Quilts to be sold to raise funds for dementia services

A big fund-raising push will be launched at the weekend to help Shetland people with dementia – and it will be done with the help of 200 quilts.

Alzheimer Scotland will be selling the individually made quilts at Lerwick Town Hall on Friday night and Saturday morning, with the proceeds staying in Shetland.

The quilts are no ordinary ones – they have been made as a project to cover Hampden football pitch, and many came from Shetland.

Friday night’s event will comprise a “show and tell” session to raise awareness of dementia and explain how the quilts can trigger thoughts and memories in people with the condition. On Saturday there will be a coffee morning.

Jim Peterson and Alzheimer Scotland dementia adviser Ann Williamson with one of the quilts. Photo: Dave Donaldson
Jim Peterson and Alzheimer Scotland dementia adviser Ann Williamson with one of the quilts. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The idea of quilts as a means of communication came from Ann Hill, a Shetlander who lives in Dumfries, who has for the past four years been voluntary “quilter in residence” at Alzheimer Scotland and Hampden Park in partnership with NHS Dumfries and Galloway.

Mrs Hill said: “During this time I have been working with those living with dementia making memory-trigger quilts. As a result of the huge interest in the project I asked quilters from around the world to donate a quilt to help me cover Hampden Park in Glasgow, and this came to fruition in June when we laid 5,012 quilts on the pitch. Many of the quilts came from Shetland.”

This weekend Mrs Hill is coming home to visit her mother, Violet Laurenson, from Lerwick – and Ann Williamson, Alzheimer Scotland’s dementia adviser for Shetland, invited her to do a talk and show some of the quilts to try to raise awareness.

Mrs Hill said: “I readily accepted and will do a talk on Friday and also a coffee morning on Saturday. The 200 quilts, which were part of the Hampden Park record-breaking day, have been sent to Shetland and will be sold at both events. The money raised will remain in Shetland.”

The local branch of Alzheimer Scotland has another link with football in the form of a football reminiscence group – shortly to be widened to a sports reminiscence group – run by community activity organiser Laura Whittall together with sportsman Jim Peterson. Inspired by the Hampden quilts, he has the idea of covering the floor of the sports hall at Clickimin with quilts, hopefully by Alzheimer’s Week next June. The quilts could later be displayed around the isles.

Mr Peterson said: “There’s no end to what we could do. We are writing to the secretaries of football teams asking for people to make quilts.” The appeal is also being made to any quilters in the community. Memorabilia of sporting events to be included in an exhibition would be welcomed.

Contact details are: Ann Hill (01387) 830638, annhillquilter@btinternet.com; Ann Williamson (01595) 745257, awilliamson@alzscot.org; Jim Peterson (01595) 870254; Laura Whittall 07760177049, LWhittall@alzscot.org.


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