Inclusion at HSV

The HSV memory box

In 2017, the German federal Healthy Ministry recognised dementia as one of the biggest challenges in our society. Up to 1.7 million people are suffering from dementia in Germany today, and through demographic change, this number will increase to 3 million by 2050. In Great Britain, the Alzheimer Society has been researching the relationship between football and dementia diagnoses for a number of years. Studies and projects show that remembering moments in football can improve memory and welfare for football fans. Based on these positive experiences, in conjunction with HAW Hamburg and the Alzheimer Foundation, we want to develop a ‘memory box’ for fans with dementia. The memory box will contain various items of memorabilia from the past. It should help fans to recall positive memories and improve their ability to recall memories and information. In healthcare, working with memory as part of helping the patients to create a biography of themselves plays an important role. Doing this has various effects, like strengthening identity, prevention of loneliness, improvement of welfare and particularly the strengthening of remaining resources and the relaying of feelings of security and belonging. Furthermore, working with memory with football fans suffering from dementia is subsidised by the EU and since 2006 has included people with chronic illnesses and disabilities.

Virtual memory box during the pandemic

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 'memory box' project had to be put on ice for a short time, the inclusion and accessibility team at HSV working out how best to implement the project in the current situation. The care home residents suffering from dementia have a lot to deal with during the current situation. They have to cope without contact with other care home residents and their family, as well as the activities and structures that have become part of their daily lives. 

To support the people suffering from dementia in this difficult time, the idea arose to create a virtual memory box so that the project could carry on, in digital form. A 32-minute film was developed, made up of video footage and photos from the past few decades as well as original soundbites from HSV legends. The film can be paused at any time, so that the residents can talk about what they have seen on screen with their carers and fellow residents, hopefully invoking positive memories for all. 

The concept was tested in the autumn in the ‘Mole44’ care home in the Hamburg suburb of Eppendorf and was enjoyed by all who took part. “After just a few minutes our residents were fascinated by what they were watching,” Barbara Ester explained, responsible for day care at Mole44. “We were suddenly in the stadium, cheering the team on and celebrating when they scored. Football connects us and you could see that straight away.” The other carers said that the residents felt like they were sent back in time and were celebrating the various video clips shown during the film loudly. One of the residents explained how he had been in attendance at one of the games shown in the film and joyfully retold his experiences from that day. 

In the next step of the project, the virtual memory box will be available for various other care homes in Hamburg, and the HSV inclusion team led by Fanny Boyn are hoping that it continues to provide some positive memories for people suffering with dementia around Hamburg in this difficult time. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Fanny using the contact details listed below.

Contact details

HSV Fußball AG

Fanny Boyn

Fan Liaison Officer, Inclusion

Sylvesterallee 7

22525 Hamburg

Tel: +4940 4155 1517