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Nottinghamshire’s fund-raising Zipwire Challenge event

Nottinghamshire’s fund-raising Zipwire Challenge event
Nottinghamshire’s fund-raising Zipwire Challenge event

Six cricketers from Nottinghamshire and Trent Bridge-based women’s team The Blaze will be joining other thrill-seekers this Sunday to fly across the historic venue on a 40mph zipwire in support of dementia sufferers and their carers.

Sammy King, James Hayes, Ben Martindale and Fateh Singh will put cricket bats and balls to one side along with Blaze stars Teresa Graves and Kathryn Bryce in taking in the view of a ground they know so well from a 190 metre-long cable suspended 25m above the turf.

The #Donate4Dementia zipwire event aims to help ensure that the Trent Bridge Community Trust's popular Forget Me Notts initiative for individuals with dementia and their carers can continue.

Forget Me Notts provides mentally and physically stimulating activities for dementia sufferers, while also facilitating access to expert advice and a peer support network for carers.

The scheme offers a safe environment and stimulating activities for individuals living with dementia, with sessions taking in golf, badminton, bowls, chairobics, or simply the opportunity to relax in an informal setting. These include free-to-attend cafe sessions at Trent Bridge, and sports sessions at nearby Rushcliffe Arena and Edwalton Golf Club.

Nottinghamshire favourite Luke Fletcher, who is the Community Trust’s ambassador, stressed the importance of the work being done by the Trust through this scheme and urged supporters and others with a spirit of adventure to join the players in doing something to help it be maintained.

“Dementia wasn’t something I knew too much about but taking part in one of the Forget-Me-Notts sessions taught me a lot,” he said.

“I learned that there are 200 different types of dementia and that the way to treat one individual may be completely different from another sufferer. But simple things like watching old films, looking at picture albums or listening to music in sessions like these can be great for sparking a conversation.

“Doing a little bit of exercise is good too. As sportsmen we have all learned we learn how physical activity can make such a difference to your mental health.

“But apart from that, it is about getting out of the house, being with other people, getting involved in activities is a great thing and it is important that we can provide things like this for people dealing with dementia.

“It is important for the carers, too. What they do is tiring, frustrating, tough at times and quite lonely, and they need to have the best support.

“We have all got grandparents, elderly people we have grown up to love over the years and it is important we look after them. Without the funding, things like this would not be possible.”

Fateh Singh, the left-arm spinner who is one of the intrepid players willing to embrace the challenge to support the cause, echoed Fletcher’s words.

“Speaking from experience, I’ve had family members suffering from dementia so I’ve seen it first hand,” he said.

“To give them something to do, to just not be on their own, provides a sense of community, as if you belong. It is great that Notts as a club are involved in something like this. We have this great facility here and to make it available to people in those situations is really good.

“So I’m really honoured to have the opportunity to support the cause.”

Scotland international captain Sarah Bryce also spoke from personal experience.

“I have a great aunt who has dementia and I’ve seen the effect that has not only on herself but on the family and them having to deal with that,” she said.

“It is not easy watching people with dementia go through the different stages as things gradually get worse and the support that they have is so important. The people caring for them have to deal with a lot of stuff that can be quite heavy and being able to come here and talk about it with other people is so important.

“I’ve zipwired between trees before but nothing on this scale. I’m excited about doing it but it is so great to be able to get behind something that can make a real difference to real people’s lives.”