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U's Support Dementia Action Week

Dementia Walking Football Scheme launched

20 May 2022

In support of Dementia Action Week, Colchester United have launched a new walking football scheme.

Colchester United Football in the Community (CUFITC), with the support of Community 360 and Active Essex, marked the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Action Week by launching their Dementia-Friendly Walking Football Programme.

This programme has been launched to tackle inequalities within our communities. Over the next 14 months, CUFITC will run one Dementia Walking Football session per month, to decrease inactivity in people who are experiencing Dementia. Sarah Stokes, who is a Local Delivery Pilot coordinator for Active Essex said; In essence the Sport England funded Local Delivery Pilot is about developing a blueprint to lift a number of key target groups out of inactivity and tackling the inequalities which prevent hundreds of thousands of people in Essex from enjoying the physical, social and mental health benefits of an active lifestyle”. 

Dementia Action Week is the Alzheimer’s Society’s longest running awareness campaign, they encourage people all across the UK to ‘Act on Dementia’. Dementia diagnosis rates in the UK has falling to a five-year low. Therefore, raising awareness of dementia in our community’s is crucial, in order to ensure people access the support and guidance that is out there for them.

Clare Young, who works as a Dementia Friendly Communities Coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Society, was in attendance at our first session. When Clare was asked about the launch of CUFITC dementia walking football programme she shared: “The team at Colchester United Football in the Community have created an amazing Dementia-Friendly Walking Football group, which will be so beneficial for people affected by Dementia.  It will enable people attending to feel part of a community where they can improve their health, meet others and most of all, have fun. It was so lovely to see everyone enjoying themselves and sharing stories about their lives and memories of playing and supporting football. Well done everybody”.

Jake Mullinder, Community Development Manager at CUFITC and Lead Coach of our Dementia-Friendly Walking Football session commented on the first session; “It was brilliant to launch the programme in Dementia Action Week, giving people the opportunity to have a football at their feet again, after some haven’t for years, was a fantastic thing to see. The participants seemed to really enjoy the social interaction, which is great as this programme aims to tackle loneliness and isolation”.

CUFITC would like to thank Community 360 who were crucial in the promotion of the project. Ed King, Health and Inclusion Officer and Dementia Walking Football Programme Lead at CUFITC detailed the importance of this project; “Without the hard work from Helen Clegg at Community 360 and support from Sarah Stokes at Active Essex this project start date wouldn’t have been possible. So, I thank you for your hard work and we look forward to seeing how this programme will develop over the next year”. 

If you are, or know someone who might be interested in attending CUFITC Dementia-Friendly Walking Football sessions, then please contact: Edward.king@colchesterunited.net and he will keep you in the loop for future sessions.

For more information on how to get involved in Dementia Action Week please visit: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-involved/dementia-action-week


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