The “Tiel Burn Enders” have joined the Football Memories League and have staged their first “matches” at Starks Park. The group recalls the memories of old football matches by looking at photographs and memorabilia of the period 1950 to about 1980. The Raith Supporters Trust approached Alzheimer Scotland to set up a group in the stadium, and they now meet on Sunday afternoons once a month.
The highly successful Football Memories project started out back in 2004, and is now well-established all across Scotland, from Stranraer to Shetland. It uses images of old football matches and memorabilia to help stimulate recall and memory. There are over 80 “teams” in the Alzheimer Scotland Football Memories League and each has chosen its own name and colour. Each group has a trained football memories volunteer and a member of Alzheimer Scotland staff in attendance. A local group already exists in the Alzheimer Scotland Resources Centre in Kirkcaldy, and this group has helped to bring the Raith Supporters Trust team up to speed with how the sessions work.
The Football Memories work has been featured on TV and radio and has attracted interest from within the UK as well as from abroad, notably from Spain and the USA.
In the existing groups in Day Centres and Care Homes, there have been several examples of the Football Memories work having a significant effect on individuals concerned. The names, the debates, the memories are all triggered by the images. The players and the teams are from their era, their town, their experience. They are back on the terraces again. They are among friends and the names come flooding back- McNaught, Colville, Leigh, McEwan, Baxter and so on.
The aim is to have a Starter Pack of 100 images for each Scottish team, and it is hoped that a Rovers pack will be produced soon.
Michael White, the Alzheimer Scotland project manager said,”We are delighted to see the Raith Supporters Trust become involved. In time, we hope to have a national co-operative of all clubs and this will enable us to share images and materials to help people with dementia and memory problems. The early sessions have been great and we have heard some fascinating stories – not all of which have appeared in the football history books!”
If you, or a loved one, would like to join the Tiel Burn Enders, contact Alan Russell at the Raith Supporters Trust by email at email@example.com or by phone on 07780 993288 to find out details of the group’s next meeting.