Super League rugby team, Widnes Vikings, and social care charity, Community Integrated Care, held their second Chemics Café on 6th July, with a packed session that supported people affected by dementia to connect with their treasured rugby league memories.

The Chemics Café is a unique free monthly event that aims to support people who live with dementia and their loved ones, by giving them practical advice as well opportunities to socialise, have fun and reminisce about special Widnes Vikings moments. It takes place on the first Wednesday of every month, from 11am-12.30pm, at the Select Security Stadium. Sessions are led by Community Integrated Care’s specialist dementia team and the Vikings Sports Foundation. Every event features contributions from a Vikings legend and dementia specialists, who give people vital advice to support living well with the condition.

Wednesday’s session saw the club’s recent signing Jack Buchanan give guests a special backstage tour of the Select Security Stadium, and legendary player Joe Argent lead a session where members picked their all-time Vikings dream team. Guests also enjoyed tai chi, an exercise that has great health benefits for people with dementia – promoting their mobility and relaxation, and learned about music therapy.

The Chemics Café is part of a pioneering partnership between the Super League team and Community Integrated Care, which sees them work together to deliver a number of programmes that promote the health, wellbeing and happiness of people supported by the charity, its colleagues, and the wider local community.

Community Integrated Care’s Head of Marketing and Communications, John Hughes, says: “This Chemics Café was a fantastic event that really brought a smile to everyone’s faces. In a packed morning, guests enjoyed everything from spending time with a current Super League star and club legend, in Jack Buchanan and Joe Argent, through to trying tai chi and learning how nostalgic music can stimulate memories. This is what the Chemics Café is all about – brightening the day of people affected by dementia, by giving them special experiences and vital support.”

Widnes Vikings player, Jack Buchanan, says: “I had a fantastic time at the Chemics Café. It was a pleasure to give guests a special tour of the stadium, showing them our changing rooms and taking them pitch-side, and to spend time speaking with the fans. The event really showed me how passionate the people of Halton are about Widnes Vikings, something that I’ve experienced as a player. It’s been great to back the partnership with the Vikings and Community Integrated Care, and see how we’re using rugby league to make a difference to the lives of people who live with dementia.”