» Big Hearts Memories: Dementia Action Week 2024

Big Hearts Memories: Dementia Action Week 2024

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This dementia action week, we shine a spotlight on our charity’s ever-growing reminiscence group Big Hearts Memories.

Since 2018, the group has been led by a team of trained Big Hearts volunteers and has welcomed people living with dementia, stroke survivors, care homes patients and over 65s at high risk of loneliness, to Tynecastle Park to recall fond memories from the past.

Running every Monday and Tuesday, the weekly groups offer the opportunity to build positive social connections by stimulating memories and sharing stories between participants.

  • Big Hearts Memories currently supports 85 participants each week.
  • 50% of participants have a diagnosis of dementia, cognitive impairment and/or memory loss.
  • Carers have seen a significant improvement in the wellbeing of family members through improved social connections made through attending sessions.
  • As a result of our project, 16 carers have developed new friendships with other carers and are now part of their own peer support group. Meeting at a local coffee shop, they spend time together which provides them with much needed time to build relationships with others in a similar circumstance.


Big Hearts Memories’ carers told us what the group means to both them and their loved one:

“Attending Big Hearts makes you realise you are not alone and suffering but there are many more friends who are experiencing the same. Johnny has made friends at Big Hearts and can talk about football and memories he does remember. The pies and coffee help as well.”

“My husband has Alzheimer’s and heart problems – so attending memories group is good for him. He is a lifelong fan of Hearts and has always enjoyed music. I had initially thought this group would be a focus on my husband’s interests and needs. However, I have felt over time to have become a member of a caring group and thoughtful and helpful team of workers very much. I enjoy meeting all the other participants. With the main outcome of seeing my husband contributing to quizzes and being happy /smiling.”

Scott Troup, recently joined Big Hearts as our new Project Lead Football Memories to help plan, deliver, and coordinate our charity’s existing work in supporting older people through a number of initiatives, including group support, dementia-friendly resources and events.

He said: “My deep-rooted love for football extends beyond the game itself; I am fascinated by its ability to bring people together and evoke cherished memories.

As the Project Lead, I am excited about the opportunity to leverage football’s cultural significance to enrich the lives of individuals within our communities, particularly those facing cognitive challenges and isolation.”

Find out more about Big Hearts Memories and the support available here.



– May 2024

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