At Sporting Memories community clubs, the power of talking about and remembering sport helps tackle dementia, depression and loneliness.
At the start of the pandemic, the charity set up online alternatives to meeting face-to-face and has since supported hundreds of online sessions.
This has proved to be so successful that online clubs will continue in Scotland – in addition to the charity’s ‘in-person’ Clubs that are once again opening their doors.
Due to this demand, Sporting Memories is looking for additional online volunteers.
The charity has been founded in Scotland to become the first of its kind dedicated to the development and use of sports reminiscence, inclusive physical activities and intergenerational activities to support isolated older people across the country.
A wealth of evidence on ageing well has highlighted the impact remaining connected to friends, family and communities, remaining cognitively stimulated and physically active can have on our health and well-being. Sporting Memories groups have proven to help participants, many of whom are living with dementia to do just this.
Liz Price, volunteer co-ordinator for the Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland, said: “Our volunteers are a fantastic team of dedicated people, who enjoy talking with older adults and bringing this enthusiasm to our Club members.
"The ability to listen and empathise is really important. Our online volunteers help to run or support our fun and structured sessions of chat, quizzes, reminiscence and physical activities.
“We are looking for volunteers who can spare time once a week, for a couple of hours during the week or in the evening. All our volunteers receive a comprehensive programme of training, mentoring and development, and we build on this throughout their journey with us.
“There are online social activities for our volunteers and the beauty of our online roles is that you can volunteer no matter were you live.”
Online volunteer Des finds that even though he works during the week, his employers have been helpful and flexible.
He said: “I find it quite easy to fit in around my work routine. My employers have been excellent.
"So I’ve been able to do it and really enjoy doing it. It’s something that I look forward to every week and I’ve made what I consider to be friends from the group. It’s really satisfying.”
To find out more about volunteering online with Sporting Memories, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Liz on 07794 793032. To find out more about Sporting Memories, visit www.thesmf.co.uk.