Hashtag United Club in Focus

Club in Focus: Hashtag United FC's Dementia Football

The Inspiring Success of Hashtag United FC’s Dementia Football

Hashtag United have taken a proactive approach to support those affected by Dementia through their Friday morning Dementia Walking Football sessions. The remarkable success of this initiative offers a range of benefits promoting an inclusive and supportive environment. One notable aspect is the impact this has had on the participants and their families. Dan the lead coach states:

“I do a lot of coaching with different age groups and different abilities, but this group is the most rewarding group I have worked with” 

Hashtag United have partnered with Peaceful Place to offer Friday mornings that are dedicated to football sessions tailored to the needs and abilities of individuals living with the early stages of dementia. The club’s coaches and volunteers ensure that everyone feels welcomed and supported, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie among participants.

“It’s been tremendous, Kevin has loved it, every minute of it… he comes back and tells us all about it. My son and granddaughter come round and he’s now talking to them about it… it’s the best thing.

Living with dementia can often be isolating for individuals and their families. The sessions provide a much-needed opportunity for social interaction and emotional well-being. Participants can connect with others who share similar experiences, forming valuable friendships and support networks.

Quote from participant family member
“It just the respite when he goes to the club, it’s the best because it helps me cope… I’ve met some great- people and a couple of the ladies and I have met up and I’ve met some more lovely people today and we are going to arrange to meet, so it’s absolutely fantastic”.

Participants are embedded into the club through use of kit tops for sessions, helping to provide a sense of belonging. Coaches and volunteers offer basic ball skills and matches during sessions, with participants seeing an increase in mobility, mental health and overall wellbeing.

The success of the initiative extends far beyond the participants themselves; it also provides invaluable support to caregivers and families. Friday mornings are respite for caregivers, allowing them to take a break and relax knowing their loved ones are engaged in a safe and enjoyable activity.

This initiative is testament to the power of inclusive sports initiatives in improving the lives of people living with Dementia, reminding us that the power of the game extends far beyond the boundaries of the pitch. Each week a player of the week is awarded, Derek (Hashtag United Youth Chairman) says, “The smile it gives to these adults is a pleasure to see”.

Quote from player:
“If only my daughter could see me winning an award at 60 she would be over the moon.”

You can find out more about Hashtag Peaceful United by checking out their video found on the Hashtag United YouTube channel HERE

If you are interested in starting a similar session at your club, please contact your local Football Development Officer HERE

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