The LEADER legacy - Kirrie Connections
On February 27 a special Scottish parliamentary reception is taking place to celebrate the achievements of the LEADER Programme.
'LEADER, Past, Present and Future' will bring together MSPs with LEADER programme staff and funding beneficiaries, with Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment Mairi Gougeon MSP set to make a keynote speech.
To mark this occasion, the SRN will be bringing you inspiring stories of LEADER funded projects throughout the week. You can join in on social media using the hashtag #LEADERlegacy.
Today we're sharing the Kirrie Connections story, a dementia friendly hub promoting social inclusion in Kirriemuir, Angus.
Project name: Kirrie Connections
Project Manager: Graham Galloway
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
SRDP funding: Angus LEADER: £8,634
Location: Kirriemuir, Angus
What are the aims of your project?
Kirrie Connections is a dementia friendly community hub that offers help, support and advice to local people living with dementia, their families and carers. Over the past three years the project has worked directly with 53 people living with dementia and 33 carers.
How did your project achieve these aims?
Having a centrally located building offers opportunities for the community to undertake a variety of activities. The organisation works closely with other partners, including Alzheimer Scotland and the Angus Carer's Centre. Volunteers are vital to the running of the centre and the ethos of the place. We have also run a variety of projects with local artists, poets and musicians. The hub is open 6 days a week and offers sessions based around the needs and wants of our members. These range from arts & crafts through to sporting memories groups
The day to day activity is based on responding to people’s needs, and is based around three priorities;
1. Providing a safe attractive place to undertake activities that makes lives better for those people living with dementia and their carers.
2. Undertaking activities that will reduce stigma and increase understanding of dementia from the wider community.
3. Additional community activity in the centre that delivers their work within an ethos of a dementia friendly community
The organisation works closely with other partners, including Alzheimer Scotland and the Angus Carer's Centre. Volunteers are vital to the running of the centre and the ethos of the place. We have also run a variety of projects with local artists, poets and musicians.
How was the project funded?
LEADER funding at the end of 2017 enabled us to carry out an independent research report into the project so far. The results of this research were then used as the basis for a fresh round of grant applications. These were all successful, and we managed to secure a further £250,000 funding to support the project for another three years.
How has your project benefitted your local area?
Working from our hub, which sits right in the centre of the town, we offer a wide variety of inclusive and intergenerational events and activities. This ensures that the whole community is involved in what we do and makes sure that people with dementia aren’t marginalised and are a vital and active part of their town. This in turn increases socialisation, builds self-worth and improves quality of life.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
The hub is about to become the first Scottish pilot project for a new Dutch model of dementia care, and the work carried out by the project has recently been recognised by two awards. The garden project won a Keep Scotland Beautiful “It’s Your Neighbourhood” award and Kirrie Connections won the “Building Rural Communities” award at the Scottish Rural Parliament’s Rural Innovators Award.
Graham Galloway, Project Manager:
“By working to ensure the whole of Kirriemuir becomes dementia-friendly, we’re ensuring those in the community living with the condition have the best quality of life.
“If you get it right for dementia, you get it right for everyone.”