A LEAP back in time to com­bat iso­la­tion

Sport­ing mem­o­ries pro­ject suc­cess

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Niki Ten­nant

Ruther­glen grandpa Ian Telford is prov­ing he is a jolly good sport by volunteering to help peo­ple with feel­ings of iso­la­tion to get out of the house and meet new friends.

Ian ( 54), of Castle­fern Road, is volunteering to as­sist with a pi­lot pro­gramme of Sport­ing Mem­o­ries — a pro­ject which en­cour­ages peo­ple in the Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang area to ex­plore and re­visit sport­ing ex­pe­ri­ences of days gone by to help them rem­i­nisce and en­joy the com­pany of oth­ers.

In­tro­duced by the Light­burn El­derly As­so­ci­a­tion Pro­ject ( LEAP), the Sport­ing Mem­o­ries group met for the first time at Whit­law­burn Com­mu­nity Re­source Cen­tre last Tues­day. The Sport­ing Mem­o­ries ini­tia­tive was es­tab­lished to help tackle de­pres­sion, de­men­tia and so­cial iso­la­tion by un­lock­ing mem­o­ries and help­ing peo­ple to open up.

Jointe Ian was forced to give up work four years ago due to a spinal con­di­tion re­sult­ing from an in­dus­trial ac­ci­dent.

The dad- of- three at­tended last Tues­day’s inau­gu­ral meet­ing and knew in­stantly that he wanted to help out.

“Ev­ery­body at the meet­ing was given the chance to voice what­ever they wanted, and to re­live what they had en­joyed.

“It wasn’t just football — it was ev­ery­thing from triathlon to rounders and net­ball.

“Peo­ple talked about how they went to their first game with their dad or their un­cle. Very rarely was there a break in the con­ver­sa­tion,” ex­plained Ian.

“It can give peo­ple a cou­ple of hours out of the house, and can break up the day. It means peo­ple no longer have to feel as if they do not have a friend on the earth. If my in­volve­ment means it helps just one per­son to mix within so­ci­ety, then I’d be happy.”

Ca­tri­ona MacGre­gor, LEAP adult learn­ing co-or­di­na­tor, said: “Re­search has shown that if peo­ple rem­i­nisce, it helps them cog­ni­tively and has huge so­cial ben­e­fits. Meet­ings like these get them out the house, and gives them the op­por­tu­nity to have a blether in a so­cial set­ting.”

The next Sport­ing Mem­o­ries meet­ing is on Tues­day at 1.30pm.

To find out more, con­tact Ca­tri­ona at LEAP on 0141 641 5169.

Very rarely was there a break in the con­ver­sa­tion

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