Tackling Dementia Café shortlisted for prestigious award

Warriors Community Foundation’s pioneering Tackling Dementia Sports Café has been shortlisted for another prestigious national award.

Having scooped the Dementia Friendly Organisation of the Year – Small and Medium category at the National Dementia Friendly Awards in December, the Tackling Dementia Sports Café has now been shortlisted for the Sustainability & Community Award  at the Stadium Business Awards 2019.

The awards ceremony will be held at a gala evening at Emirates Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester on June 4 when Warriors Community Foundation will face competition from the United States and Italy for the award.

It is the first time that Warriors Community Foundation has been shortlisted for a Stadium Business Award. Sporting Kansas City, AEG 1Earth, LA Galaxy/Dignity Health Sports Park, Nashville Predators/Kulture City and a project to reconstruct Paride Tilesi Stadium in Italy after the Amatrice earthquake are also on the shortlist.

The Tackling Dementia Café at Sixways is one of the ground-breaking dementia initiatives introduced by Warriors Community Foundation – the charitable arm of the Gallagher Premiership club – since January 2017.

Simon Northcott, Warriors Disability and Inclusion Lead, became the Club’s first Dementia Champion which enabled him to deliver Dementia Friends sessions throughout the club.

In February 2017 the Club delivered a number of sessions to staff and stewards alike before the Alzheimer’s Society and people living dementia were welcomed as guests to the home fixture against Saracens.

Seven months later Warriors became the first Premiership club to open a Safe Place providing an area on matchdays which allows vulnerable people of all ages to watch live rugby matches which ensures complete inclusivity for all fans at Sixways.

The first anniversary of the Safe Place was recently followed by a similar landmark for the Tackling Dementia Sports Café at Sixways which provides a friendly and sociable weekly meeting place for those living with dementia, their families and carers.

Warriors now have more than 130 dementia friends including staff and Young Ambassadors with first team lock Darren Barry acting as an ambassador for Tackling Dementia.

The ethos of the group has continued to be true to itself throughout the last year meaning people have the chance to relax, have fun, play sport or just chat.  Every activity is there to encourage and stimulate cognitive processing and increase physical activity with participants encouraged to take the lead where appropriate.

Tackling Dementia encourages all sorts of stimuli including Pets as Therapy dogs. These are in attendance most weeks and always prove popular with our group and is a completely free service.”

Through our Foundation we raise money to sustain this initiative which has become an integral part of what we do, and will continue to do for years to come.

“We are delighted to be short-listed for this award.  The Warriors Community Foundation Team works tirelessly to ensure that the Club is inclusive with no exceptions,” said Carol Hart, Chief Executive of the Warriors Community Foundation.

“The Dementia Café is offering free support, fun and friendship to 30 to 40 people every week, and their families and carers.

“The team at Warriors has created an environment which is relaxed and fun and offers every attendee something they enjoy from seated curling to colouring in pictures.

“It is important also to consider family and carers who can also enjoy some time away looking after their own wellbeing.  Activities for carers include friendship support, yoga classes or the freedom to just have a couple of hours to themselves.

“At Warriors we strongly believe that our iconic stadium and its assets should be accessible and utilised by all, whether that is for watching live sport or engaging with all sectors of our community.”