07 Apr TOWN FOUNDATION AND THE KIRKWOOD WORK TO CONNECT PEOPLE THROUGH SPORT
As the registered charity of Huddersfield Town, the Town Foundation has always recognised the power that sport has in bringing people together.
Since October 2019 it has delivered the Sporting Memories programme, designed to encourage conversation and reflection through the use of imagery, memorabilia and quizzes.
January 2020 saw the Foundation launch its partnership with The Kirkwood, in which staff of both organisations work together to deliver engaging sessions to their service users.
The Kirkwood support anyone affected by a life limiting illness in Kirklees, every step of the way. Whether it’s out in the community, at home or at the In-Patient Unit in Dalton, The Kirkwood are here to improve the quality of life for local people, right from diagnosis through to end of life.
The first two Sporting Memories sessions with The Kirkwood were delivered in-person, supporting people living with neurological conditions, such as dementia, and their carers.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, the programme has been adapted to be delivered virtually via Microsoft Teams.
The Kirkwood established their Men’s Space Group with sport a particular topic of interest, and the sessions proved extremely popular.
With the support of the Town Foundation, all sessions are now open to everybody eligible for support from The Kirkwood and take place monthly.
Town legend turned Club Ambassador Andy Booth has also spoken to participants about his career and favourite sporting memories.
On the success of the programme Mary Tyrrell Place, Support and Therapy Service Manager at The Kirkwood, commented:
“The sessions are well attended and very popular – mainly because of their accessibility, inclusivity, and common theme of laughter!
One of the challenges we face at The Kirkwood is breaking down the stigma associated with the word ‘hospice’, and the Sporting Memories concept really resonated with me because it focusses on physical and mental wellbeing – just like The Kirkwood does.
We focus on what matters to the individual and aim to enable our service users to live on and live well. The Sporting Memories programme is a great adjunct to this mindset.”
Evan Hall, who works in the Town Foundation’s Health team, added:
“The partnership with The Kirkwood has enabled us to reach a new audience and it’s been satisfying to see just how much of an impact the Sporting Memories sessions have had.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Mary and her team for accommodating us, and I look forward to continuing our work together over the coming weeks and months!”
The Town Foundation also delivers twice-weekly Sporting Memories sessions that are open to anybody over the age of 50 and take place via Microsoft Teams.
They take place between 10.30am and 11.30am every Monday and 1pm and 2pm every Friday, providing a chance to connect with like-minded people, reminisce and take part in quizzes & games.
If you would like to take part in the programme, please contact Evan Hall on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07741 671 599 and he will provide more details.