Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance rolls out #KITBag initiative
May 19, 2021
Montage of sport images

The Sporting Memories Foundation, supported by the Suffolk County Council led Most Active County Partnership, is celebrating Dementia Awareness Week by teaming up with the Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance to provide activity and memory packs to those living with dementia, and their support networks, in the town.

The #KITBag project was launched by Sporting Memories during the recent pandemic as a way of continuing their work with older adults living with dementia, mental health issues, loneliness, and isolation.

Chris Wilkins, Co-Founder and Director of Sporting Memories Network, explains:

“At the start of the pandemic our clubs, like many others, had to move online and although some gentle activity was offered during those sessions it became clear that inactivity levels of many of our members, as with many of the general public, was declining. The organisation therefore developed the #KITBag initiative – a pack of resources which includes things such as a stress ball, a resistance band, an exercise guide booklet/DVD alongside weekly copies of the Sporting Pink nostalgia paper and access to an online group to help alleviate the situation”.

“These packs have been well received across the country and although the situation is thankfully now easing some people are still not able to physically attend sessions when they reopen, and many are still constrained in what they can do outside of their homes. Therefore the opportunity to allow people living with dementia and their support networks in Ipswich to continue to access this resource via this partnership with Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance is a fantastic opportunity too good to miss”.

Nicola Bradford, chair of Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance, said

“Ipswich has a great sporting history and so having prompts that lead to discussion and recalls of times celebrating peoples sporting heroes can bring great happiness and pleasure. It can also inform family members and friends or carers, who maybe weren’t around at the time, or not following sport, so that it becomes a topic that people can share. We’re delighted to be a charity involved in this project and will share it widely across the local area”.

Cllr Matthew Hicks, Leader of Suffolk County Council, added:

“Like the whole country, we are acutely aware that people living with dementia, poor mental health, loneliness and isolation have often been disproportionately impacted by the current pandemic. Physical activity and social connectivity can play a major part in supporting these issues so it is positive to hear that the Sporting Memories Network and Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance will be supporting those living with dementia, and their carers, with the provision of activity and memory packs.”

Availability of the packs will officially be launched at the Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance stand in Ipswich Town centre on Friday 21st May 2021, between 10am and 2pm as part of Dementia Action Week.

If you are interested in getting a pack, please contact directly either Phil Lown [email protected] or Debbie Murrell (co-ordinator) [email protected] or via the Facebook page @ipswichdementia or call T. 07467 336348.

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