The Sporting Memories group at Preston North End Community and Education Trust has welcomed three guest speakers in as many of its online sessions to help members reminisce about sport and some of their favourite North End moments in years gone by.
Sporting Memories supports those living with dementia, depression and loneliness or indeed anyone wishing to engage in sporting chat, and is continuing to run online via Zoom with meetings taking place from 11am each Tuesday, and forming part of the Trust’s Tackling Loneliness Together offering alongside the EFL Trust.
Last week’s meeting saw the addition of Lancashire Post journalist Dave Seddon while in the previous two weeks, Lilywhites fan favourites Neil Mellor and before then Graham Alexander joined the session.
Before the Coronavirus pandemic, Sporting Memories invited members to come together in the Players’ Lounge at Deepdale, and the continuation of the programme running online has proven especially important in bringing people together amid prevalent issues such as social isolation and loneliness.
In the recent Blackburn Rovers edition of The One And Only matchday programme, Alexander spoke about the importance of the Sporting Memories club.
“To help people with dementia, depression and loneliness and general mental health issues, I think it’s a fantastic foundation to keep people together,” he said.
“I’m sure the people who take part in it regularly take great value from it and it’s something for them to look forward to and then look forward to the next one.
“To help is fantastic on my part but there’s a lot of work that needs to continue to go on to support people’s mental health, just in normal times, but certainly at the moment with what’s happening with Covid-19 – it’s paramount that that contact with people is kept. It’s more accessible to everybody now and I’m sure it will go from strength to strength.
“If I get reminded of something from 30 years ago when I was a young pro, it brings back so many memories that are not really at the forefront of your mind, but as soon as you start talking about these moments in your life, it brings back other memories. That works on multiple levels for everyone else as well.”
If you would like to join the Sporting Memories club at Preston North End, or refer someone else to join who you feel would benefit from the initiative, please email email@example.com or visit PNE.Com/TLTReferral to make a referral for yourself or someone else.