Junior school children joined older people and their carers for a fun-packed Winter Games Day where friendly rivalry and lots of laughs were the order of the afternoon.
The Magna Vitae community team behind the national award nominated Still Me project organised the event at Louth’s Meridian Leisure Centre, as part of a continued programme of activities to encourage active participation amongst older and more vulnerable people across East Lindsey.
A full house saw more than 70 people enjoy the day, including pupils and teachers from Lacey Gardens Junior Academy, residents and carers from Ashtree House, Withern and representatives from the Community Lincs T.E.D. team, Louth Rotary Club, Alzheimer’s Society and Louth & District Hospice Ltd.
Four teams took part in Kurling, Ice Hockey, Snowballing and a Winter Dress Up and with commentator Gareth Laking keeping all in line, the overall winners were the Blue Team coming home with 289 points, closely followed by teams Red, Green and Yellow.
Participants Audrey and Anthony Whittaker have been to past Still Me sports days and love the active afternoons as well as the regular sessions.
“We used to be a very active couple and enjoyed playing sports and socialising with friends, but in the last few years, due to ill health, we’ve stopped going out as much,” said Audrey.
“Our children kept telling us to join the Still Me group and I was a little reluctant at first, but one day I decided to give it a go and I’m so pleased we did! We felt very welcomed from day one and now look forward to taking part in activities, meeting up with our new friends and seeing the lovely staff,” she added.
While Louth & District Hospice Ltd provide financial support for the overall project, the Winter Games afternoon was made possible thanks to funds raised during a Louth Rotary Club memory walk, held during Dementia Action week in May in partnership with Magna Vitae. In previous years only summer games events have been held.
Magna Vitae’s Lifestyle Partnerships Lead Tracey Wilkinson was delighted by the Winter Games’ success.
“It was great to see the Intergenerational aspect with the sports ambassadors coming along from Lacey Gardens Academy and Louth Rotary providing the volunteers who helped keep everyone safe while taking part,” said Tracey who will be attending the National Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Awards 2019 – the project has been shortlisted in the Championing Diversity Category.
Her words were echoed by Bev Petchell from Louth & District Hospice Ltd: “As Still Me’s main funder for the last three years, we are incredibly proud of the project and the wonderful Magna Vitae team that deliver these well attended sessions. This innovative initiative makes a real difference to the people in our community who are living with dementia and other life altering conditions, providing them with support, stability and a welcoming family to become a part of,” said Bev.
“Events like this show the true impact of the team’s hard work, by bringing that whole Still Me family together and encouraging them to get active and have fun in the process,” she added.
Regular Still Me sessions are held in Alford, Louth, Skegness, Mablethorpe, Horncastle and Spilsby.