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Dementia Awareness Week 2017

Dementia Awareness Week 2017

Dementia Awareness Week 2017

As part of the Leeds Beckett University’s pledge to working to become a dementia friendly organisation, we ran a series of Dementia Friends information sessions that were open to students and staff, in the run up to Dementia Awareness Week 2017.

Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is an initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia.

Dementia touches the lives of millions of people across the UK. Dementia Friends was launched to tackle the stigma and lack of understanding that means many people with the condition experience loneliness and social exclusion. We need to create more communities and businesses that are dementia friendly so that people affected by dementia feel understood and included.

A Dementia Friends information session lasted an hour and provided attendees with an understanding of what dementia is and the small ways you can help. At the end of the sessions attendees were asked to make a personal pledge of an action they will take, which can be something small or big. They all received a Dementia Friends badge.

Sports Day Memories

"I've loved everything today. Listening to the old songs reminds me of when I used to sneak out to go dancing - I used to love dancing." Pat, Sports Day Memories Attendee

Local older people living with dementia gathered at Leeds Beckett University to join a celebration event and share memories of their ‘Sports Days’.

Sporting memories dementia 2

The event, held at Headingley Campus, was run in collaboration with the Sporting Memories Foundation and involved local individuals, care homes and groups who have worked with Leeds Beckett University over the last year on projects and research, along with staff and student volunteers.

It wanted to bring people together to reminisce about their sports days and to take part in some fun indoor and outdoor sports and activities. There was the chance to look at old photos, comic annuals and memorabilia and to chat about favourite memories. Those who attended were able to visit the free tuck shop to get some of their old favourites and there were plenty of homemade cakes to choose from. They also headed out into the sunshine to enjoy quoits and egg and spoon races.

Speaking about the aim of the event, Claire Surr, Professor of Dementia Studies and organiser, said: “This is our way of saying thank you to the local people who have worked with us over the last year and to bring staff and students from the University together with local older people. Events like this also demonstrate how people with dementia and other conditions can be helped to live positive and active lives through encouraging enjoyable participation in social groups with sports, physical activity and reminiscence at the heart of them.

“There is growing evidence of the benefits of exercise, physical activity and social participation for living well in later life. Our partnership with the Sporting Memories Network offers some exciting opportunities for both organisations to work together more closely to support positive lives for people living with dementia."

The Sporting Memories Foundation charity supports older people across the UK living with dementia, depression and loneliness by engaging them in social activities and helping them to recall memories of watching or playing sport. By sharing memories of sporting moments and tapping into a passion for sport the charity helps people connect with others and their past, reawakening positive thoughts and feelings that otherwise remain hidden away.

Sporting memories dementia 1

Fred Wake, 80 years old from Aberford, said it was great to talk about his memories: "It's an interesting gathering and it's nice to see the old photos and memorabilia. I really enjoyed playing Subbuteo - it reminded me of playing with my younger brother when I was little. We didn't have a lot but we were given a Subbuteo game which we really enjoyed playing and this has brought back those fond memories."

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