Vikings shortlisted for award

Vikings shortlisted for award widnesvikings.co.uk
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7th October 2016

The pioneering partnership between Community Integrated Care and Widnes Vikings has been recognised at the prestigious National Dementia Care Awards.

The Awards celebrate best practice in the UK dementia care sector, and are supported by the Caring Times and the Journal of Dementia Care. The partnership was shortlisted by an independent panel of dementia care experts in the ‘Best Dementia Innovation’ category. Widnes Vikings are the first professional sports team to ever be recognised at these awards.

The collaboration between the two organisations is possibly the most ambitious alliance between a social care provider and a professional sports club in the UK. It sees an incredible programme of activities and events taking place every week in Community Integrated Care’s specialist services for people with dementia, learning disabilities, autism and mental health concerns. We also delver a host of Community Engagement efforts. 

In Community Integrated Care’s local specialist dementia care homes, St Luke’s and St Patrick’s, residents enjoy weekly visits from community coaches and legendary former players for activity and reminiscence sessions. They have also enjoyed attending Widnes Vikings matches and being part of celebration events with players from the club. 

The organisations have also teamed up together to create The Chemics Café, a free monthly dementia café that helps people affected by the condition to enjoy incredible Vikings experiences – working with current and past players – and receive vital advice and support. 

Widnes Vikings have also made a significant commitment to becoming a dementia-friendly club. Earlier this year, members of their Foundation and their Golden Generation group, which offers social opportunities to people aged 55+, became Dementia Friends with the support of the charity. The entire Vikings backroom and playing team will also receive specialist dementia training from it later this year.

This same commitment to the partnership has been matched by Widnes Vikings supporters. Most recently, fans donated hundreds of nostalgic items of memorabilia, which are being used for reminiscence sessions and to create special Vikings themed rooms in the charity’s care homes. 

John Hughes, Head of Communications and Marketing at Community Integrated Care, says: “Our partnership with Widnes Vikings is truly ground-breaking. Through the commitment of the club, its players and the fans, we’ve seen the people we support enjoy some amazing experiences and reconnect with their treasured Vikings memories. To have the honour of being shortlisted for this award in the first year of our partnership is an incredible achievement, and something we’re very proud of.” 

Richard Munson, Community Integrated Director at Widnes Vikings, says: “We are honoured to work in partnership with Community Integrated Care. It has been brilliant to see the reaction of the staff and people whom they support in the different initiatives we have delivered across the year. Our main aim as the community arm of the Vikings is to make a different to people's lives and feel that we have achieved this through schemes like the Chemics Café.”

Community Integrated Care has also been shortlisted in a further four categories at the awards. This success includes their fundraiser, John Timms, who walked 100 miles at the age of 75 to raise money for St Luke’s Care Home, being featured in the Resident Contribution category. Widnes Vikings player Gil Dudson surprised John in August, with a signed shirt to commend him on behalf of the club for his efforts.

Vikings shortlisted for award widnesvikings.co.uk