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North Ayrshire Carers Champion visits new dementia information hub at Kilwinning Library

Posted on 5 Jun 2023

This Carers Week, North Ayrshire Libraries is celebrating a new partnership with Alzheimer Scotland to become a dementia information hub in Kilwinning Library.

To celebrate the news, North Ayrshire Carers Champion, Councillor Nairn McDonald joined others in a ‘Tea & Blether’ celebration on Thursday, June 1 .

The event provided the opportunity for people to find out about the support available to them through the library including information and books and support to access the Brain Health tool. The event also provided the opportunity for people to take part in a Memories Scotland reminiscence session and Words for Wellbeing.  

In the new partnership, over 120 libraries across Scotland will become dementia information hubs. These libraries will have close relationships with their nearest Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Resource Centre, display and share a wide range of Alzheimer Scotland dementia information materials, and support library users to access online dementia and brain health resources such as the Brain Health Scotland website: https://www.brainhealth.scot/

The staff at Kilwinning Library have undertaken Alzheimer Scotland’s Dementia Friends Scotland programme, to help them better understand the day-to-day challenges of living with dementia and support for people with dementia to fully use the library’s resources.

A range of activities will run in libraries including dementia friendly film screenings, Memories Scotland reminiscing and Words for Wellbeing sessions.

The new partnership covers the Scottish Libraries & Information Council, the Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre, Alzheimer Scotland and pathfinder libraries in Stirling, Aberdeenshire, Glasgow, Fife, North Ayrshire, Inverclyde, the Lothians, East Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire.

Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive of the Scottish Library & Information Council, said: “The Scottish Library & Information Council is proud to  partner with Alzheimer Scotland on this fantastic initiative. It builds on dementia support programmes delivered through Scotland’s public libraries, such as the Memories Scotland Memory Groups and Dementia Friendly accreditation which many public libraries have now received.

“Libraries offer a calm, welcoming and safe-haven for anyone looking for respite, support and information about dementia. Furthermore, library event programmes include Dementia Friendly film screenings, chatty cafés and reminiscence groups.

“Our public libraries play a crucial role tackling this very real problem and they also offer a wide range of information, both on site, online and through quality-assured reading lists.”

Councillor Nairn McDonald, North Ayrshire Carers Champion said: “Kilwinning Library’s recent ‘Tea and Blether’ event is such a brilliant example of how our local libraries are about so much more than just books. They are a place where people can come together, share experiences, and feel part of a community who cares for them.

“Being a carer for one of my own family member’s means that I understand first-hand just how challenging it can be, so I have no doubt that future sessions like this one are going to have such a positive impact for our residents and library members.

“Thank you to everyone who came along today. A special shout-out to the local dementia advisor Linda Ross also, who is working tirelessly in our communities to support families and carers. It was a pleasure and privilege to meet with everyone and I hope that those who attended found that the sessions provided a renewed outlook on life with dementia and a sense of companionship and the start of a shared community support network for those who are affected by dementia.

“The staggering statistics from Scotland’s recent census estimated that there are currently approximately 90,000 people currently living with dementia and around 3,000 of these people will be under the age of 65 years. This is why it is so important to partner with organisations such as Alzheimer Scotland to provide information and support.”

The ’Tea & Blether’ event is just one of several events planned in libraries over the coming months, so please stay tuned to social media: North Ayrshire Libraries | Facebook, https://twitter.com/NACLibraries or speak to library staff who can keep you up to date with what is coming next.

Kirsty Stewart, Executive Lead for Stakeholder Engagement at Alzheimer Scotland, said:

“It’s wonderful to see so many community libraries commit to being local dementia information hubs.  I am inspired by how the partnership has really embraced learning about dementia; by educating themselves, providing information, creating links with local Alzheimer Scotland supports and ensuring their community spaces are welcoming for anyone living with dementia or worried about their memory.

“Libraries are a vital resource for so many people and with 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland, this partnership is another important step to making sure nobody faces dementia alone. Dementia is just one thing about a person – it’s not everything.  I am delighted to see so many libraries hold their own Tea & Blether events to celebrate this partnership and I look forward to seeing what else we can achieve together, over the coming year.”

If you didn’t manage to make it to the event or live elsewhere in North Ayrshire and need support, please get in touch with your local Dementia Advisor by telephoning 01294 608219 who can help to provide further information and access to the different support resources and sessions available.