Mental health charity Preston North End Sporting Memories hosts online EURO 2020 Get Together event
Sporting Memories, a charity fighting social isolation and depression through sport, has held a national online event with Preston North End Community and Education Trust to celebrate latest campaign, #TalkAboutSport.
Called 'EURO 2020 Get Together' as tribute to the fact that the EURO 2020 tournament was set to take place in July of this year before being postponed due to coronavirus, the digital get-together embraced members from countless Sporting Memories clubs from across England, Scotland, and Wales, with the organisation having taken many of its meetings online since lockdown in order to combat loneliness, depression, and dementia.
“It all began when we joined this year’s Great Get Together, an initiative from the Jo Cox Foundation and Spirit of 2012, which was established following the murder of MP Jo Cox in 2016," explained Sporting Memories co-founder Chris Wilkins. "It celebrates the power of community, and so we had the idea to come together as Sporting Memories clubs across three nations."
The #TalkAboutSport campaign from Sporting Memories began following the suspension of community clubs and has been gaining momentum ever since. It carries the message that talking about and remembering sport with someone we know who may be feeling lonely can bring health, well-being, and social benefits.
“We want to encourage as many people as possible to talk about sport; to engage by whatever means they can with their family and friends of all ages, spark lively conversations and bring to the fore all those positive memories," said Chris. “Of course there are challenges; many of those we work with have limited options to access activities online.
"However, this is where we hope a wider #TalkAboutSport message can help by highlighting that sport is a wonderful way of sparking conversation and by providing guidance and resources to go alongside this, people will find ways to engage."
Despite the Preston North End Sporting Memories meetings having been suspeded due to the pandemic, PNECET Inclusion Manager Melissa Brown said that they were 'determined' to stay in touch with members, particularly given the increased risk of loneliness and isolation in lockdown.
“Our online club has been running for nearly two months now and it has been great to see our members making the transition," said Melissa. "Our lead volunteer Martin Atherton has done an excellent job of hosting the meetings. The EURO 2020 Get Together was a great success and we’re looking forward to seeing what the next Get Together has in store.”