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Join the squad with our new Sporting Memories groups

Written by · Published Dec 29, 2017

We’re teaming up with the Sporting Memories Network to host Sporting Memories reminiscence groups at six of our libraries.

These new groups for over-50s will be starting at Hadleigh Library, Ipswich County Library, Lowestoft Library, Newmarket Library, Stowmarket Library and Sudbury Library in February 2018. Attendees can handle superb sporting images and memorabilia from local and national collections, share memories and stories of watching or participating in sport and enjoy quizzes, games and gentle activity while making new friends.

Anyone is welcome to come along to a session to find out more, whether it’s for themselves or a relative or friend. People with dementia and mental health difficulties are especially welcome. The groups cover all types of sport, though we expect that as 2018 marks 40 years since Ipswich Town won the FA Cup, the 1978 cup run will be a particular topic of conversation!

We are also looking for volunteers to run and support these groups. Volunteers will receive full training at a special induction on Tuesday 23 January from 10am - 2pm at Quay Place, Key Street, Ipswich.

We will be launching the Sporting Memories groups on Tuesday 6 February at Ipswich County Library. Local Suffolk sporting ambassadors will be sharing some of their stories, and anyone is welcome to bring along their own memorabilia and photographs to trigger memories and start conversations.

Richard Hunt, Sporting Memories Suffolk project manager, said: “Sport is a powerful medium for many people, providing memories of great games, sporting legends and marvellous victories, but also the friendships made and the sense of community that playing or watching sports brings. Talking about sporting events and cultures of the time helps to give people their identity back and reconnect them to the people and generations around them.

“We think that libraries are the perfect place to bring people together to form new groups in Suffolk and we hope people will come forward to find out more. We’re particularly keen to hear from anyone who would like to volunteer to help run the new groups.”

James Powell, marketing and communications manager at Suffolk Libraries, added: “We are delighted to be working with Sporting Memories in 2018. Sport has touched all of our lives at some time, either at school, as an activity, spectator, or in our leisure time. Using the Sporting Memories collections and resources are an excellent way to reconnect with those experiences, bring friends together and have fun.”