Heart of Midlothian FC – Football Memories
Launched in 2013, Football Memories trains volunteers to spend time with people living with or at risk of dementia and who have an interest in football, talking about teams and matches from the past and working with images and memorabilia to stimulate memories.
Football Memories is a product of Alzheimer Scotland’s pioneering work on their Football Reminiscence project. Also in partnership with the Scottish Football Museum, the project has brough extraordinary impact. it is perhaps best summed up by the wife of one of the men who attend these meetings: “He’s a different person when he comes out… It’s put new life into him, and you can see that with all the men there.”
Big Hearts’ own Football Memories programme runs twice a month at he new Hearts’ Museum at Tynecastle and sees volunteers support older people with or at risk of dementia. Around 20 volunteers support the group and this includes pupils from Tynecastle High School who help make memory books for the participants. Each session lasts for 90 minutes and is free of charge. Over recent years, Football Memories Groups have been regularly visited by many former Hearts players.
In April 2017, a pilot group was launched at Craigmillar Hearts Community Club to make this fantastic project accessible for even more elderly people who are facing isolation and/or the risk of dementia.