Since the end of June we have made a cautious return to our weekly get-togethers at the Bleachingfield Centre, Dunbar. Our pre-Lockdown Wednesday & Thursday groups have been combined and we are keeping a careful eye on numbers.
If you are a Carer of a person living in the Dunbar area who has received a diagnosis of a dementia-related condition, and would like to join our support group, please contact Lorna Bunney, Group Co -ordinator on 01620 870632 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
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!
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.
The sun was shining this week for 3 group members while planting shrubs in memory of their loved ones, at The Backlands. Due to current restrictions folks obviously had to do this individually, but we all look forward to watching the shrubs grow, and to see them flower in the Spring. Anne chose a red azalea for Ronnie, while Hazel and Terry & Fiona opted for rhododendrons – red for John, and deep pink for Gwen. May they be nurtured and thrive in this beautiful spot. Our thanks, once again, to Karell and Richard at The Backlands for making this possible.❤️
Oh how we are missing our weekly get togethers! Our carefully planned Spring/Summer 2020 schedule did not even make it to the printer, as outings, celebrations and events had to be postponed or cancelled. Who would have believed this possible when we entered 2020 full of plans and projects for the coming year?
Steps were quickly taken to maintain contact with each other: – An “Oor Pals” Newletter is regularly produced which provides essential continuity within the group, relaying important information, as well as providing a few laughs along the way! Our Group Co-ordinator and volunteers have made weekly telephone contact with group members, and it is hoped that this contact will develop as restrictions ease, in accordance with Scottish Government guidelines.
We have been so grateful for Co op Community Funding (awarded in 2019) which has allowed us to provide the following to our group members, in order to help alleviate the problems of isolation, stress and boredom
: provision of jigsaws, colouring books/coloured pencils/sharpeners and puzzle books
: deliveries of plants, compost and gardening materials to encourage outdoor activity
: gifting of photo books for those members who have been with us for a number of years (We look forward to taking more photos in the future, as a record of our happy times spent together, so that photo books can be gifted to our newer members also)
As usual, so much going on behind the scenes in order to help improve group communications until we can all meet again safely. Looking forward to it!
Grateful thanks, also to Rhona Bell of the Tasty Toasty, and Dunbar Rotary who recently funded the delivery of delicious Takeaway Afternoon Teas to group members and volunteers, to celebrate both National Volunteers Week and National Carers Week.