In sport we trust: Bluebird Care support local charity Exeter City Community Trust by raising funds from a raffle
Head of Business Development Jacqui Fyall and Marketing Manager Stephanie Darkes met the Exeter City Community Trust to deliver a cheque.
Around a large table in the bar at St James’ Park home of Exeter City FC sit a group of older gents and ladies talking sport. The banter is lively, the atmosphere welcoming, and the drinks are hot.
Sporting Memories Groups are a brilliant national initiative founded by The Sporting Memories Foundation. The goal is to support older people 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, we help people to connect with others and with their past, reawakening positive thoughts and feelings that otherwise remain hidden away.”
Through “a wealth of evidence on ageing well” The Sporting Memories Foundation recognises that being connected to people locally, feeling part of a community, remaining cognitively stimulated and physically active has a positive impact on our health and wellbeing.
We spoke to Mike Roach, who is 73, attends Exeter’s group. He says that Sporting Memories is "probably the most special and unique organisation I have been privileged to be a part of.”
Mike joined the Wednesday morning meet up three years ago; he goes on to say:
"It was a life-changing morning... this group is unique... it provides an opportunity for like-minded people to meet up regularly, it allows people to reminisce, and over time, you develop a really special bond. Without hesitation I can say to you that Wednesday morning is the highlight for most of us in any given week, the friendship, the memories, the banter, the camaraderie, is priceless - it’s genuinely unique. It’s easy to get very emotional talking about it because it is so special… If it wasn’t for this group, some of those people in the group would be sat in a room, with four walls doing nothing – there would be nothing to stimulate their memories - you see them come to the group and grow in confidence… I could go on and on, but I could never find the words to summarise how special it is, it enriches the lives of everyone associated with it.”
The Sporting Memories group meet every Wednesday morning for quizzes, companionship and to share sporting memories; it is open to anyone over the age of 50 who enjoy reminiscing about their experiences of watching or playing. We got invited for a tour of the pitch to present our cheque for £250 that we raised through the raffle at our summer party.
Jacqui Fyall says:
“We are over the moon to support such a brilliant initiative in the local community; we hope some of our customers will consider getting involved in some of the groups that happen through Exeter City Community Trust.”
Exeter City Community Trust run several groups for older people, welcoming new members, please find a list below with links:
Sporting Memories https://www.exetercitycommunitytrust.co.uk/men-s-sporting-memories-group
Ex Armed Forces coffee mornings
Regular weekly sessions take place each Tuesday from 10 am with light refreshments and cake. It’s an opportunity to catch up with old friends, learn new skills and get involved with fellow minded ex-armed forces personnel https://www.exetercitycommunitytrust.co.uk/covenant-fund-armed-forces#
"Walking football is becoming increasingly popular – players from some of our sessions have even participated in national tournaments already,” said Pete Ferlie, Exeter City’s Health and Wellbeing Officer. “Our sessions are open to anyone regardless of footballing ability, gender, shape or size – we are getting many referrals from local GPs who recognise this is a good option for some of their patients who need the health benefits of gentle activity. Players can just come along and try the sport and have great fun while getting some pain-free exercise." https://www.exetercitycommunitytrust.co.uk/walking-football
The Senior Reds
The Senior Reds are an Exeter City supporters’ group. Membership is open to any long-term Exeter City fan – you do not need to be over 60 years of age to join the group. Our youngest member is 40 (with 33 years of supporting the Grecians), our oldest is aged 94. The group has City legends Alan Banks and Jimmy Giles as Patrons. https://www.exetercityfc.co.uk/fans/grecians-groups/senior-reds/
If you or someone you know would like to try any of the groups above, call Pete Ferlie 01392 255611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.