Widnes Vikings celebrated by dementia care sector

Widnes Vikings celebrated by dementia care sector widnesvikings.co.uk
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8th November 2016

The partnerships between Widnes Vikings, Community Integrated Care and NHS Halton CCG have been celebrated this week at Britain’s biggest dementia care conference and awards events.

The pioneering collaboration between Community Integrated Care and Widnes Vikings was placed as a finalist in the ‘Best Dementia Care Innovation’ category at the National Dementia Care Awards, which took place in Brighton on Thursday. Widnes Vikings became the first sports team ever recognised at these awards, which are backed by the Journal of Dementia Care and Caring Times.

In Community Integrated Care’s local specialist dementia care homes, St Luke’s and St Patrick’s, people they support enjoy weekly visits from community coaches and legendary former players for activity and reminiscence sessions. The club and charity have also teamed up together to create The Chemics Café, a free monthly dementia café that helps people affected by the condition to enjoy incredible Vikings experiences – working with current and past players – and receive vital advice and support.

Residents in the charity’s care homes have enjoyed attending Widnes Vikings matches and being part of celebration events with players from the club. Vikings supporters have also given incredible backing to the partnership, most recently donating hundreds of items of nostalgic Vikings memorabilia that are being used in care home reminiscence sessions.

The awards success follows Dave Sweeney, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at NHS Halton CCG, and John Hughes, Head of Communications and Marketing at Community Integrated Care, presenting at the National Dementia Congress last week about their work with the club. The National Dementia Congress is Britain’s biggest dementia conference.

Speaking at the event, Dave Sweeney shared how the local NHS has creatively partnered with Widnes Vikings to create a closer and more supportive local community, raise awareness of dementia issues and deliver vital health interventions. John Hughes also presented on the impact of their dementia programme in Community Integrated Care’s homes and with the wider community.

John Hughes, Head of Communications and Marketing for Community Integrated Care, says: “Our work with Widnes Vikings has had made a tremendous difference to the lives of people living with dementia, in our care homes and in the Halton community. It was an honour for us to be able to showcase our successes with dementia care leaders at the Congress.”

He adds, “We are especially proud that our partnership was recognised as one of the most innovative programmes in dementia care at the National Dementia Care Awards, just seven months after we launched it. We’d like to thank the club staff, players and fans who have so inspirationally given it their support.”   

Dave Sweeney, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at NHS Halton CCG, says: “At NHS Halton CCG, we’re committed to supporting a closer local community and finding new ways to enable people to stay healthy, happy and independent. Working with Widnes Vikings, we’ve been able to create successful programmes that keep people living in local care homes connected with the club that they love, as well as bring local older people together to find friendship and support. I was delighted to showcase the innovation and impact of our partnership at the Congress.”

Richard Munson, Community Integrated Director at Widnes Vikings, says: “We were really honoured that the work of our partnership with Community Integrated Care was nominated in the 'Best Dementia Care Innovation' category at the National Dementia Awards. It was really pleasing to hear that we were the first sports club to feature at the awards which is a real credit to the hard work of the staff of both organisations. We look forward to making our programmes which support people with dementia even better in 2017 through innovative content that engages more people."

Widnes Vikings celebrated by dementia care sector widnesvikings.co.uk