Memories group is ready to open the batting

December 03 2015

ONCE again, we’re bowled over by the willingness of Downend Voice readers to get involved in our community.

ONCE again, we’re bowled over by the willingness of Downend Voice readers to get involved in our community.
This time it’s the plan for a Sporting Memories group at Downend Library. After we featured the idea last month, two volunteers came forward to lead the project and as a result the first meeting will take place on January 14.
Sporting Memories Network involves groups of people who get together to talk about sport. These are usually older folk, although some projects also involve school children.
The sharing of reminiscences about matches and players of yesteryear has proven benefits for physical and mental wellbeing. The groups are dementia friendly, but are by no means only for people with memory problems or cognitive issues.
Downend librarian Helen Egarr us delighted that two people have volunteered to act as facilitators for the group.
“We’re taking W.G Grace as a theme for our first meeting, broadening discussion to memories about how the village has changed since the great cricketer’s heyday,” she said.
“All we need now are some enthusiastic participants! We’ll be contacting groups and residents in sheltered accommodation, but we also of course want promote the project more widely in the community.”
The group is another success for the Downend Connect initiative, promoted by Downend & Bromley Heath Parish Council and South Gloucestershire Council and supported by Downend Voice.
Its aim is to reduce isolation, especially among older people, by publicising activities that are already taking place and organising activities for which there is a demand.
Computer courses have proved hugely popular, as has a weekly Knit and Natter group.
The first Sporting Memories meeting will be from 10am to noon and will include refreshments.
Downend Voice readers are also invited to send in their own sporting memories, which may be published in the paper and shared with the group to prompt further discussions.
Sporting Memories Network is a social enterprise, founded by Chris Wilkins. It already runs groups in Easton and Yate and is due to start another in Cadbury Heath.
To find out more, visit and if you’d like to get involved, contact Mr Wilkins on 07765 864484 or email