Mental Health Awareness: Football Memories Group
The Albion Foundation have teamed up with the NHS over recent weeks to deliver the Football Memories Group for Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients.
With the help of West Bromwich Albion the group is held within The Hawthorns’ Media Suite where the participants can reminisce about years gone by and remember the greats such as: Jeff Astle, Ray Barlow and Tony ‘Bomber’ Brown.
Delivered by West Bromwich Albion Supporters Club Chairman John Homer, the group gather every Wednesday using the emotive medium of football to help trigger memories from their years supporting the Albion.
Being within a football environment makes memories more specific which along with reading through old match programmes and newspaper articles can stimulate memories from the past that they can then discuss with the group.
As well as talking about their memories of The Hawthorns, the group enjoy visits from ex-players who talk about their experiences with the club. Last week the group spoke with one third of the Three Degrees, Brendan Batson, who spoke about his experiences when he first came to England.
On top of meeting former players the group have enjoyed a behind the scenes tour of The Hawthorns where they have taken a stroll through the Chairman’s Suite and looked out from the press box before taking a seat in the Changing Rooms.
Albion Foundation Disability Coach Chris Winston believes the club’s participation is imperative to the success of the programme:
“The fact that we are able to hold these sessions at The Hawthorns has an immediate impact on our participants.”
“You can see what it means to them as they recall old matches and goals they have seen in the past which is something you wouldn’t get in a generic community setting.”