THE BORO Foundation has been sending out memorabilia boxes to care homes to help residents with dementia reminisce.
The boxes containing old programmes, tickets and photos, among other items from past Middlesbrough FC games, have been the centre of activities run at the homes.
Mandale House Care Home, on Acklam Road, in Thornaby, was one of those benefitting from the scheme.
The home works closely with the Middlesbrough FC Foundation’s National Citizenship Service (NCS), offering teenage volunteers opportunities to work with elderly residents.
Kelly Daley, the Foundation’s NCS lead, said: “The club has delivered a number of dementia tours at the Riverside Stadium and the feedback was overwhelming.
“All participants really enjoyed it and it had a positive impact upon all of them.
“As a result, we thought it would be an idea to take the tour to the care homes that we work alongside across a number of our projects.”
Kelly and her colleague Claire Streeter delivered two memory boxes to Mandale House Care Home, alongside a cake for residents and staff.
Two of the home’s residents and Boro fans, Billy James and Ted Leckenby, also received shirts from the 2017/18 season.
Billy said: “I love my Boro shirt.”
Kelly added: “From my viewpoint, I think with the personal experience of Alzheimer’s within my family, I have witnessed the heart-breaking effects it can have on the families as well as the patients.
“From them not remembering who you are through to not even being able to hold a conversation anymore.
“The most heart-breaking thing for me is the fact that, in the early stages of the diagnosis, you witness them trying to find the words but can see in their eyes the struggle it’s proving to be.
“I think the ideas behind the memory boxes allow families and patients to engage in a conversation that can be lost and it provides a little joy when patients do recognise memorabilia. So I think they’re a fantastic idea and something that we are happy to support.”
Jacqueline Ball, administrator at Mandale House Care Home, said: “It was such a kind thing for the MFC Foundation to do.
“The residents loved the memory boxes and Boro kit and those who aren’t really into football really enjoyed the cake.
“Our partnership with the Foundation has been fantastic for both our residents and the young NCS volunteers and we look forward to our ongoing work together.”