Streetwise game offers a trip down memory lane

A new and innovative reminiscence board game based on different aspects and memories of Kilmarnock has been launched which aims to help people to continue to live well with dementia.

Devised by Alzheimer Scotland in conjunction with East Ayrshire Council, ‘Around the Town: Kilmarnock Edition’ has a bright and bold design, stimulating topics and is believed to be the first game of its kind in Scotland.

The game lets players move around the board answering questions about Kilmarnock-related subjects such as shopping, industry, pubs, the Dick Institute, streets, schools, sports clubs, Dean Castle, the Burns connection, entertainment and parks. A question setter helps to ensure that all players are brought into conversations stimulated by the questions or the images on the board, and the game is won by the person who goes around the board the most number of times.

Service users, carers, volunteers, social workers, and representatives from nursing homes were at the Dementia Resource Centre in Kilmarnock for the launch to test out the game. Fiona Lees, Chief Executive of East Ayrshire Council, also joined in, saying: “No matter what age we are we all love to reminisce and the ‘Around the Town’ board game proves that. This is the first game of its kind in Scotland but I am sure it won’t be the last. It was fantastic to hear everyone’s memories, to learn a little more about Kilmarnock, and I really enjoyed the company and the chat.”

Jim Baird from Alzheimer Scotland added: “After months of development, we are delighted to reach this stage in the planning and development of our board game for people living with dementia to help improve communication and encourage interaction in a fun and light hearted way.

“This was a real inter-generational project, with primary and secondary pupils across East Ayrshire helping with our question development and the designs of the counters for the game. In the future we hope to eventually create more games tailored to other towns across Scotland to help us raise vital funds to support people living with dementia and their carers.”

Dementia affects over 90,000 people across Scotland and by 2020 it is estimated that there will be over 1 million people living with the illness in the UK. If you have any questions about dementia and the services available in your area, call Alzheimer Scotland’s free 24 hour Helpline on 0808 808 3000 or visit the website at www.alzscot.org.

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