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Rugby League Legends Celebrate National Care Home Open Day

RugbyNational social care Community Integrated Care welcomed rugby league legends Paul Sculthorpe, Eddie Cunningham and John Stankevitch to two of its dementia care homes on Friday, to mark National Care Home Open Day.

St Helens legends Paul Sculthorpe and Eddie Cunningham officially opened a St Helens RFC reminiscence area in Eccleston Court, a St Helens based care home. The area contains nostalgic photographs and memorabilia that promote the treasured memories of St Helens fans living there, applying leading dementia design approaches that have been pioneered by Community Integrated Care.
Former St Helens and Widnes Vikings player John Stankevitch visited people supported at St Luke’s Care Home in Runcorn, Halton, meeting people supported at the home and their loved ones. He sharing his memories of playing for and supporting Widnes Vikings, and highlights from his career, reminiscing with people living in the home. St Luke has been celebrated nationally and internationally as a centre of excellence for dementia care, and was this year recognised at the prestigious Skills for Care Accolades.

Community Integrated Care is one of Britain’s biggest and most successful health and social care charities. It supports almost 5000 people across England and Scotland who have learning disabilities, mental health concerns, autism, and age-related needs such as dementia.

These visits are the latest in a host of rugby league related activity by the charity. Community Integrated Care has recently formed an innovative partnership with Widnes Vikings which promotes the health, wellbeing, happiness and inclusion of people supported by the charity and its colleagues.

John Hughes, Head of Communications and Marketing for Community Integrated Care, says: “We were delighted to have the support of Paul, Eddie and John, who generously gave their time to help our care homes celebrate National Care Home Open Day. These visits showed the power of rugby league and sport in promoting the memories and wellbeing of people living with dementia. They also demonstrated how connected rugby league players and clubs are to their communities, and how this is a sport that gives back.”

Paul Sculthorpe said, “I was delighted to be at Eccleston Court with Eddie to launch the St Helens RFC area for residents, which will stimulate some great memories of the club. I enjoyed speaking to one of the residents who remembered me – we talked about Saints and his favourite times. It was a priceless experience.”

Eddie Cunningham says: “It was an honour to be invited to open this Saints area, which looks fabulous. People have vibrant memories of watching rugby league, and if I can make someone happy talking with them about the game or looking at old photographs with them, then that is a great thing to be able to do. It was a pleasure to meet the team at Eccleston Court and the people they support.”

John Stankevitch said, “I was delighted to visit St Luke’s, it’s a fantastic home and it’s obvious that the people living here have a great time. I met some Widnes Vikings fans who have special memories of the club – it was nice to speak to them and reminisce together. National Care Home Open Day is a fantastic opportunity for the public to see the great work that goes on in care homes every day, and I was pleased to support Community Integrated Care with their efforts.”

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