June Newsletter (into July)

Early in June, Kate Macdeonald worked with Angus Murray of Museum Nan Eilean to bring artefacts ‘things from home’ to two care homes in North and South Uist, bringing forth some wonderful recollections, such as:

‘A piggy was better than a bodach.’ and

‘They used to have accumulators to power the radio before the electricity came in the 1950s. They took the accumulators to Stornoway to charge them up.’

Tommy Whitelaw came to the Western Isles through Dementia Carer Voices on 31st May and moved up through the islands 1st and 2nd June to Lewis for the Memory Walk with Alzheimer Scotland. Margaret Joan met him first in South Uist and showed him the Memory Box, which he blogged on Dementia Carer Voices. Then Paula heard his emotional talk in Stornoway (many tears there!) and gave a talk about the project’s current work, and then sharing the Friday ceilidh, Alex Boyd’s projections and the opening of the Memory Garden, and finishing off at the Remoage session with him. What wonderful energy he brings to any event and to every heart.

We have been sharing the craft and food festival from An Lanntair with global and local foods  across the community. We showcased foods and drinks from Morocco (Mint tea), South Korea (Kimchi), Syria (Labneh and Halloumi), France (flognarde and Red Carmargue rice), England (Plum upside down cake), South Africa (Rooibos), Russia (Sharlotka), Belgium (Chocolate), USA (Wild rice and a New York Plum Torte), Italy (Antipasti), Venezuala (Arepas), Ireland (dulse), Orkney Beremeal (scones and bannocks) and and Western Isles Carrageen. We now have a big world map to place everywhere we have ‘been’ with our global food tour.

Our PhD student commenced conversations with Jon about Intelligent Textiles applications for the community here, supporting people with dementia with locally produced textiles which have added benefits in technology.

It was Dementia Awareness Week early in June

Screen Shot 2017-05-27 at 19.37.48

Sat 3rd June – We supported Alzheimer Scotland Memory Walk as volunteers with a walk to the event and then celebrating 30 years of the branch with them.

Tues 6th June – We visited Norman and took more photographs of the DEEP Blar Buidhe Vinyl

Weds 7th June – We worked with Gill Thompson on Memory Garden Art with people at the hospital am, then pm – screening Arora Film Club at An Lanntair Pocket Cinema.  Please book with paula@lanntair.com

13th June, travelled to Edinburgh with local people to the DEEP gathering. 14th was the event and travelled back on 15th.


Visit to Dementia Friendly East Lothian – Creativity Day!

Paula presented the project at the Creative Scotland/Care Inspectorate/Luminate/Art Works  talk in Edinburgh Care & Create 

Paula presented the DEEP image to Doing Dementia Differently in Stockport

Doing Dementia Differently

which led to a reflection on why should this be so different? Shouldn’t this be ‘how we do dementia‘?

Kate ran a session at Sacred Heart and Trianaid in North & South Uist, relating to Bàta – Sealastair / Iris Leaf Boats


Alex Boyd’s DEEP vinyl work has continued – we whittled down the images to a final 16 during June, ready for exhibit in the Hospital League of Friends Cafe in July.

There have been plenty of birds on the ward, over several sessions in June, courtesy of Gill Thompson, to create printed panels for the Clisham Memory Garden. Work continues throughout July.

We have screened Dambusters, by request this month at the Arora Film Club – Whisky Galore has been requested for July.

We did a Dementia Carer Voces Guest Blog  in June.

Maggie Smith has largely been working on other projects this month, as she is so valued in the Gaelic arts and tourism industries and projects. She will be working more on the project as her time becomes free-er, particularly with her Cultural Movement dance project.

We have been building the MeTime carers project with Margaret Joan MacIsaac, craft and creativity based support as people feel appropriate with their caring roles. This is funded in part by the William Grant Foundation.

Jonhas been working on our final Conference/exhibitions for April 18 and he is also working on Intelligent Textiles and further exciting developments with the Woven Communities work.

Every Tuesday 2-3pm, there has been a ceilidh at Western Isles Hospital and Duncan Mackinnon and Kate Macdonald have been working on music, reminiscence and crafting sessions for Barra and Benbecula hospitals, at Caidean Uibhiist, at Cobhair Bharraigh and other venues across the islands (inculding ceilidhs at home).


Arora Film Club has been developing across the community with hosted films, hospital screenings, and screenings in care centres. Watch out for posters of the next events in the venues.


Alex Boyd’s final 16 images have been displayed for voting at the League of Friends Cafe at Western Isles Hospital since Monday 10th July.

03 Uig landscape copy

We have been successful with TWO funding pots from DEEP – one is in connection with Dementia Friendly East Lothian and this is relating to Digital Dining, a project requested by people living with dementia at the Inverness DEEP gathering.

The second pot is to develop our dance project with Maggie’s Cultural Movement and Louise’s dance sessions, relating to research on positive brain patterns along with movement.

Duncan has been working on a vinyl image for Castlebay, St Brendan’s Care Centre. This is most likely to be the image, if image quality works out well. 


There are more print sessions relating to birds around Clisham Ward and Gill Thompson is exhibiting at Anm Lanntair right now. 

We have been selected as a case study for a Luminate publication on creative aging, which we are thrilled about.


Ceilidhs and cakes, reminiscence, crafting and film screenings continue across the Uists, Benbecula and Barra. See Duncan, our Barra Boy accordion player in action here! This was at South Uist.

Kate held a reminiscence session about pebbles.

Our Intelligent Textiles project work started in earnest, alongside the Feis in North Uist last week. Dawn Susan worked on rope making and twining techniques with schools and care centres, along with KJate Macdonals, Margaret Joan and Jon Macleod, who took Lucy Robertson, our PhD student, along to see Uist Wool, plus meet the team and gather ideas and inspirations for creating relevant pieces of interactive textiles to support people living with more advanced dementia across the islands.

Maggie has helpd more sessions relating to Cultural Movement in Care Centres.

Later in July, the final two images from Alex Boyd will be passed around the hospital for a final vote on which one will be selected for the wall to be made into a large scale vinyl for Erisort Day Room.

We will have more dance sessions from Louise, starting at Harris House. We will also be visiting Harris House later in the month to commence a fishing memory box.

Duncan on Barra is working on a Transport Memory Box with Andy Hyde of Upstream.

The original two memory boxes are being launched on Barra right now, after being launched in Benbecula Library, in the KJ Macdonald Pharmacy window during Dementia Awareness Week and tested out at Sacred Heart Care Centre in South Uist. After a launch in Barra with Duncan, they will come back to Leverburgh and Tarbert via North Uist, where Margaret Joan will launch them in Taigh Chearsabhagh before they make their way back to Stornoway to go out on the mobile library buses.

The Library Service continues to load archive film and more recent local film on to the Tablet Computers we are collaborating with the Library on.

On 19th July, at 2pm, there is a writing workshop in An Lanntair’s Community Room, relating to reminiscence around cinema.  Let Paula know if you want to come along.

On 26th July, Andy Hyde from Upstream is visiting us for a walk around Stornoway Airport with people living with dementia to see what we think of accessibility and signage for people living with dementia.

On 27th July, Carers High Tea with Alzheimer Scotland is at An Lanntair at 5.30pm, please book with Alzheimer Scotland, Bells Road.

Later this month, our MeTime Carers project starts with monthly creative and crafting sessions across the islands. I will list the events on facebook as they are confirmed.

Please check our facebook for new event listings – Arora An Lanntair.



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