Meridian Healthcare's Rievaulx House in Armley, Leeds is one of a handful of care homes to take part in the recently launched Sporting Memories Network project which runs from October 2012 until March 2013.
Operations Manager Joanne Hempstock and Rievaulx House manager Yan Huang attended the launch at Elland Road in September along with representatives from Leeds City Council, NHS Airedale and Leeds Care Association.
The Sporting Memories Network (SMN) are working with 15 Care Homes across Leeds to test out an innovative approach to reminiscence therapy, which will look back at the city’s rich sporting heritage. The SMN will train care home staff, volunteers, relatives and able residents to plan and deliver sports- based reminiscence activities, using local and national archive images, reports and memorabilia. These activities will help older residents to recall their favourite sporting memories and to tell their own stories. By tapping into their love of sport, the well-being, self esteem and socialisation of residents will be promoted. The project has been funded by the Skills for Care Workforce Development Innovation Fund and includes a robust evaluation of the work.
[Photograph shows Sporting Memories Network Director Michael White with Bill Corbett]
[photograph shows Bill Corbett lining up with Bill Shankley]
Memories of local sports stars past and present
Current stars and coaches, as well as legendary names from the past from Leeds United, Leeds Rhinos, Leeds Carnegie and Yorkshire County Cricket Club, have shared their own favourite sporting memories in support of the project. All sports fans in the Leeds area are encouraged to share their own special sports memories on the SMN ‘Replay’ websites during the project. Each memory submitted will then be available for use by the care homes in their activities with residents.
Sports Annual Amnesty
Have you a sports annual that has sat on your bookshelf unopened or in a box in your loft for years? If so, we appeal to fans to hand them in to Rievaulx House who are participating in this project.
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Executive Member for Adult Social Care, said: “Sport is a great way to tackle loneliness and isolation among older people. Reminiscing about sport – what people saw, what they did – can help bring generations together as fans share their memories and enthusiasm, be that about the heading ability of John Charles, the pace of Freddie Truman or the cycling ability of Beryl Burton.”
Susan Firth, Managing Director of Meridian Healthcare, said: “We aim to promote and use best practice within our care homes. The Sporting Memories Network project is an innovative and exciting way to engage and stimulate residents and we can’t wait to get started. Reminiscence therapy is a proven tool to promote the well-being of residents and the use of sporting memorabilia will, we hope, speak to residents who haven’t been interested in traditional activities and help to unlock memories and conversations.”
“We are excited at the prospect of working with the staff and residents of care homes in a city which has such a vibrant sporting heritage. I’m sure there will be some fascinating memories that emerge from the sessions. Our focus will be on supporting the homes to implement stimulating activities which improve or maintain residents well-being.”
Tony Jameson-Allen, Founding Director Sporting Memories Network
Stars, fans and participants in the groups have already shared over 500 sports memories. Read them all on the SMN ‘Replay’ websites at www.sportingmemories.org and add your own.
Meridian Healthcare grew out of local authority roots, starting with a small number of homes transferred into the independent sector by Tameside Council. With the support of staff, some of whom are shareholders in the business, the organisation has gradually acquired and built care homes to its own exceptionally high standards. Meridian now own 29 care homes with the latest opening in April 2012 in Huddersfield. Meridian Healthcare are also under contract to provide short stay dementia services for Oldham Council at the recently re-opened Limecroft Care Centre in Oldham.