New sports project to help those with dementia

Alzheimer's Society dementia support worker Hannah Woodworth.
Alzheimer's Society dementia support worker Hannah Woodworth.

A project helping people with dementia to keep active through sporting activities is being launched in North Tyneside.

The Games for the Brain initiative, created by Alzheimer’s Society staff in the north east, is due to start in North Shields after a trial in Newcastle.

It will kick off at the Parks Leisure Centre on Wednesday, August 19, from 2pm to 3.30pm and take place on the next five Wednesdays.

The free-of-charge activity programme for people with dementia will include indoor sporting activities such as table tennis and also provide time to socialise with peers.

Alzheimer’s Society dementia support worker Hannah Woodworth said: “Games for the Brain sessions can make a huge difference to people with dementia and their carers because they are an excellent opportunity to take part in enjoyable and stimulating activities.”

“There’s a real feel-good factor that comes to the fore when everyone gets going. It’s a really enjoyable project in lots of ways and it can enhance the health and well-being of people living with dementia.

“It’s for people who want to continue with sporting activities they enjoy such as table tennis and for their carers to socialise with people who may be in a similar situation.

“Research also shows that table tennis is beneficial for people with dementia and this has clearly been demonstrated within Games for the Brain sessions in Newcastle so we know we are onto a winner.”

Alzheimer’s Society services manager Jacqueline Robson, who is based at the charity’s regional office at The Beacon, Westgate Road, added: “We’ve already seen that it can be a really good fun as well as being nice, gentle exercise and it will help tackle the loneliness that sometimes follows a dementia diagnosis.

“There are already more than more than 2,800 people who have dementia in North Tyneside and with those figure set to rise, Alzheimer’s Society staff are exploring new ways to help people who are living with the condition.

“We’re need to keep looking to innovate and that’s why we have introduced Games for the Brain because it is a new way of helping people with dementia and their carers to get out and about and play an active role in their community.”

For more information contact Hannah on (0191) 298 3989 or email