garside, EitC Health and Wellbeing Manager, said:
“This is a chance for us to raise awareness of both Alzheimer’s and dementia; the sessions we offer provide people with the chance to chat to like-minded people and share memories that they might have thought lost forever. Pass on the Memories is a real lifeline for people who’ve gone through an extremely tough time during Covid, our participants are delighted to be back in the Blue Base, reconnecting with loved ones and friends and family.
“The programme has gone from strength to strength and it’s integral to our community to have a project like this that’s designed to bring people together and share experiences. It’s a real opportunity for people who are feeling isolated and disconnected from their communities to come together with other people to share experiences and ultimately try and improve their quality of life.
“The sessions encourage our members to reminisce on years gone by, covering various topics, from Liverpool’s cultural history, music, art and obviously football! We use engagement tools to get people to remember their past but also to try and spark new memories and new connections and bond with other people on the programme.”
Pass on the Memories supported its members throughout the pandemic with online sessions, including coffee mornings and bingo evenings, as well as arranging hand-written letters and providing help with shopping and bills.
Husband and wife Pat and Sheila are members of Pass on the Memories. Pat said:
“Memories are the most cherished things you have, especially when you get older. You can’t do the same things you use to so it’s nice to be able to come back and meet with people who you can talk to.
“We’re very excited the sessions have started again as we really missed them over lockdown. Myself and Sheila have made so many new friends here as everyone is so friendly, it’s a real sense of community.”
“We’re delighted to be back. Coming out and chatting to people outside of the family takes us out of our comfort zones but it’s a lot of fun and that’s why we look forward to it.
“The sessions are an absolute lifesaver. When I told friends I was going to a dementia group they all said, ‘is it not going to be miserable?’, but it’s not like that at all. We have entertainment and most importantly, it gets us out of the house and we meet with other people and have different conversations.”
Pat Dunne is a Pass on the Memories participant who attended with her late-husband Eric, she said:
“Being back has given me a real boost. The Blue Base offers a chance to talk to people who are in the same boat as you, so we all know how to comfort each other and share our experiences.
“Pass on the Memories meant a great deal to us with the different activities. We always looked forward to the sessions, especially when they had bands on and music quizzes, Eric loved the music side of it. Even though he had dementia, if there was a question about something that happened years ago, he’d answer them with no problem. We made so many friends who will be friends for life.”
More information about Pass on the Memories can be found here: https://www.evertoninthecommunity.org/projects/support/elderly-support/pass-on-the-memories.