A NEW sporting reminiscence group for people with dementia and their carers is being launched in Ringwood.

The launch comes during Dementia Awareness Week from May 18 to 24.

The group will be run by the Alzheimer’s Society and funded by New Forest District Council and the New Forest Health and Wellbeing Board. They follow the successful launch of a similar group in Totton in January.

The council says 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 group will 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.

The group, which will meet on the second and fourth Monday of the month from 10.30am until noon at the Trinity Centre in Christchurch Road, is open to anyone with a diagnosis of dementia and their partners or carers. Sessions are informal and can accommodate six to eight people with dementia, who will engage in remembering activities, based on the use of props, activity cards, memory books and other materials.

In the New Forest there are 3,600 people living with dementia and that number is set to rise to 4,400 by 2020.

Events are planned for the week across the district, including pop-up cafés, a balloon launch and fun day, art exhibitions and Dementia Friends training.

To find out more contact the Alzheimer’s Society on 01590 644679 or email jane.rowlatt@alzheimers.org.uk.

For more information or to join the sporting memories group contact Richard Tuck, sports group co-ordinator for the Alzheimer’s Society, on 01590 644679 or richard.tuck@altzheimers.org.uk.