Life Stories: Storytelling for older people
Life Stories Pentlands area project
The Life Stories group are delighted to announce that they've been successful in a bid to the Pentlands Area Neighbourhood Partnership Community Grant Fund for a storytelling project with older people in the Pentland Hills and Colinton/Fairmilehead Wards.
The group of experienced professional storytellers will be visiting older people's groups at sheltered housing complexes, residential homes, clubs, libraries and churches in the Fairmilehead, Buckstone, Firrhill, Oxgangs, Colinton, Currie, Juniper Green, Balerno, Clovenstone and South Wester Hailes areas of the city throughout March and April this year. The informal storytelling sessions will include a chance for participants to tell their own stories and share their memories of everyday life - and might even include a song!
The 40-60 minute sessions can be especially adapted to a group's needs, and are free of charge to Pentlands area older people's groups. The project will also include two Life Stories events to which all participants will be invited - one at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, and one in a community venue. In addition, the project's funding allows care staff and support workers connected to participating groups to make the most of subsidised places at a training day on storytelling, memories and reminiscence.
If you are interested in arranging a visit for your group, or you want to find out more about Life Stories' work with older people, or our training for staff working with older people, please contact:
Janis Mackay , 0131 652 3272 or email@example.com
|Life Stories’ Pentlands project is funded by Pentlands Neighbourhood Partnership, City of Edinburgh Council
Life Stories in Leith
In Spring 2010 Leith’s lunch clubs, residential homes, libraries, sheltered housing centres and churches were alive with the buzz of storytelling. From February to June, nine professional storytellers from the Life Stories group made a total of 42 outreach visits to older people’s groups in the Leith and Leith Walk areas of the City, including people with dementia.
Tales of old Leith and its many characters were a favourite, and were complemented beautifully by stories from past and present everyday life, traditional Scottish stories and of course a song or two. A cup of tea and a chat was also an important part of every visit.
The Leith project built upon the success of similar projects in the Central, North and Leith, East, West and South West Edinburgh from 2005 to 2008. As well as storyteller visits to 22 Leith older people’s groups, the project provided training opportunities for care staff, carers and storytellers working with older people, several of whom had been involved in the local storytelling sessions.
Jean Edmiston’s ‘Life Stories & Reminiscence’ workshop at the Scottish Storytelling Centre looked at approaches to storytelling and supported reminiscence using a range of sensory objects, as well as stories and photographs, to stimulate reminiscence and discussion. This was a chance for staff, carers and storytellers to reflect on their own practice, develop their skills, and share their experiences of, and approaches to, working with older people in a variety of contexts.
Perhaps the icing on the cake were two special community storytelling events, at South Leith Parish Church Hall and the Scottish Storytelling Centre, to which all participating groups were invited. A wonderful time (and several chocolate biscuits!) was had by all.
The Life Stories group would like to thank Leith Neighbourhood Partnership for funding this project.
The Life Stories group are now planning their Winter 2010/Spring 2011 project – watch this space for more details. If you are interested in finding out more about Life Stories’ work with older people, or training for staff working with older people, please contact:
Janis Mackay, 0131 652 3272 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|Life Stories’ Leith project is funded by Leith Neighbourhood Partnership, City of Edinburgh Council
What is Life Stories?
Life Stories is a group of professional storytellers who specialise in storytelling in providing tailored storytelling and reminiscence sessions to older people in a range of settings, from hospitals and day centres to lunch clubs and church groups.
Older people, particularly the frail elderly and those with dementia, are often marginalised within our communities, and many have little or no access to arts and social experiences. Knowing the rich wealth of stories that older people have to share, and the increasing demand for storytelling in the community, Life Stories was set up in 2003 with the support of the Scottish Storytelling Centre.
Life Stories aims to:
• provide older people and their carers with opportunities for participation in quality, inclusive arts activities
• recognise, value and affirm older people's memories, life experiences and contribution to the wider community
• use storytelling and reminscence to entertain, combat loneliness and isolation, and provide opportunities for socialising and conversation
• use storytelling and reminscence to rekindle imagination, trigger memories and increase communication
• to build confidence and motivation, and combat feelings of depression
“Older people love hearing stories and telling theirs as they are given the chance to reminisce. Conversation is initiated and it builds confidence and trust. Staff and carers benefit in that they get a picture of what the client’s life was like when they were in their prime and what they managed to achieve – some were giants in their time. The client benefits by gaining recognition – it is so important that we are ‘seen’.
These things are important to all, especially to those whose short term memory is faltering indeed by stimulating the long term memory with story interaction they are able, very able, to get a sense of worth and joy. You take them back to a time when life was sweet.” Millie Gray, Life Stories founder member
“The best cheerer upper for the winter months” Artlink Vintage Club member
Life Stories also lead training workshops for professional staff, carers and volunteers who work with older people and are interested in using storytelling and reminiscence in developing their storytelling skills.
|“I was impressed and feel more confident now regarding using storytelling in my job...would welcome more workshop experience.” Life Stories workshop participant
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