A new programme from Stevenage FC Foundation hopes to support people living with dementia.

'Boro Bygones' will be a series of events aimed at encouraging people to come together and reminiscence over their memories of Stevenage's football club.

It is targeted at those who are living with mild to moderate dementia, and will use a range of guest speakers and memorabilia to help the attendees recall their own Boro memories.

Hannah Marsh, head of health and wellbeing at the Foundation, said they are hoping the sessions will bring the attendees "back to the days when they would have come to the Lamex".

"We know, with dementia, that often it's the short term memory that goes first, but there are still the long term memories that people can draw on, and we're really hoping to bring those back and get the senses going by being back here at the stadium."

Planning for the series started in April this year, and the Foundation has drawn inspiration from Golden Memories, a similar programme run by Watford Community Sports & Education Trust.

Danny Buckley, a Stevenage fan and lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire who recently completed a PhD thesis investigating the outcomes of Watford's programme, has helped Hannah and her team prepare the series.

Over the summer, the Foundation - working with the Red Shed - delivered a number of walking football sessions for people with dementia, and their coaches and staff received training from the Alzheimer's Society.

They will be able to use the skills gained then during the upcoming Boro Bygones sessions, and Hannah hopes that the project will be beneficial for carers too.

"Carers often don't get a lot of respite when they are caring for somebody living with dementia, so we want to make sure with all of our programmes that they are accessible for both the person who has dementia, and for their carers too."

With Boro Bygones, this means taking advantage of their two-room set-up at the Lamex Stadium's Community Hub, where carers can sit in one room - and enjoy a chat and a drink - but still see the other room through a glass partition.

At each session, there will be memorabilia - including a 'reminiscence box' provided by Stevenage Museum, and the League Two runners-up trophy recently won by Stevenage FC - as well as seated exercises and table football.

Free drinks and other refreshments will be provided to the guests, who will also hear from a set of weekly guest speakers talking about their memories of the club and facilitating conversations.

The speakers will include Ronnie Henry, Stevenage FC's record appearance maker, club legend Joel Byrom (via Zoom), and Boro supporters including Lloyd Briscoe and Lewis Collins.

Lewis, who runs The Broadhall Way, an online shop selling retro Boro designs, told the Comet: "Stevenage FC Foundation does a terrific job working with the community and helping support those that need it the most.

"We'd worked with the Foundation on previous community projects that were hugely successful for making a difference, so it was a no brainer to support Boro Bygones when the Foundation reached out again for support from The Broadhall Way.

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"We also have a close family relative living with dementia and understand the everyday struggles families can go through adjusting to this change.

"We'll be supporting a Boro Bygones session with bringing along some classic Stevenage shirts ranging from 1988-2023, programmes from iconic moments, and simply reminiscing about happy times from the Boro's history.

"We hope by supporting these sessions we'll bring something different to their everyday lives and create a joyful experience by talking about the club we love."

'Boro Bygones' will run for 12 weeks from Thursday, September 14. The sessions are free to attend and will take place between 2pm and 4pm in the Community Hub under the West Stand at the Lamex Stadium.

The series is funded by the Hertfordshire Sport and Physical Activity Partnership, with support from the University of Hertfordshire.

To sign up for 'Boro Bygones', you should email community@stevenagefcf.com or call 01438 222222 and ask to speak with the Health & Wellbeing team.