Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland has received £350,000 lottery funding to recruit of 'squad' of volunteers to support older people in Scotland living with dementia, depression or loneliness.
The new project will work across Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire, Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Lothians to increase and expand the charity's impact among older sports fans.
Their existing activity includes social and reminiscence activities, games and inclusive physical activities which help to create new friendships and improve members' mental and physical wellbeing.
A significant part of the Big Lottery funding will go into 'Join the squad', a recruitment drive for new staff and volunteers to support the increased activity. Roles range from facilitating groups, supporting specific sporting activities, working with individual group members and even researching and writing about sport or gathering stories from group members.
Chris Wilkins, Co-Founder and Director of Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland, said: “We see day in, day out how our groups make a real difference to people's lives and are thrilled to have received this support from Big Lottery which will allow us to add to our staff and to support our growing team of fantastic volunteers.
"We have demonstrated that our weekly groups help improve lives by building confidence, nurturing new friendships and improving wellbeing and this award will help us extend this impact to more older sports fans across the Central belt."
Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, said: “This project from Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland is an excellent example of the type of activity which National Lottery funding supports. It will bring people together around common interests, encourage them to develop friendships and feel more connected to the wider community.”