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10 Mar

YCF launches sporting memories!

The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation began working with Sporting Memories, aiming to improve our projects with the older generation.

Sporting Memories believe in the power of stories and memories to reignite connections between younger and older generations. The idea is to combat effects of depression, loneliness and dementia in elderly communities. They provide organisations with the know-how and tools they need to help trigger a spark using our senses and bring back our memories through sport.

Sporting memories made their way to Headingley stadium on 18th February, with a pool of resources and knowledge to train our staff how to hold their own sporting memories sessions. The day began with each person in the group recalling their favourite or most prominent sporting memory and what senses were involved with this memory, such as the sounds of a cheering stadium crowd or the smell of freshly cut grass on a cricket field. It was a real insight into how, although our minds change as we grow older, our senses play host to a number a memories.

Throughout the day, we learnt how to hold our own sessions and what to bring to the table in order to inspire these precious memories of sport and connect people in the room, to allow them to share their experiences, have a friendly chat about the good old days or simply listen to others all over a proper cup of Yorkshire tea and a biscuit.

“The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation is thrilled to be partnering with Sporting Memories to deliver projects throughout communities in Leeds. Both Yorkshire and England have produced some unforgettable moments over the years at Headingley and we look forward to facilitating sessions that bring memories of these events back to life.”- Will Saville, Foundation Manager

Social isolation and loneliness is said to affect around 15% of elderly people. Social isolation through mental illness or bereavement is something the Sporting Memories Network strive to eradicate through community projects such as the ones being delivered with the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation. Reconnecting isolated individuals through their love of sport offers a great chance for people to meet fellow fans, make new friendships and enjoy stimulating, fun activities that can have a real benefit to their health.

Using iconic images, reports and memorabilia to stimulate and unlock long-term memories of watching or playing sport, the approach promotes socialisation, communication and cognitive functioning. It also often rekindles an urge to take part in sports, games and gentle exercise.

The project will include regular action learning events where staff and volunteers will come together to share progress, learning and ideas.

“Yorkshire County Cricket Club has such a rich history and heritage. We are looking forward to developing the work with the Foundation and hearing the great stories of cricket at such an iconic ground. The response from sports fans for appeals for memorabilia to support the groups and help trigger memories have been quite overwhelming and we look forward to seeing what items are donated in Leeds.” -Tony Jameson-Allen, Co-founder and director of the Sporting Memories Network

For more information, please contact Nick Robinson, Project Manager:

Nick.Robinson@Yorkshireccc.com

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