Ipswich Town FC kicks off Dementia Action Week with tea party with Blues legends

Anna and Tom Smith with former Ipswich players Mick Lambert and George Burley Picture: SARAH LUCY B

Anna and Tom Smith with former Ipswich players Mick Lambert and George Burley Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town FC have kicked off Dementia Action Week with an big afternoon tea party at Portman Road - with a special visit from a few Town legends.

Blue Monday tea party at Ipswich Town Football Club Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Blue Monday tea party at Ipswich Town Football Club Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Former players George Burley, Allan Hunter, Mick Lambert and Len Fletcher joined older fans, some of whom live with dementia, to share some memories and a slice of cake at the event yesterday at the ground’s Bobby Robson suite.

The tea party was set up in partnership with the East of England Co-op and the Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance (IDAA) to spread awareness of dementia and to mark the start of Dementia Action Week.

In Ipswich alone, there are more than 1,600 people living with the condition.

Roger Fern, chairman of IDAA, said football can create strong emotional memories that often are the last to be affected by dementia.

Mavis Fox enjoying the tea party Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mavis Fox enjoying the tea party Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

“This event is brilliant,” he said. “There are a lot of people here who are long-term football fans, as I am.

“They may not be able to remember what happened this week but they can remember the FA cup final 40 years ago.”

Most Read

Mr Fern said it was important to create new happy memories, as although someone living with dementia may not remember specifics of an event or day trip later on, they will remember that they had a good time.

Sharon Harkin, dementia champion at the East of England Co-op, added: “The main thing is for people living with dementia to get out of the house and feel part of something and socialise.

Mavis Fox enjoying the tea party Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mavis Fox enjoying the tea party Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

“Somewhere where they can go back in time and talk about the past.

“They can remember going with their family to the ground and seeing the football - they can all share these memories.

“It is lovely to see everybody here.”

Allan Hunter said: “This is my third or fourth visit here for a dementia function.

Former Ipswich player Allan Hunter chatting to Carl and Sheila Leanard Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Former Ipswich player Allan Hunter chatting to Carl and Sheila Leanard Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

“It’s nice that they can look back and remember when I played which is great.

“It’s a very worth while cause because you never know when or if it is going to happen to you.

“It really is a pleasure to come here.

“That’s the amazing thing about it, they may not be able to remember what the day was yesterday but we can get together and chat about memories of the club.

Mavis Fox enjoying the tea party Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mavis Fox enjoying the tea party Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

“It’s magic, it’s pure magic.”

Speakers at the tea party, Sharon Harkin, Roger Fern, Peter Over and Pat Godbold Picture: SARAH LU

Speakers at the tea party, Sharon Harkin, Roger Fern, Peter Over and Pat Godbold Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Pat Godbold speaking at the event Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Pat Godbold speaking at the event Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant