Published by Adrian Ward Friday 08 February, 2019

New dementia-friendly programme to start

On the weekend that Blackburn Rovers celebrates its designated Age UK matchday, the club's Community Trust has confirmed plans for a new dementia-friendly project in partnership with the country's biggest charity for supporting older people.

'Remember The Rovers' is coming to Ewood Park from March, providing a new monthly opportunity for fans to reminisce about the club's illustrious past.

Predominantly aimed at fans living with dementia or similar conditions, but open to any supporters aged 50 or over, the new conversation-based gathering will be led by Community Trust staff and potential guest visits from Rovers icons, with support coming from our long-standing partners and one of the club's designated charities, Age UK.

The new concept will take place on the first Thursday of every month from 10.30am to midday and will be based in the Directors Guest Lounge on the ground floor of the Jack Walker Stand. The first event has been scheduled for Thursday 7th March, with admission set at just £1 per person and refreshments provided.

Matt Pilkington, disability sports officer at Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, will be leading the initiative on behalf of the club's official charity, and he is looking forward to expanding the range of amenities offered to older supporters at Ewood Park. He explained:

"The Community Trust are already very active at supporting our over 50s supporter base through initiatives such as walking football, line dancing and the Jack's Walkers club, as well as supporting the Rover 60 lunch group, but this is our first specifically dementia-friendly programme.

"The idea will be inclusive rather than exclusive though, and anyone over the age of 50 will be welcome. We hope that everyone's shared memories will be vital for those attending with dementia or similar conditions, as we aim to try and use positive thoughts and recollections to help those who start to feel trapped or isolated as a result of the condition.

"We'll be chatting about iconic players, great goals, memorable matches and anything else on a Rover theme that can hopefully spark memories and excitement among the participants, recalling the pride that we've all felt down the years while following our club.

"It ties in very neatly with the club's #OneRovers policy, making Blackburn Rovers as accessible to everyone as possible, so we would like to thank Age UK Blackburn with Darwen at Northcote at the Rovers for supplying some of the resources needed to make it happen."

For more information, please contact Matt Pilkington via 01254 508256 or matt.pilkington@brfctrust.co.uk.

**Keep a look out at Ewood Park on Saturday for additional Age UK presence around the stadium, with the Bristol City fixture designated as the charity's game of awareness.

Representatives from the organisation will be speaking in the Foster's FanZone, hospitality lounges and at pitchside during the half-time break to talk about their work, with a stall outside Blues to promote their activities (weather permitting).**

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