Hartlepool United’s H’Angus the Monkey has become the first ever football club mascot to become a Dementia Friend as part of a new partnership between the football club and Alzheimer’s Society.
The League Two club will take part in the scheme to make sure they can accommodate for those living with dementia in the best possible way.
The session was part of the Team Dementia Friends campaign which aims to help football clubs across England and Wales to ensure that they are better able to support fans who have dementia.
H’Angus the Monkey, or Michael Evans as he’s known to family and friends, was given the day off to secure his place in the Dementia Friends record books.
Mark Burrows, Hartlepool Operations Director, said: “We want the club to play a part in helping to break the stigma connected with dementia and this was our first small step.
“The message from us is that we’ll do whatever we can to make sure any fans living with dementia can continue to enjoy supporting Hartlepool United in as comfortable an environment as possible.
“By educating our staff and those that will be communicating with our fanbase on a regular basis we can make sure that this club becomes truly dementia-friendly.”
Andrew Ball, Dementia Action Alliance Project Manager and Dementia Friends Champion, delivered the session at The Northern Gas and Power Stadium during which staff were encouraged to ask questions to broaden their knowledge.
“Hartlepool United is an integral part of the local community here and I am overjoyed they are taking steps to become dementia friendly,” he said.
“Hartlepool is recognised as a dementia friendly community and having the support of such a community-spirited club is great.
“Dementia Friends will give them information about what it is like to live with dementia and turn this understanding into action; this will mean such a lot to those with dementia who watch Hartlepool United Football Club regularly.”