Creating a community that is 'United by Memories' | Cambridge United Community Trust

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Creating a community that is 'United by Memories'

As part of our ongoing commitment to the local community, Cambridge United Community Trust runs ‘United by Memories’, which is a monthly café for individuals living with dementia at home and their care partners. ‘Dementia cafés’ like ours play a fundamental role in communities across the country, providing a safe and social space where attendees can socialise and chat with like-minded people.

Many dementia cafés organise art or music activities for participants, but at CUCT we felt there was an opportunity to provide a space for people with other interests. With this in mind, we established ‘United by Memories’ in February 2018, where attendees can talk all things football, sport and Cambridge United (and other things, of course!). As well as staff from CUCT, volunteers from 100 Years of Coconuts, the historical arm of Cambridge United, also come along to share their knowledge and passion. In addition, CUCT is delighted to be working with Dementia Compass, a local charity supporting people living with dementia, who provide valuable expertise on how to make the sports café as supportive and helpful as possible. We have lots of ideas on how to develop the sports café in the future, so watch this space!

So, what can you expect when you come to the ‘United by Memories’ sports café? When attendees walk in, they are warmly welcomed by our staff and volunteers, and are offered tea, coffee and biscuits. A table in the middle of the room is covered in sports memorabilia and photos, which are used to spark conversations between participants and volunteers. Last month, topics of conversation included the old Cambridge tradition of skipping held on Parker’s Piece on Good Friday (do any of our readers remember this?!) and how football boots have changed over the years. With conversations revolving around shared interests and local history rather than dementia itself, the sports café provides a moment of respite for both the individuals living with dementia and their care givers.

Each session is organised around a particular theme or event, with last month’s theme being the World Cup. We watched a video of the highlights of England’s victory in 1966, and then a video of England’s route to qualification in 2018. Next month, we will be joined by current and former Cambridge United football players, who will be talking about their experiences of playing with the club.

If, after reading this article, you would be interested in coming to our next ‘United by Memories’ sports café, please email or call 0123632129 for more information. We would love to see you there!

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