This is the Arora Dementia Friendly Community Newsletter (<- SOUNDCLOUD SPOKEN WORD LINK) for March 17, covering all February news too. Our Facebook page (aroraanlanntair) has details of all of our events and plenty of pictures.
I recently attended the Life Changes Trust gathering in Perth – Crossreach Heart for Art presented, along with a brilliant Trading Standards project, protecting vulnerable people from scams and an equally fantastic project to support relationships through dementia. It’s always an inspiration to attend and I was fortunate enough to see Paul from DEEP and to meet Colm McBriarty from Life Changes Trust, whom I had only heard on the telephone previously. Great to put a face to a name!
Kate Macdonald has started working with us as Intergenerational Arts Practitioner across North and South Uist and Benbecula – she came to the Perth Life Changes Trust gathering with me by way of an induction and she spent two days working with me in Stornoway to see the arts events that we run and to meet Chris Hammacott, who was completing her work at Solas as Quilter in residence at the time.
Duncan Mackinnon has also started working with us as an Intergenerational Arts Practitioner in Barra and Margaret Joan MacIsaac is our Arts Practitioner for a fixed term contract. All have been awarded an arts commission to create an arts piece based on their response to this body of work.
We will shortly be putting out a press release about this work.
Our Memory Box scheme is gathering pace – we now have the boxes and we are working with Museum Nan Eilean both in Stornoway and Benbecula to fill the boxes and the Libraries to transport the boxes across all of the islands via the Mobile Library van system, plus our own practitioners in all areas. This will be launched in April.
Wm Grant Foundation and Life Changes Trust fund success
We have been successful with a £10k fun to support carers of people living with dementia across the islands. The project funding has been agreed to offer vouchers to support free time for carers, ‘Me Time’ vouchers. Once the fund is with us, we will put out a press release about how to access this scheme.
Western Isles Hospital ceilidhs during February featured themes of birthdays, springtime, Valentines Day and Pancake Day. Pancake Day Ceilidh featured an outstanding line-up of musicians from student nurses, Horo band members plus Keith Morrison and friends from Wee Studio. This incredible performance came about after an impromptu store-cupboard meeting with Eleanor’s mother, who works on Erisort ward. Eleanor recorded our Gaelic Without Trying and cultural project podcasts for us at Wee Studio last year.
Our dementia friendly screening for February was The Kid with Charlie Chaplin.
Jon has been in Senegal all month, on a UNESCO World Heritage site island, working on an artist residency exploring culture, memory and hand memory. We’ve missed him and can’t wait to see what he has learned.
Maggie’s movement and song sessions continue to progress, she has held some sessions in care centres and we are looking at packaging up the sessions to make them available for care centres to use going forward. Maggie has composed original Gaelic songs for this work and she has come up with some movement and reminiscence work to go with it, supported by her learning at workshops and local experts. More news shortly.
Alzheimer Scotland Carers High Tea was at An Lanntair on Thursday 23rd Feb.
This month, Our commissioned Quilter in Residence Project at Solas is featured in British Patchwork and Quilting magazine, out now. It is a four page article, written by Chris Hammacott herself and has plenty of pictures of the incredible quilted pieces and the exhibition at An Lanntair.
Our DEEP funded ‘Hills of Home’ project continues – placing vinyl wall images on the walls of care centres and hospitals to personalise surroundings for people there. Jon Macleod has worked with a resident at Blar Buidhe Care Centre to create an image of Stornoway harbour, being completed now and Alex Boyd has started working with people at Western Isles Hospital to create a vinyl for the wall of the day room in Erisort ward, because so many people from all over the hospital use this space during Tuesday Ceilidhs as well as other times. Alex has been to the ward and met some people, chatted about views and ideas and he is working on some images to offer for feedback now. We will progress this together during March.
Weds 1st March A Kind of Seeing at Stornoway Library – we went along to enjoy an archive film screening event in the library, the films were fantastic, what a wonderful opportunity to see Stornoway and North Uist in the 1930s. It was a packed event, just a couple of seats available.
We are working on strengthening our partnerships this month, evidencing the incredible level of support that we have from so many organisations locally.
Mon 6th March, Breakfast event with Scotland’s First Minister Nichola Sturgeon, at An Lanntair.
Tues 7th March , 14th March, 21st March and 28th March – Tuesday Ceilidh at Western Isles Hospital Erisort Ward 2pm
Weds 8th March Dementia Friendly screening of Funny Face with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire, 1pm at there Pocket Cinema.
Thurs/Fri 9th/10th March, Jon is attending the Arts & Dementia conference in London with a poster presentation
Weds 22nd March – Bond Film dementia friendly screening
Thurs 30th March – Carers High Tea at An Lanntair – please book with Alzheimer Scotland, Bells Road, Stornoway.
In March, DEEP are holding a gathering, there are funded places available for people living with dementia and their carers. Please ask if you would be interested in attending.
There is also a Self Directed Support event through Life Changes Trust, again funded for people living with dementia and carers, so please let me know if you would like more information.
LOOKING AHEAD TO APRIL
We are so fortunate and excited to be able to share the wonderful Purvai festival from An Lanntair with our project – the fantastic Tabla player Dal has offered us a little project tour during April. More news shortly.
Early April, we will be launching our Memory Boxes with launch events.
Mid April, we will be launching our ‘Me Time’ vouchers for carers.