Mr Dey caught up with chairwoman Lorraine Young during a visit to Links House at Carnoustie Golf Links, where the volunteer-run Golf Memories group holds its sessions.
These bring together people affected by dementia, along with their carers, to share memories of their enjoyment of the sport and engage in supported physical activity – with another Football Memories group run at the town’s Kinloch Care Centre.
Last year, the incredibly positive impact of these sessions was recognised when the group received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK – commending eight years of pioneering work in the battle against memory loss caused by dementia.
Mr Dey lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament celebrating the achievement and all involved.
On top of its impact locally, which has also seen increased community understanding of dementia, Carnoustie Memories has had a global reach. US TV coverage of the group’s work during the Open Championship at Carnoustie inspired the establishment of the first Golf Memories group in the United States.
Mr Dey said: “I was delighted to meet with Lorraine where the incredibly impactful Golf Memories support sessions take place. As a keen golfer here myself, I can understand entirely how these meetups make such a difference in ensuring a continued sense of belonging and community among those who attend.
“Lorraine and her volunteers have been doing the Carnoustie community an incredible service for many years now, and I was thrilled to see them recognised for this with such a prestigious award last year."
Lorraine added: "It was truly humbling and an honour for all the volunteers of Carnoustie Memories to receive the Queen's Award For Voluntary Service. We consider ourselves fortunate to have the privilege of spending time with members and their carers, sharing precious and very rich memories and helping to create new memories for all.”
“A key to unlocking those precious memories comes through providing and encouraging supported physical activity. We believe physical activity to be key to the mental health and wellbeing of all involved.
“In February 2023, we will be adding the much requested 'Singing With Friends' to our current sports-based range of group sessions, and as a matter of priority we are continuing to actively progress our key aim of making Carnoustie a Dementia Friendly Community."