A Perthshire poet is teaming up with a local politician to support a project that uses the beautiful game to stimulate the memories of people with dementia.
Perthshire North MSP John Swinney is hosting a poetry reading night on behalf of Football Memories Scotland in the Scottish Parliament.
The gathering, on April 18, will feature readings from Mind The Time, an anthology of football poetry edited by Jim Mackintosh, St Johnstone’s FC’s poet in residence.
Mr Swinney said: “I was honoured to be asked to host an event on behalf of Football Memories Scotland, and for the chance to work closely with Jim Mackintosh.
“Jim is a diehard St Johnstone fan and makes an important contribution to the cultural fabric of Perthshire.
“That he has lent his considerable talents to a cause as worthy as Football Memories Scotland speaks to his qualities as a person, and I am sure the event will be a great success.”
Jim was born and raised in Perthshire and currently lives in Perth.
He has listed Hugh Miller, Hamish Henderson and Willie Soutar as influences on his poetry.
His anthology contains football-related poems by around 40 contemporary poets from across Scotland.
Its aim was raise awareness of the work of Football Memories and to raise funds for the continued success of the project.
Football Memories is part of Alzheimer Scotland’s pioneering football reminiscence work.
The project trains volunteers to spend time with people with dementia who have an interest in the game, talking about teams and matches from the past and working with images and memorabilia to stimulate memories.
Mind The Time forms part of that, as a tool to jog people’s memories through words and photographs.
The project is a partnership between Alzheimer Scotland and the Scottish Football Museum, and is supported by the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery and BUPA Care Homes.
Volunteers who like to talk about football are now being sought to join their local reminiscence groups.
Training will be given on how to plan and lead these discussions.
More information can be found on http://www.footballmemories.org.uk/