Teaming up with Caledonian University students to make a difference

In early 2022, Sporting Memories were approached by the Occupational Therapy Department at Glasgow Caledonian University to ask if we would be prepared to take on two third year students for a seven-week placement.

The placement took place in March and April last year across a number of our clubs in the West of Scotland and we were delighted to welcome two exceptional students for our first such venture.

Nicole and Laura brought an enthusiasm and friendliness to their time with us - to which our members responded readily. The students worked as a team alongside our staff and volunteers and we were able to learn from each other. The project culminated in the students facilitating a session at our Calderwood East Kilbride club - all on their own - and it went down a storm!

A feather in our cap

Jim Purvis, Community Club Co-ordinator for Sporting Memories Scotland, said “I viewed the project as quite a feather in our collective cap as it seemed to me to be a recognition of the value of our work with the elderly - whether isolated depressed or living with dementia.”

Jim went to explain how working together helped both members and students. “Just before the first placement we had had an online demonstration by Age Scotland of their innovative Body Boosting Bingo and we showed this to Laura and Nicole. Part of their remit was to think of relevant activities and to demonstrate how these could be put into practice in group work.

“They went on to use that idea and incorporated it into their final presentation at Calderwood, East Kilbride. This went down very well with our members as it was new to them and provided laughs as well as a different kind of physical activity to what they were used to enjoying.

This was a great example of working in partnership with our friends at Age Scotland - to the benefit of all concerned.”

Top Marks from the University

When we spoke to Leona McQuaid, Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at the University she added “Sporting Memories has been an excellent placement for occupational therapy students. The ethos is very similar to occupational therapy being centred on a meaningful occupation of sport as a way to engage older adults in meeting their social, physical and cognitive needs.

“As a third sector organisation and diverse placement, it provides an opportunity for students to work autonomously and develop their confidence in their core professional knowledge. The team at Sporting Memories have been extremely supportive and encouraged students to think creatively when developing their own ideas for interventions.

“They have offered students a range of experiences by attending different groups both online and in person, challenging our students to think about how they can adapt activities and groupwork.

“As an educator, I am confident that Sporting Memories offers a quality placement experience and staff regularly check in to ensure they can meet the required learning outcomes. We look forward to strengthening our partnership in the future!”

Subsequently Sporting Memories were asked to host another placement - which was for two weeks and for two first year students - working in tandem - and that was completed at the end of January 2023. Both students again brought an energy and enthusiasm to the sessions in which they participated and observed. The response from members and volunteers was equally impressive.

Next on the agenda is another seven-week placement for two third year students starting later this month - with the clubs already looking forward to welcoming the students along!

Our busy Glasgow and Lanarkshire Clubs meet weekly, and they are always welcome to new members - Find your local club and how to get in touch and join here

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Our impact

Reducing Isolation

Bringing older people together to reduce isolation and loneliness

Mental Wellbeing

Supporting older people to improve their mental wellbeing

Physical Wellbeing

Getting older people active to live healthier lifestyles

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