This is a theme that comes up from time to time but it’s subtle. Meeting with carers, there have been few words to describe this but some powerful pointers.
For example the question, ‘Where does the money come from, to fund this session?’ I reply ‘From local events, people coming to see a film, walk for Alzheimer Scotland, cycle, that kind of thing pays for the meals for carers.’ A lengthy nod. ‘That’s good.’
At another session with carers, one lady sang to make a podcast recording, enjoying the idea that they could be supporting someone isolated in a hospital or at home on another island. She said ‘Islander to Islander. Yes. That’s it.’
Of course, project wages are covered by Life Changes Trust funding and collaborations with other funders for South Isles posts (Alzheimer Scotland and Remoage) and this has been the firm basis with which to build the project. It has been a very flexible and enabling basis to respond to the often subtle requests from the community.
We have been asked for a Facebook page repeatedly, so we have been working on that as a team this week. It will be live by the end of the week.
Carers have asked for opportunities to try new crafts at home, so Chris Hammacott, a crofter and weaver living locally and offering various textiles workshops at An Lanntair was commissioned by us to come up with some solutions. She has dreamed up and created ‘Carers Cushion Kits’, which contain everything you need to make a hand or machine stitched patchwork cushion with full instructions and we made how-to videos. Chris is now working on a local wool Florentine stitching kit for the next project. The first kit has gone out to a carer and we have two left for anybody wanting to have a go. The cushion kit comes in a handy craft bag for this cushion project in progress and future craft projects.
At the Western Isles hospital each week, people gather for the Tuesday Ceilidh on the ward, supporting each other. Local Ministers, children, families all drop by to support. Community supporting community.
We continue to record podcasts, ‘In Conversation’ pieces with older people living across the Western Isles, to entertain and support people along with our ‘Memory Box’ scheme, which is in trial at the moment and will be bookable through the mobile libraries. This set of themed boxes will welcome stories, pictures and contributions from people enjoying the contents, which in turn will support more local people.
And tonight at An Lanntair, Alzheimer Scotland hosts the Carers High Tea – carers chatting together and supporting each other.
On 31st October, Oriana is hosting a Pocket Cinema screening of Young Frankenstein at An Lanntair in memory of Gene Wilder. The funds will go to Alzheimer Scotland Lewis & Harris branch and will likely fund meals for carers through the Carers High Tea events each month, which are shortly being rolled out across the South Isles through our new South Isles Practitioner posts. Contact Oriana@lanntair.com to be added to her mailing list for details. Please come!
Islander to islander- with a little help from our wonderful funders, collaborators, the fantastic teams at An Lanntair, Western Isles Hospital, Western Isles Libraries, Alzheimer Scotland and each other.