Weekly Face to Face Get-Togethers (Albeit It Mindfully and Cautiously!)

 

Since the end of June 2021 our wonderful group has been meeting weekly in the Bleachingfield Centre, where we have so enjoyed getting back together in person, enjoying each other’s company and friendship.  So far, activities enjoyed by all have included a poetry session, chair exercises and a wonderful trip to Lochend Woods with an event lead by the Dunbar Community Woodland Group. Looking forward optimistically but cautiously to several other outdoor and indoor events, ever mindful of the need to take care.

A Great Start to 2021

We have settled in well to our weekly Zoom sessions – never the same as meeting face to face, but what a great alternative in these current times.  The Scottish Government ‘Connecting Scotland’ initiative has not only allowed us to ‘see’ each other every week, but has greatly increased group members’ IT skills and has encouraged a sense of pride and achievement – desperately needed in these extra-challenging times.

As well as catching-up with each other, since the beginning of the year we have enjoyed a poetry session with Koren Calder of the Scottish Book Trust – the first of 3 planned sessions – as well as a Chair Exercise Session, led by one of our lovely volunteers, Chris Roberts.  Currently making arrangements for several other themed meetings, as well as being joined by some guest speakers.  All to look forward to!

Reflections on the Strangest of Years

Well we have managed to work our way through this strangest of years.  The additional challenges have made life so much harder for all of our group members, and there are several households who have  experienced huge life changes and are dealing with incredibly sad situations.  What is positive, though, is that we still exist as a group and have formed even stronger bonds with each other, with no shortage of support and friendship.

After several months of training and support (face-to-face when possible, plus via telephone) November saw us entering Zoom world – what an achievement!  Our first Zoom meeting was hosted by Sharing a Story CIC, when we were joined by author and poet Stuart Paterson.  Celebrating Book Week Scotland, we had a wonderful session and also enjoyed some very fine cupcakes!  There then followed some fun sessions making Christmas cards, painting Christmas plates and the grand finale for this year, our Christmas Afternoon Tea Party!

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We also found the time to work with Sharing a Story CIC to compile and publish our Community Cookbook (available from Knox Newsagents, High Street Co-up and McColls priced at £5.00).  So, all things considered, a busy, productive and wonderful year in many ways, with new skills learned and lots of love and caring doing the rounds.

Stirling University Dementia Services Development Centre Workshop – 13 February 2020, The Bleachingfield Centre Dunbar

 

Lynda Hutton, Education Officer with Stirling University’s Dementia Services Development Centre, held the first of two workshops for Dunbar Dementia Carers Support Group members, who were joined for the session by volunteers from North Berwick Day Centre and several other Carers from within the community.

Topics covered included:

: Understanding dementia

: Implications of a diagnosis

: Understanding the impact of the environment

: Addressing communication issues and strategies that       can be used to better understand behaviour, which can help in caring and support roles

: Preventing stress and distress

: Managing common symptoms for people living at home

: Preventing crisis situations leading to inappropriate hospital admissions

:Promoting support networks through fellow carers and shared experiences

An excellent session, which attendees found really helpful and informative.  A second workshop will be held for our Thursday group on 22 April 2020.