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6 Apr

YCF reminiscence sessions on the road in South Yorkshire

There were joyous scenes when the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF) held an ‘on the road’ memory session in South Yorkshire last week.

The YCF joined forces with the Sheffield Cricket Lovers’ Society and hosted a special reminiscence session at Lees Hall Golf Club, in the Norton Lees area of the Steel City.

The weekly reminiscence sessions – part of the Foundation’s Heritage theme work – involve discussing cricket events and experiences from the past and aims to evoke memories and stimulate mental activity.

To be able to reminiscence about cricket that they love and particularly cricket in Sheffield is a wonderful opportunity – Bob Yardley, events co-ordinator for the Sheffield Cricket Lovers’ Society.

While there are also a raft of health and wellbeing benefits with the sessions helping to tackle mental health challenges in the community, combat social isolation and encourage social inclusion, while contributing to the Foundation’s role as a ‘social prescriber’ in the community.

It was the first in-person session in 18 months due to stringent Covid controls meant that a remote model needed to be implemented, so the delivery of sessions went online during the pandemic.

Bob Yardley, 69, events co-ordinator for the Sheffield Cricket Lovers’ Society, whose father Norman Yardley was the captain of the England cricket team in the late 1940s and also played for Yorkshire, said: “This is a fantastic event for us at the Sheffield Cricket Lovers’ Society.

“After covid and lockdown I know these events have been held as zoom calls but to do this face-to-face for our members, to be able to reminiscence about cricket that they love and particularly cricket in Sheffield is a wonderful opportunity.”

Pictured from left: YCF volunteer Richard Griffiths, alongside Bob Yardley, events co-ordinator for the Sheffield Cricket Lovers’ Society, and Brian Sanderson.

The Sheffield session, delivered by YCF volunteers Richard Griffiths and Brian Sanderson, included showcasing special cricket items from the Yorkshire Cricket Museum, including pictures and an array of objects with the Sheffield Cricket Lover’s Society also providing a number of items, on Wednesday, 30 March.

Richard said: “The reminiscence sessions represent a great opportunity for those who suffered from social isolation or loneliness particularly during the pandemic.”

Rachael Hopkins, 80, a Sheffield Cricket Lover’s Society member, added: “We’ve had a cake and coffee – it’s very interesting…it’s wonderful to see the enthusiasm of everyone.

“It’s so friendly and everyone is welcome that is what is so nice.”

Rachael Hopkins, a Sheffield Cricket Lovers’ Society member.

Evoking memories and reminiscence can also help people with dementia as it provides an opportunity to give people a sense of competence and confidence through a skill they have.

John Hopkins, 82, a Sheffield Cricket Lovers’ Society member, said: “I can see why these sessions help wellbeing.

“Sadly many people suffer from early stages of dementia but it’s amazing how one can go back to cricket matches they may want to talk about where they have been as youngsters and it opens up memory.”

For the future the YCF aims to roll out more sessions in the community and provide a blueprint for other counties to follow.

Bob added: “I’m sure it will be a future template for future meetings for the Foundation to take it out to other societies and other venues.

“There is nothing better than going back and thinking about your memories – we’ve all enjoyed cricket so much – it’s part of our life and to be able to share those memories with fellow members.”

YCF reminiscence programme

If you would like to find out more about our reminiscence programme please visit here.

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