Three Arts Practitioners Recruited through Arora for Uists and Barra

  • Published on: 14th March 2017
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Press release : 14th March 2017

Three Arts Practitioners Recruited through Arora for Uists and Barra

Three new Artist Practitioners have been recruited through the award winning Arora Dementia Friendly Community Project at An Lanntair to work with people living with dementia and their carers across the Uists and Barra

The posts have been funded through Life Changes Trust, with support funding from Alzheimer Scotland and the NHS RemoAge project

Over several initial visits, research sessions, creative sessions and projects, it was clearly established that paid posts were at the top of the wish list for dementia support in Barra, North and South Uist and Benbecula.

Building on the incredibly successful work with artists such as Chris Hammacott working as Quilter in Residence for Solas Day Centre (currently featured in British Patchwork & Quilting Magazine, March 17 edition), and Dawn Susan of Hebridean Baskets through our Woven Communities Project with University of St Andrews, Arora has recruited local artists with particular skills in community engagement and carer support as well as for understanding of dementia.

Duncan Mackinnon is in post for Barra and Kate MacDonald is in post for North and South Uist and Benbecula, both until 31st March 2018. Margaret Joan MacIsaac has a fixed hours contract and all three practitioners have been awarded an Artist Commission.

The work includes intergenerational working with local children and young people, connecting people living with dementia with cultural, community and arts activities and events and one to one work, utilising resources from our new Memory Box Scheme, in connection with Museum nan Eilean and Western Isles Libraries. There will also be outreach work in hospitals and care centres as well as new resources and events for the community to enjoy.

Anna Buchanan, Director of the Life Changes Trust dementia programme said,

“With the addition of these new posts, the Arora dementia friendly community will be able to work alongside even more people with dementia and carers across all the Island communities, supporting projects that connect directly with the local culture, language and environment.  This work is establishing an ethos whereby people with dementia and those who care for them feel they are still part of their own community, supported to do things that are meaningful to them, valued as individuals and involved as members of society.”

Marion MacInnes, Service Manager for Alzheimer Scotland Lewis & Harris Branch said,

“We are delighted to be able to offer support to this exciting new project and look forward to seeing the benefits to people with dementia and families in the local community”.

In addition to the Memory Box Scheme, the Arora team are excited about its upcoming collaborative projects, including:

  • ‘Me Time’ carer voucher scheme, which has been funded by Wm Grant Foundation, through Life Changes Trust, to support carers of people living with dementia with leisure activities that are free to access.
  • A one-stop poster for local dementia support designed by Life Changes Trust and people in the Uists and Barra, detailing voluntary, arts and local services for people living with dementia and their carers people in the Uists and Barra. These were requested by carers and will be placed in GP surgeries, hospitals and any areas where people will find the information helpful.
  • Sharing weekly Hospital Ceilidh sessions people in the Uists and Barra in collaboration with the NHS and Alzheimer Scotland.


For more information about Arora please visit :     twitter @dfclanntair


For more information on Life Changes Trust visit: