HULL FC TACKLE DEMENTIA WITH RUGBY LEAGUE MEMORIES
Old Faithful has been the rallying cry sung by Hull FC fans for decades and now it will be the name given to a revolutionary new project to help supporters cherish their memories of the past.
It comes as the Black and Whites and the Hull FC Community Foundation continue to develop a new working partnership with Hull and East Riding Dementia Programme Board, a multi-agency group working to support people with dementia across the region.
Called the Old Faithful project and due to commence shortly, it will see those involved work closely with other third sector partners to offer a range of new services to people with dementia and their families across Hull and the East Yorkshire region.
Using supporters’ memories of Hull FC over the years as the basis of a sport reminiscence programme, plans are in place for the exciting new partnership to offer a series of sport cafés in the local community including at the KC Stadium and within local care homes, as well as on specialist dementia wards in hospitals.
With a low level physical activity programme also offered to participants by a team of volunteer Sport Dementia Ambassadors, the project will be a first in the region and for Super League clubs across the country.
Dr Dan Harman, Dementia Care Lead for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospital NHS Trust, said, “I am truly excited that Hull FC recognises the important role the club can play in supporting people with dementia and their carers through all stages of the illness.
“The ‘Old Faithful’ project will allow us to use Hull FC to reach out to people with dementia and will help signpost people to services that exist in our region.
“Through the use of sports reminiscence therapy and through the appointment of dementia ambassadors at Hull FC, the club will help local people relive the happy memories that they have witnessed over many years living in the region and supporting the Black and Whites.
“People with dementia want to be diagnosed early, want to be treated with dignity and respect, but most importantly, want to feel part of a community and inspired to give something back. I believe the ‘Old Faithful’ project will empower people to achieve this.”
Nationally, there are currently 800,000 people with dementia living in the UK and this is expected to rise to 1.7 million in the next 30 years. Local estimations in Hull suggest approximately 3,000 people are living with the condition.
If diagnosed early, treatments are available to allow those with the condition to retain their independence and maintain a good quality of life whereas it becomes more challenging to engage with a person with dementia in the later stages of the illness.
With reminiscing about previous events proven to be successful at unlocking memories and encouraging those with the condition to remain involved in society, Richard Munson, Head of the Hull FC Foundation, says the Old Faithful project will be a hugely important one for the Black and Whites.
He said, “As a club and community foundation, we appreciate our responsibility to connect with our fan base and wider local community on projects that have a clear need.
“We feel that we can support in raising the awareness of dementia but also actively deliver a project in ‘Old Faithful’ that will support people with the condition and add value to what other organisations are doing locally.”