Dementia project wins national award

A project run by the local Alzheimer Scotland group has won a national accolade in this year’s Scotland’s Dementia Awards.

The project, When I Paint I Remember, which is held at Shetland Museum, scooped the award in the most innovative partnership category.

There were over 90 applications for this year’s event, which the judges narrowed down to shortlists in each of the six categories. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony in Glasgow last night in celebration of World Alzheimer’s Day.

Delighted: Ann Williamson.
Delighted: Ann Williamson.

Alzheimer Scotland local representative Ann Williamson said: “We’re absolutely thrilled, and all credit goes to community activities organiser Laura Whittall who got the project going.”

The project When I Paint I Remember is an art group open to people with dementia, their carers and anyone who wishes to take part.

It is a collaboration between Alzheimer Scotland, NHS Shetland and Shetland Museum, and is led by two volunteer local artists. Mrs Williamson thanked NHS Shetland dementia nurse Alan Murdoch and the museum’s lifelong learning officer Yvonne Reynolds for making it a reality.

Mrs Williamson said: “It’s not just about painting – it’s broader than that – but also about the appreciation of art as we have access to the exhibitions in the adjoining gallery. Working in collaboration with other organisations is second nature in Shetland.”

The activities in When I Paint I Remember sessions strive to make the person with dementia feel included in society, and offer a time of support from their peers.

The monthly sessions were established when it was realised there was a gap in provision for those who wished to paint or appreciate art. Mrs Williamson said: “There is lots of enthusiasm, laughter and fun.”


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