Sporta is a membership association for leisure and cultural trusts across the UK. All members are charitable social enterprises, operating a wide range of leisure and cultural services in communities, ranging from leisure centres, to museums and parks. The activities, which they deliver in partnership with local authorities, support many kinds of physical activity, sports and community cultural services. Many facilities are open 7 days a week from early in the morning until late at night. The trusts are committed to being as accessible and affordable as possible for everyone, including people with dementia. They support public policy objectives including public health and community cohesion.

10 February 2016
Health, Local Authorities, Membership Organisations, Recreation

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Sporta is the national association of leisure and cultural trusts across the UK, with members evolving from simple gym and swimming pool operators, into sophisticated offers that support ever changing communities. We believe that both leisure and cultural provisions, in particular those with social ownership and public objectives like trusts, should be consulted and involved in setting up dementia friendly communities.

There is a wealth of evidence of the benefits of physical activity and cultural engagement in both reducing the risk of dementia, and for improving the quality of life for people with dementia. Sporta members operate a range of facilities and programmes tailored to the needs of their local communities, and have a shared goal to ensure accessibility to all members of the community. The core infrastructure of the trusts’ facilities enables many other organisations, temporary and less capable, to be supported and to deliver. There is a significant opportunity for Sporta and its members to support the fight against dementia, both locally and nationally, and to engage with other organisations to ensure sharing of information and resources.     

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

There is a need for a joined-up approach across organisations and sectors to ensure that the identified outcomes for people with dementia and their carers are achieved. With regard to Sporta members, it is important to ensure that front-line staff across all facilities understand and are able to respond appropriately to the needs of people with dementia and their carers and that both staff and trusts are supported in confidence. There should be the opportunity for appropriate programme variations and adaptations, thereby allowing some existing classes to be altered to suit someone with dementia. In order to maximise the engagement and impact of the trusts, it is also important that other organisations and stakeholders are aware of the scope and variety of work that they undertake.

Member website

2. Actions

  • Engagement, sharing best practice and impact monitoring

    To engage with partners through the Dementia Action Alliance  and understand how Sporta members can best support people with dementia to engage in physical activity, social and cultural activities. To ensure that all trusts' facilities are accessible and open to people with dementia and their carers. To share best practice across the network and to seek to compile robust evidence of the impact of specific programmes involving people with dementia.  

    Initial Scoping

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    New Member