Short mat bowls
gentle sports activity and social contact for people with dementia, carers & family
Every Thursday morning from 10am-12pm, the main hall becomes a short-mat bowling venue with two mats and anywhere from a dozen to twenty people who gather to play, have a brew and a natter, and spend a really enjoyable morning together.
We’re not competitive though do follow the rules – roughly! Those with dementia are able to play and enjoy the banter as well as the game itself, and our volunteers are on hand to steer the action along – and the occasional bowl too! Meanwhile, carers or family members who accompany them can sit and chat and enjoy a social time with others without the responsibility of overseeing the activity, whilst keeping one eye on play and always being ready to dodge the odd wayward bowl…
All ages and ability levels can play – even if you’ve never played, don’t let that put you off, so do feel free to come and give it a go. It can also be played sitting down so is suitable for people with reduced mobility too. There’s no charge, though we do accept donations towards the costs.
Oh, and don’t be deceived! A ”short” mat isn’t actually that short, and the sense of achievement at getting your bowl close to the jack or winning an end is real.
As a group we also arrange outings, these include a Christmas treat to Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and pub for a wonderful meal followed by a dementia friendly concert, the coach sing-along was fantastic! More recently, we took the group tenpin bowling and for a meal in Southport, it was a great success and a trip that we will definitely repeat!
There is a great sense of camaraderie with the group members who enjoy one another’s company as much as the activities themselves.
We have also on occasion played other sports, in particular, table tennis. We would be happy to run this again, either in parallel to the bowls or another day. If this is something that would be of value to you, do let us know and we’ll see what can be sorted.