Patients in the Larkfield Unit at Inverclyde Royal Hospital (IRH) can now benefit from taking part in ward based Football Memories sessions thanks to the generous efforts of kind-hearted volunteers from the hospitals Ward Volunteering Programme and our friends at Alzheimer’s Resource Centre.
The Resource Centre, which has already been running a similar project in the community will now support our volunteer service to deliver these valuable sessions to our patients in Inverclyde.
These sessions have been created with the specific goal of giving patients a safe space to chat with each other and share their love of the game.
Jenny Watt, the hospital’s Volunteer Coordinator said: “Our volunteers are on the wards to spend time having chats with the patients and getting to know them.
When you speak to the gents on the ward it is usually pretty obvious what an effect football has had on their lives! Whether they are Morton through and through, or support some of the bigger teams, they love to talk about the sport.
“We hope that by giving patients an opportunity to speak with other folk on the ward, friendships can form and the conversations can continue even after they have returned to their rooms.”
The plan is to hold sessions every week in the Unit for any patients interested. It is one of a jam packed schedule for patients every week organised by the activity co-ordinators, May Derrick and Carolann Coyle.
They are both looking forward to the new addition. “It’s great to give the gents something to look forward to because they tend to be a little wary of coming along to play bingo or do arts and crafts.
Hopefully this will give them a chance to spend time with other local lads and relive their youth – I bet they will all say they could have turned professional!” joked May.
However, the work is not over yet, and now the Unit is looking to tap into the amazing Inverclyde Community Spirit. They are looking for donations of any old football memorabilia, from old programmes to scarves, in order to give the group some conversation starters.
Jenny added: “We know that using prompts can be hugely beneficial for bringing memories to the forefront.
“Whether it is looking at pictures of players, or the smell of Bovril, little things can trigger numerous stories!
“If anyone in the community has items that they are thinking of throwing out then we would love to have them!”
If you are interested in donating items then please contact Jenny Watt on 07790 545912 or email at [email protected].
For further media information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]
Pic: Patients & Staff share some fond football memories at the Larkfield Unit