Hawick Rugby Club has collaborated with Alzheimer Scotland in a programme that will use rugby memories to help people in the town with dementia. The Greens will be the first rugby club in Scotland to pioneer this approach to reminiscence therapy. Working with the NHS Borders Team at West Port Dementia Resource Centre located within the Hawick Community Hospital, rugby club volunteers May Sinclair and Murray Watson will show people with dementia photos of weel kent players from days gone by to help stimulate memories.
The rugby memories project is a new development following on from the success of Football Memories started by Alzheimer Scotland in collaboration with the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park. Football memories volunteers now operate in more than 20 towns and cities in Scotland. Hawick will be the first rugby memories town.
Michael White from Alzheimer Scotland said, “we are delighted to be working with Hawick Rugby Club and hope that their example will be followed by other rugby clubs in Scotland.”
The key to the success of the sessions lies in the use of old rugby pictures and memorabilia to help the recall of players, teams, tries and incidents in the past. The clarity of recall can be spectacular; there is always a great deal of debate, humour and banter.
There are more than 86,000 people with dementia in Scotland, enough to fill Murrayfield and still have over 20,000 outside.
May and Murray would welcome the loan of any old Hawick and Borders clubs’ programmes, photos and other memorabilia, as well as hearing from anyone willing to volunteer.