LEIGH Centurions are backing a new initiative to highlight dementia or other memory-loss problems.
The Challenge Cup quarter finalists are the latest rugby league star-backers of the ‘Tackle Your Memory’ launched by the 5 Boroughs NHS Foundation Trust.
The campaign was founded by Leigh’s mental health services to highlight the availability of support for people who may be concerned that they or someone they know may have a memory problem.
The Department of Health estimates that there about 670,000 people living with dementia in the UK. That figure is expected to double in the next 30 years.
To launch the campaign in Leigh, Dr Suzanne Kennedy who is based with the team at Claire House on Phoenix Way, attended player practice at Leigh Sports Village this week together with her colleagues Dr Katie Jackson-Roe and later life and memory services matron Mandy Bailey.
They met players Martyn Ridyard and prop forward Tom Spencer who will be taking the memory awareness-raising message forward on behalf of the club.
Dr Kennedy said: “We’re delighted to have the support of the club’s younger team members.
“It shows that anyone at any age can have a conversation about memory problems which are not always linked with dementia. Some can be linked to stress, anxiety or depression, physical illness or even the side-effects of medication.
“The important thing is to speak to your GP as soon as possible about how you can access specialist memory services.”
Both the Wigan Warriors and St Helens teams have also backed the campaign.
Fans will have another opportunity to seek advice from the Wigan Borough Later Life and Memory Service practitioners when the Centurions take on Doncaster on Sunday May 18.
Centurions club manager Rob Parker said: “We’re delighted to be topping the Championship table and we’re determined to keep up the momentum and give fans another great day out at Leigh Sports Village against Doncaster.
“On match day, please take the opportunity to speak to the health professionals who will be at the ground if you are worried you or someone you may know has memory problems.
“They can tell you about free NHS memory services that you can access locally which promote choice and support healthy, independent living.”
For more information visit www.5boroughspartnership.nhs.uk/it’s-time-to-tackle-your-memory/