Footballers across Cambridgeshire are among those who can benefit from a new team focused on providing easier access to dementia support.
Alzheimer’s Society has partnered with Cambridgeshire Football Association, to launch a permanent support scheme, offering help and hope for its 20,000 participants, who have either been diagnosed with dementia or are caring for a loved one.
Referral pathways have been set up as part of the charity’s national partnership with the FA, in almost half (21) of the counties, where it governs football, in England.
Joanne Knox, Chief Executive at Cambridgeshire Football Association, said: “Everyone involved in football feels part of a wider family and just as we’d support our direct family members, it’s important we do the same here.
“By partnering with Alzheimer’s Society, we are giving something back to the football community to make sure anyone affected by dementia can seek advice and support when needed.”
The new referral pathway will offer participants of Cambridgeshire FA, access to personalised advice and practical and emotional support from Alzheimer’s Society’s frontline specialists, to help them live well with the condition and better prepare for the future. Alzheimer’s Society’s services have been used more than 4.2 million times in the past year, proving to be a lifeline for thousands.
Joanne said: “We’d encourage any of our participants to get in touch if they are affected by dementia so we can help signpost them to the right support. We have around 1,200 teams in just under 200 clubs across the county.”
The partnership with Alzheimer’s Society is also raising funds for support services.
Kate Lee, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Sport should be unforgettable. We want to make sure those who are part of the beautiful game are not sidelined due to their diagnosis and can continue to live fulfilled and meaningful lives by receiving the right support from day one.
“No-one should face a dementia diagnosis alone, nor suffer in silence, which is why we are proud to be working closely with Cambridgeshire County FA to embed our services and make sure thousands more have somewhere to turn to during one of the most frightening and toughest times in their lives.”
Alzheimer’s Society will work with The FA to provide research expertise and ensure The FA is prioritising and funding world-class research to best protect players for generations to come. The charity has also directly funded its own research with former football and rugby players, as part of the PREVENT study.
To find out more about Alzheimer’s Society’s partnership with The FA, or donate, visit alzheimers.org.uk/unforgettable-sport.
Anyone worried about their memory can download the Alzheimer’s Society symptoms checklist, endorsed by the Royal College of GPs, to support people to get a diagnosis.