The O’s are set to play host to a special dementia awareness day during their League Two clash with Portsmouth on Saturday.
Waltham Forest Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) in partnership with Waltham Forest Housing Association will man the turnstiles offering advice on dementia to fans.
Orient has also offered 100 free tickets to people with dementia and carers to enable them to enjoy the match sitting together. They will also have the opportunity to use the new fans for diversity hub pre match and at half time too. The club has already hosted two awareness days in recent years and has been advised on how they can make their Brisbane Road headquarters more dementia-friendly.
Stewards and staff members have also undergone Dementia Friends training which enables them to better understand the signs of dementia and varying needs of those living with the condition.
Alli Anthony, Alzheimer’s Society Services Manager for Waltham Forest, said: “We are very grateful to Leyton Orient for once again inviting us along. Isolation, loneliness, and inactivity can be major problems for people with dementia and those who care for and support them. Sport plays a big part in people’s lives and can help break this down. We want to encourage people to continue to attend football matches and do the things they love, even after a diagnosis of dementia.”
Phillip Smith, Health and Wellbeing Activator said: ‘We are pleased to be able to support the Alzheimer’s society in raising awareness of dementia in the local community. We are in a unique position to be able to engage with a large number of people and as part of the wider health engagement plan the club and trust have developed; we are dedicated to improving and supporting the health of our fans and local community members. As part of this we are part of the #TeamDementiaFriends campaign aiming to also promote more professional football clubs around the country to also become dementia friendly. We want to ensure that fans living with dementia can continue to engage with the club both on match days and within our community sessions too.’
In London there are an estimated 72,000 living with dementia, more than 2,000 of which live in Waltham Forest.
For more information on Alzheimers or the Alzheimers society visit: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk
To find out more about the dementia friends campaign, #TeamDementiaFriends or to become a dementia friend yourself visit: https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/