Progress Community Awards - making a difference in our communities

Spotlight on St Andrew's Sports Life

St Andrew's church community sports activities group for seniors (St Andrew's Sports Life for short) is a voluntary and community group in Leyland, Lancashire, providing community sports and activities for older people aged 55+.

The club, based at St Andrew's Church in Leyland, recently won a Progress Housing Group Community Champion Award for their work delivering sports activities for older people and people living with Parkinson's and Dementia, as well as their families and carers.

St Andrew's Sports Life's new Dementia and Parkinson's-friendly table tennis group was only launched recently (during the Covid-19 pandemic), but it has already been recognised by the inclusive global sports movement, Ping-Pong Parkinson and Alzheimer's Society, for the positive impact its table tennis therapy is having on people living with the diseases.

We recently caught up with Volunteer Leader Keith McIntosh, who helps run the club. Keith told us more about the difference that community-based sports can make to older people and their families, and about his walking football team's prediction for Euro 2020!

"St Andrew's Sports Life offers a range of social, friendly sports activities for seniors in the local community, including walking football, carpet bowls, badminton and table tennis.

"We were delighted to be nominated for a Progress Community Champion Award and to receive a £100 voucher from Progress Housing Group - thank you, Progress! It's great to get the support of local businesses like Progress and it makes a massive difference to small, local groups like ours. The money has gone towards funding some equipment for our newest initiative, our Parkinson's and Dementia-friendly table tennis group.

"Despite the challenges COVID-19 has presented groups like ours, I'm so proud that both our walking football team and our new table tennis initiative have been recognised by Alzheimer's Society and Parkinson's UK as Dementia and Parkinson's-friendly clubs. And, because it's played outside, when restrictions allowed, we've been able to continue our walking football club within government guidance.

"Our walking football club is open to anyone over the age of 55 who's interested in playing football in a safe and controlled way and who wants to have some fun! We offer support to each other; whether you've recently had two new knees and are now awaiting a hip replacement, you're recovering from a stroke, or you're living with Dementia or Parkinson's, we've got a place for you.

"We're also delighted to have former professional footballer for Preston North End and Nottingham Forest, Steve Elliott, playing with us. Steve joined us after receiving a diagnosis of early-onset dementia in his late 50s. Steve and his wife, Mags, have told us how beneficial it's been for Steve to join the club, make new friends and continue playing football.

"Yesterday, we talked about Euros 2020, and the club predicts that we're heading for a victory! Watch this space!" 

Keith 1600x 1600 Steve Elliott 1600x 1600

Above left: Volunteer Leader Keith McIntosh receives the the Progress Community Champions Award and voucher from Progress Housing Group.

Above right: former professional footballer, Steve Elliott, joined the St Andrew's Sports Life walking football group in Leyland after receiving a diagnosis of early-onset dementia.

Want to get involved? Contact St Andrew's Sports Life

St Andrews Sports Life for over 55s is open to families and carers as well as individuals. The group can also receive referrals from local charities such as Age Concern.

For more information about St Andrew's Sports Life, please get in touch with Keith McIntosh on 07842 276486.

About Progress Housing Group's Community Champion Awards

Progress Housing Group introduced its Community Champion Awards in 2021 to celebrate the work of volunteers in our communities. The awards celebrate local communities where we work and raise awareness of the positive work they and we do in communities with social housing.

Want to know more about the community funding and awards available from Progress Housing Group? Visit our Progress Involvement and Community Investment Fund pages on our website by clicking here.