Super League champions Wigan Warriors have teamed up with local NHS mental health services to encourage fans and the community to ‘Tackle Your Memory’.

The new campaign is designed to highlight the availability of support for people who may be concerned that they or someone they know may have a memory problem.Tackle Your Memory

It will be officially launched on Easter Monday – 21 April – when the Warriors take on Bradford Bulls at home.

Captain Sean O’Loughlin said: “We’re really lucky in Wigan to have a great local Memory Service that can see people who might have memory problems very quickly and offer them lots of support to help them to live a full and active life.

‘We believe it’s really important that our fans, their friends and families know what signs to look out for and ask for help if they need it as soon as possible.”

Wigan Memory Service, which is based at Claire House on Phoenix Way and run by 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, will be attending the match to offer advice to fans and to signpost free local NHS services.

“Not every memory problem is linked with dementia. Some can be linked to stress, anxiety or depression, physical illness or even the side-effects of medication,” says Dr Suzanne Kennedy.

‘What memory problems all have in common is that it’s important to speak to your GP and to ask about your local memory service so that you have more choice and support to keep as healthy and independent as possible.”

Supported by League 13League 13

The Trust’s campaign is backed by League 13 – the Super League Players’ Association – who have appointed Saints star Jon Wilkin as their ‘Tackle Your Memory’ ambassador.

“At League 13 we are very proud of our long-standing tradition of working positively with 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to find innovative ways to support rugby communities to access freely available NHS services,” says Ernie Benbow, Chief Executive Officer of League 13.

“We’re delighted that Wigan Warriors have taken the lead in backing ‘Tackling Your Memory’, and would like to thank our ambassador Jon Wilkin for lending his personal support to the campaign.”

The Department of Health estimates that there about 670,000 people living with dementia in the UK. That figure is expected to double in the next 30 years.

Signs that you or someone you know may have a memory problem include:

• Struggling to recall recent events but easily remembering things from a long time ago
• Repeating yourself or losing your ‘train of thought’
• Regularly forgetting names of friends or everyday objects
• Finding it hard to follow conversations or TV programmes
• Becoming slower in your thinking
• Regularly misplacing items or putting them in odd places
• Losing your sense of direction