I have been volunteering with Easy Ayrshire Alzheimer Scotland since September and as part of that I have been involved in their football reminiscence group in Kilmarnock. Through going to these monthly groups I have met some wonderfully interesting men and their wives. When the session starts I find that there is a transformation in the men, they are not just a person with a diagnosis of a dementia at a group but a football fan debating with their peers about the best players, their favourite teams and the best goals. I find it amazing that something like football can bring together a group of people and evoke such passionate memories of the game they loved growing up and still love now. When we took the group to the second day of the memories fc conference at Hampden you could see the spark in their eye as they walked round the museum seeing the players they watched from the stalls and the team strips they respected so much. We had the pleasure of having a former player who is part of our group attend the conference with us. The respect and admiration of the other men we met at the conference towards him was amazing. He was treated like a celebrity and listening to the men speak about him, recounting the tales of how he played the game and his accolades I can understand now why he is in the hall of fame and so respected. Being involved in Memories FC and football reminiscence groups has helped me learn that even though these people have a diagnosis of dementia they still feel the passion and count themselves as a fan of the football team they grew up supporting.
Jennifer Love (Year 2 Mental Health Student)