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Sporting memories of 1966 to be evoked at Leeds Beckett event

Memories from the 1966 World Cup will be collected and shared as part of Leeds Beckett University’s celebration of Dementia Awareness Week.

As part of a new partnership with the Sporting Memories Foundation, a charity which works across communities to support older people, the event will bring together people from care homes and those living with dementia and will be held at Leeds Beckett’s Headingley Campus on Wednesday 18 May.

The ‘Memories of 1966’ project celebrates the glory of 1966 and the legacy of England’s win fifty years later and will culminate in an exhibition housed at The National Football Museum later this year.

The project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, focuses on collecting the memories of players, fans and ordinary people affected by the famous World Cup win.  The Leeds Beckett event is an opportunity for older people living around Leeds to share their own experiences of when heroic England captain Bobby Moore joyfully lifted the Jules Rimet trophy aloft.

These memories will also be used in the groundbreaking work with Sporting Memories Network and the National Football Museum across Greater Manchester that is set to support older fans and to tackle dementia, depression and loneliness.

The Sporting Memories Foundation and Leeds Beckett University have recently entered in to a partnership which will see researchers from Leeds Beckett engage with evaluation of the charity’s work as well as enabling Leeds Beckett students to gain experience through a number of planned student projects.

As Tony Jameson-Allen, Co-founder and Director of the Sporting Memories Network, explained: “We are delighted to announce this partnership with Leeds Beckett University and look forward to continuing to strengthening our relationship over the coming months.  At Sporting Memories we believe in the power of reminiscing to help combat the debilitating effects of dementia, depression and loneliness and we applaud the work of Professor Claire Surr and her team at Leeds Beckett in the critical research they are currently undertaking.

“Through the Memories of 1966 event at Leeds Beckett we hope to engage older people in sharing their experiences of life in Leeds in ’66. Not only their recollections of the football, but the culture, fashion, transport and music. These will be added to the official memories archive and will be used in our work across generations.”

Claire Surr, Professor of Dementia Studies at Leeds Beckett, added: “Our partnership with the Sporting Memories Network offers some exciting opportunities for both organisations to work together more closely to support positive lives for people living with dementia. The work of the Sporting Memories Network resonates with many existing areas of research expertise here at Leeds Beckett and we look forward to engaging in collaborative research and project work. The event this week will kick off our partnership with some fun activities grounded in the valuable work the Sporting Memories Network does in communities.”

The Sporting Memories Foundation charity supports older people across the UK living with dementia, depression and loneliness by engaging them in social activities and helping them to recall memories of watching or playing sport. By sharing memories of sporting moments and tapping into a passion for sport the charity helps people to connect with others and with their past, reawakening positive thoughts and feelings that otherwise remain hidden away. 

Leeds Beckett University is hosting a week-long programme of innovative, informative and interactive events in a bid to raise awareness about dementia within society.

Led by the University’s Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Dementia Awareness Week will run from Monday 16 May to Friday 20 May and will include public lectures, a play and lunchtime ‘quick-bite’ research seminars open to students, staff and the public. For the full schedule of events visit:

On Monday 16 May, a public lecture, ‘Why being dementia-friendly matters’, will be held from 5.30-7pm and will include short presentations from dementia awareness campaigner Wendy Sharps; Community Development Manager  at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Nicky Taylor; and Professor Surr, who will discuss why having a society and organisations within it that are dementia-friendly is important.

Acclaimed Leeds playwright, Brian Daniels will hold two public performances of his play about early onset dementia, ‘Don’t leave me now’, on Tuesday 17 May. A cast of five professional actors will be performing a dramatised ‘script in hand’ reading of the play which explores, with humour and insight, the impact on two very different Yorkshire families, before and after, an early onset dementia diagnosis.

Throughout the week there will be five ‘Dementia Friends’ sessions where attendees will learn more about dementia and how to help create dementia-friendly communities. Sessions are open to the public and available across the University’s city and Headingley campuses and at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

For the lunchtime ‘quick-bite’ research seminars people are encouraged to bring their lunch and listen to a short overview of some of the dementia-related research that is taking place at Leeds Beckett University and other institutions in the region.

Places for the events are limited and booking via the above link is required. For any enquiries please contact