By Jennie Morrison-Cowan
Last month Patricia Gibson, MP for North Ayrshire and Arran wrote about the research being carried out by Alzheimer’s Research UK “The Brain Health Campaign”. In it she mentions the need to stay active and keep engaged. To that end, Arran Well-Being – for healthy hearts and minds – has been set up as a community organisation on the island and its Directors bring a wealth of experience and qualifications in dementia as well as a variety of different therapies, supporting all age groups with different physical and mental health issues.
The Brain Health Campaign research refers to three key elements – love your heart, stay sharp and keep connected and to support this thinking Arran Well-Being applied to the North Ayrshire Participatory Budget fund and have been successful. As from May, Well-Being Cafes will be held in three different locations rotating on a weekly basis between Lamlash, Brodick and Blackwaterfoot. These Cafes are for people who have had a diagnosis of dementia and their Care Partner as well as people who have felt totally lonely and isolated over the past year. The Cafes will be held in a large gazebo provided by ACVS during the summer months and will be held indoors during the winter dependent on rules and regulations.
Arran Well-Being offers several different therapies that help to keep your brain healthy, supporting emotional and memory well-being, an approach that considers the well-being of both the person diagnosed and their Care Partner. We see the Cafes as providing the opportunity for the development of social interactions, helping create a kind of safety net in a world of uncertainty. The need for inclusion is a natural part of society and even more so in the past year. Being part of a community through the Cafes helps individuals to feel wanted and recognised, providing support to each other. The Cafes will provide the opportunity for music, singing, exercise, reminiscence and horticulture as well as arts and craft with experienced volunteers/therapists who can also guide people in the right direction for further support.
Arran Well-Being see the purpose of the cafes as:
“A focal point where families come together in order to create communities which emphasise relationships, socialisation and sharing”.
Please watch out for posters and leaflets around Arran in the forthcoming weeks advertising the various events however, should you wish to learn more or to volunteer please contact Jennie Morrison-Cowan on 07983 448511