Golf centre pioneers dementia friendly service

Lincoln Golf Centre Dementia Friendly

A Lincolnshire golf centre is leading the way in a new initiative to improve the lives of people living with dementia by introducing them to golf.

The Lincoln Golf Centre is hosting the venture – which is supported by England Golf – and has become a dementia friendly club. The scheme has just had its official launch with a special golf event held at the club (pictured).

“To witness the positive impact we’ve had on people’s lives has been the most rewarding part of the venture,” said Anthony Blackburn, founder of Golf In Society, which aims to make a positive contribution to the health and wellbeing of local communities through golf.

The service is tailored to each dementia client. “Dementia touches each person differently, that’s why you can’t just take a generic approach when designing a dementia service, it’s crucial to be able to personalise the delivery and content,” said Anthony. 

He added “The relaxed and enjoyable sessions, delivered in beautiful natural surroundings by compassionate people, is proving to be a winning formula.”

He quoted the wife of one client, Nicholas, who played a round at the golf centre: “He was thrilled and I'm printing off some of the pics to put in a memory book of recent events for him. Nicholas has remembered the event this morning and he'll be keeping hold of the golf ball you gave him to help remind him of the day.”

Lincoln Golf Centre, situated close to the Lincoln bypass, was chosen to trial the service because of its facilities for new golfers, the positive attitude of the members and management team and its easy access.

Proprietor Brian Logan said: “We are so proud to be part of this initiative. If we can help local people less fortunate than ourselves to discover a better life through golf, then it’s got to be good for everyone in the Lincoln area.”

The scheme, which has also involved the Alzheimer’s Society in Lincoln, is being evaluated by the University of Lincoln.  Danny Walsh, Senior Lecturer (Mental Health Nursing) at Lincoln University said: “This is a marvellous initiative which is likely to make a significant and very positive impact upon the lives of those people living with dementia and their carers who take part in it. The university both supports and is proud to be a part of this venture.”

Jamie Blair, England Golf’s Disability Manager, looks forward to the growth of the service. He said: “England Golf has been proud to help support Lincoln Golf Centre to develop into becoming a dementia friendly environment. The partnership between all organisations has brought together a great bank of knowledge to answer all questions.

“We look forward to the impact report and how, through the Lincolnshire County Golf Development Group, we can establish more clubs within the county to ensure we keep people playing golf as part of a healthy and active lifestyle for those diagnosed with dementia.”