Prime Minister acclaims Transform Ageing social entrepreneurs

22nd June 2018



Theresa May has applauded UnLtd social entrepreneurs and recent Transform Ageing award winners Tony Jameson-Allen and Chris Wilkins of Sporting Memories, giving them a special award for their work supporting people with dementia.

Tony and Chris are using the power of famous sporting moments to start conversations with people with dementia. Their idea, Sporting Memories, records well known sportsmen and women talking about their favourite moments from the sports they love and shares them in community groups for people with dementia, depression and loneliness.

The recollections, which feature household names such as Sir Steve Redgrave, help people connect with their past, reawaken positive memories and provide a route in to wider conversations. The groups also include activities such as sport themed cognitive therapy, and physical activity. The charity was awarded ‘Best National Dementia Friendly Initiative’ in 2014. Tony and Chris were recommended for a Point of Light award after the minister for loneliness, Tracey Crouch, visited a session in April 2018.

Tony and Chris are the latest recipients of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

In a personal letter to Tony, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“Your innovative work is making a real difference to people with dementia, depression and loneliness. The conversations and activities you and Chris are creating with ‘Sporting Memories’ are reducing feelings of isolation and helping to improve people’s quality of life.”

In a personal letter to Chris, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“As co-founder of ‘Sporting Memories’ your work to support people living with dementia, depression and loneliness, is invaluable. The innovative approach you and Tony take is having such a positive impact, helping people to connect with others and become more active through sports.”

Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, said:

“I am absolutely delighted to hear that Tony Jameson-Allen and Chris Wilkins have won Points of Lights awards for their ‘Sporting Memories’. It's a great initiative and I have seen for myself how well it works and the positive results that it achieves. Unfortunately dementia, depression and loneliness often go hand in hand and, as a sports enthusiast myself, I can’t think of a better way of addressing it. Congratulations to them both.”

Tony said:

“This is wonderful news for us and we’re both delighted to be recognised for the work that ‘Sporting Memories’ does in tackling dementia, depression & loneliness. Furthermore it is great recognition of the dedication of all the volunteers involved and their commitment to the work of ‘Sporting Memories’.”

Chris said:

“We are very proud to be highlighted for this award and it’s indicative of the strides we are continuing to make and the impact we are having in improving the lives of older people. We hope that being given this award by the Prime Minister during the World Cup and ahead of another great summer of sport, inspires more people to volunteer for ‘Sporting Memories’.”

Tony and Chris are the 934th and 935th winners of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA. Over 6,000 Points of Light have been awarded in the USA, and former Presidents have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK. There is a similar cross-party approach to the UK programme and MPs from different parties often present their constituents with their Points of Light awards.

Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Points of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.

Earlier this year, Sporting Memories was announced as one of the first cohort of Transform Ageing social ventures. Transform Ageing aims to revolutionise the approach to health, wellbeing and social care for people in later life, starting in the south-west of England. Bringing together people in later life, social entrepreneurs and commissioners of health and care services, Transform Ageing will define, develop and deliver new people-centred solutions that better support the needs and aspirations of older people.

Transform Ageing is funded by Big Lottery and run in partnership with UnLtd, the Design Council, the South West Academic Health Science Network and the Centre for Ageing Better. 

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