Residents of Nuneaton and Bedworth, who are living with Dementia can join the ‘Sky Blues in the Community’ team on a weekly basis to participate in exercise, activities, games and socialising. The group also supports family members and loved ones who care for their loved ones, bringing everyone together with real sense of understanding, empathy and belonging.
We met with this tight knit group as part of the Moving Stories campaign by Think Active, the regional active partnership charity, which is helping to showcase how people in Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull are using exercise to improve mental and physical wellbeing.
The Dementia Active sessions run by Sky Blues in the Community, enables participants to meet new people and play a variety of sports and games – including table tennis, badminton, knock about football, archery and a whole group favourite – Jenga (fuelled by cups of tea and biscuits!)
Brian is one of the members of the group and has been attending very regularly for more than four months. He has really benefitted from meeting other people in a similar situation to him, making new friends and most of all having the opportunity to get active doing more exercise than he would normally do, trying out new things like Archery and having a routine to his week.
“This is a great group to come to. We get to play sports and sit for a cup of tea while we play Jenga – which can get quite competitive. Although I do think I’m the best.” Brian told us. “I really enjoy coming every week, I’ve barely missed a session since I joined. There is usually about 20 of us, and I love getting my hands on the Archery set.”
The Sky Blues in the Community team have been running sessions like this one in Nuneaton, Coventry and Warwick for more than two years, thanks in part to funding received from the National Lottery.
John Szyndler is the Mental Health and Wellbeing manager for the charity and explains how important programmes like this are for people living with dementia in the area, and their families:
“Dementia Active is a fantastic programme and it is popular across the locations in Coventry and Warwickshire where we deliver it. People living with Dementia really benefit from having a regular routine and opportunities to socialise and get more mobile and active. We provide a variety of ‘give it a go’ sports and activities, all very low key, non-competitive and easy for all to access.
“The feedback we get from users of the groups is fantastic and people keep coming back week after week, because they are making friends, making memories and feeling the benefit of a more active lifestyle too.” Says John.
The group at Dementia Active offer a freely available and friendly group, with a wide variety of activities to keep all participants engaged and interested, while getting a good level of exercise. If people are interested in finding out more and joining a session, they should contact the Sky Blues in the Community main office number on 02476 786349 or send your enquiry by email to email@example.com
For information and guidance on a wide range of groups, activities and recommendations to help get more active, whatever your lifestyle, abilities or needs – the Think Active website has a host of information available and signposting to get you started. www.thinkactive.org