Swansea Bay Health Charity is using generous NHS Charities Together donations to work with local organisation Ospreys in the Community on their continued support of isolated individuals through their Sporting Memories project.
As a charitable arm of Ospreys Rugby set up in 2015, Ospreys in the Community aims to harness the power of sport and the connection that it has within communities to bring people together and empower them.
Sporting Memories was set up to support those living with dementia, depression, and loneliness. The health and wellbeing project uses sport to engage minds and get people moving to slow down the impact of their condition, and subsequently help to reduce health inequalities and reliance on hospital services.
It does this through weekly sessions that involve face-to-face meetings with quizzes, physical activities, and conversations about sporting memorabilia to help trigger memories and encourage conversation.
Ospreys in the Community also work with other charities and organisations on activities such as yoga and mindfulness, as well as signposting to other services that could help members.
When the pandemic hit, the sessions transformed into weekly phone calls and texts, which then progressed to weekly zoom sessions, newsletters and quiz sheets that were sent to members in the post to complete in between their weekly sessions.
The project has also enabled its 227 members, and their carers, to set up WhatsApp and Facebook groups to keep in touch and continue to socialise outside of the sessions.
Feedback clearly shows how valuable the project has been for wellbeing:
“Thank you for the genuine support of Ospreys Community Team for providing the environment for us. We feel nurtured by people like you and the team. It’s a wonderful thing to be part of.”
“As participants we greatly appreciate the work you do and really look forward to weekly sessions where we can meet people, chat and have fun. This makes a difference to our lives.”
“I’m much better mentally thanks to you all.”
With the additional funding from Swansea Bay Health Charity, Ospreys in the Community are looking to employ a part-time health and wellbeing officer and establish two new group sessions to accommodate 40 to 70 new members.
They are also hoping to use the funding to bring more volunteers on board to support activities, with their hard work and dedication being essential to the sustainability of the project.
By working with NHS charities across the UK, we hope to grow and develop even more partnerships like this to help improve the health and wellness of those living with long term health conditions.
Click on the video below to learn more about Sporting Memories: