In the past week two event took place relating to Meeting Centres in Scotland, and our Research Assistant Jen Bray was able to attend both. Here’s what she did.
On Friday 2nd September, the Dunblane Meeting Centre had an open afternoon to promote the expansion of their existing Memory Café, and their next step in becoming a full Meeting Centre. The event was primarily aimed as local health and social care professionals, organisations and individuals to promote the Meeting Centre and make people aware of what was available on their doorstep. There was a great turnout with a real mix of people, including some potential new members and carers who were able to meet the staff and volunteers, and get a feel for what a Meeting Centre is.
It was a great event with a really positive buzz, and I spent so much time talking to a variety of people that I forgot to take any photos! There was a lot of networking taking place, and plenty of cake to go round. As well as sharing my knowledge of Meeting Centres, I learnt a lot from everyone else and made some great connections. An added bonus was getting some ideas of things to do and places to explore in Edinburgh over the weekend! Thank you to the Meeting Centre staff and volunteers for making me feel so welcome, and it was lovely to meet them in person after only seeing them on Zoom sessions for the past 18 months. Well worth the trip!
On Monday 5th September it was the Alzheimer Scotland conference and another chance to meet ‘Zoom people’ in real life. The theme for the conference was ‘Prevent. Care. Cure.’ with sessions focusing on each of these three themes throughout the day. Two symposiums with parallel sessions also took place, and during the second one I was lucky enough to present as part of a session on Meeting Centres. After providing a bit of background about Meeting Centres and the ‘Adjusting to Change’ model, I handed over to Graham Galloway from Kirrie Connections Meeting Centre who showed the impact that their Meeting Centre is having. The session was concluded by Ron Coleman and Karen Taylor from Deepness Dementia radio & media who shared their plans for Meeting Centres on the Western Isles of Scotland.
It was a great session with a lovely audience, making it a nice, gentle re-introduction to in-person conferences in quite a while. A full conference programme meant we didn’t have a huge amount of time to just chat, but I definitely came away with a lot of interesting information to get my head around.
And so my trip to Scotland has come to an end. It’s been a fab few days with lots of lovely people, and it was great to get the chance to do this.