Three new sporting reminiscence groups for people with dementia and their carers are being launched in the New Forest as part of New Forest District Council’s commitment to improve the lives of residents living with the condition.

The launch comes as dementia is highlighted nationally during Dementia Awareness Week from 18 to 24 May 2014. The groups, which will be run by the Alzheimer’s Society in New Milton, Lymington and Ringwood, are being funded by the council and the New Forest Health and Wellbeing Board*.

They follow the successful launch of a similar group in Totton in January.

There is increasing evidence to support the benefits of reminiscence for older people, in particular those experiencing dementia, and sporting images can unlock powerful memories. The new groups meet twice a month and provide an opportunity for people with the condition who have an interest in sport to get involved with reminiscence activities.

Councillor Di Brooks, the council’s portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, said: “As we approach Dementia Awareness Week I am delighted that the council and the New Forest Health and Wellbeing Board have been able to fund these new reminiscence sessions. Access to this kind of support activity can have a really positive impact on the lives of dementia sufferers and their carers within our community.”

The groups are open to anyone with a diagnosis of dementia and their partners or carers. Sessions are informal and can accommodate 6 to 8 people with dementia who will engage in remembering activities, based on the use of props, activity cards, memory books and other materials. Details of each group and how to join are below.

Dementia Awareness Week, the Alzheimer’s Society’s flagship campaign, is focused this year on getting people talking about dementia, under the banner “Don’t keep it bottled up”.

Jane Rowlatt, Dementia Support Manager for the Alzheimer’s Society said: “The week is an opportunity to raise awareness and increase understanding. The Alzheimer’s Society is here for information and support, and to talk to anyone who has an immediate and serious concern about dementia.”

In the New Forest there are 3,600** people living with dementia and that number is set to rise to 4,400 by 2020, an increase of 43.2%. Events are planned for the week across the district, including pop up cafes, a balloon launch and fun day, art exhibitions and “Dementia Friends” training. To find out more please contact the Alzheimer’s Society on 01590 644679 or email

Remembering Sport groups information:

Lymington: Held on the first and fourth Monday of the month from 2pm – 3.30pm at Lymington Library, North Close, Lymington, SO41 9BW

New Milton: Held on the first and third Thursday of the month from 10.30am – 12pm at Ashley Baptist Church, 3 Lower Ashley Road, New Milton, BH25 5AA

Ringwood:Held on the second and fourth Monday of the month from 10.30am – 12pm at Trinity Centre, Christchurch Road, Ringwood, BH24 1DH

For more information or to join any of the groups please contact Richard Tuck, Sports Group Coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Society, on 01590 644679 or


* One session is being funded by NFDC and two by a public health grant from Hampshire County Council through the New Forest Health and Wellbeing Board.

** in 2012