Bellshill School bringing festive and sporting cheer to some of our members

At Sporting Memories, our clubs try to connect older people to their local communities in various ways. Some of our Lanarkshire groups in Scotland, have a growing connection with a local school helping to build relationships between different generations!

During 2021, the connection between our local group in Calderwood, East Kilbride and Cardinal Newman High School began as a project led by Jim Purvis, one of our brilliant Group Delivery and Practice Coordinator in Scotland, where he set-up a pen pal scheme between club members and some of the senior 5th & 6th year pupils. This is as part of a school initiative where senior pupils have the option of taking a module exploring mental wellbeing and health

Despite the challenges of Covid and lockdown restrictions at the time, the group and pupils were able to keep in contact through a series of pen pal letters and zoom sessions – with the pupils able to send gifts last Christmas to our Calderwood club members, which included tea and coffee mugs which featured favourite football teams!

Following on from this successful connection last year, we connected our re-opened Bellshill club with Cardinal Newman High School senior pupils of 2022. The club members recently invited pupils to come along to a club meeting to speak in-person, which wasn’t possible in 2021.

This proved to be a successful trip between our group and the pupils as they developed an understanding of each other’s world and learned more about sport from the past as members shared their favourite memories of times gone by.

The activity between our club and the school also caught the interest of another local school who are keen to also connect with our club, as Jim explained: “It’s been brilliant to see how this relationship with Cardinal Newman High School has not only been of great interest and a benefit to our members, but also encouraged further schools to get in touch to see how they can do multi-generational activities with us. In fact, the pupils have made up some Christmas boxes for our members which are packed with thoughtful activities and goodies.”

Pictured left to right are Willie Coutts, Club member, receiving one of the much appreciated parcels from Jim Purvis

Jim continued “We always try to give our club members a lot more than just talking about sport, and that can happen in many ways with this way of connecting a Sporting Memories club to a school being just one.”

“A big thank you the school and their pupils for being so welcoming to our wee club and we’re keen to explore how we can develop these connections to help our members get a better understanding of the local community."

Also pictured below are another two delighted recipients: left Hugh Murphy with David Gallagher, Training Office and Volunteer with Sporting Memories, right Andy Gardner with Jim Purves


For more information please email Jim Purves via



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Bringing older people together to reduce isolation and loneliness

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Supporting older people to improve their mental wellbeing

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