Kevan Smith from Glasgow Life explains how their Memories Scotland project improves mental wellbeing.
Memories Scotland is the latest development of a Scotland-wide project connecting heritage resources with reminiscence activity. Glasgow Libraries is one of the many local authority library services which are official partners in the project.
In the wake of a pandemic which has left many individuals within our communities feeling isolated, Memories Scotland aims to bring people together in reminiscence.
The sessions are volunteer led, friendly and informal. We utilise Glasgow Museum handling kits and images from Glasgow Libraries Special Collections to stimulate and encourage engagement and conversation.
The sessions aim to evoke memories, stimulate mental activity and improve well‐being. In sharing experiences or recollections, both participants and facilitators of Memory Groups report a range of positive outcomes. These include anything from connecting with others and feeling less alone to renewed self-esteem and increased confidence. For some participants, attending a Memory Group may just mean enjoying a cup of tea and a catch up. For others, it could be an opportunity to share knowledge of the local area and how it has changed – or to listen and enjoy learning something of that same history. The sessions are dementia-friendly and therefore inclusive and open to all.
We currently host sessions in Pollok Library, Bridgeton Library, Dennistoun Library and Woodside Library. The sessions have led to participants coming together and forming new friendships. Some of the stories shared are hilarious, some are unique others touch on topics that all can identify with however what shines through is that everyone has a story to share, and everyone’s story is interesting and important.
To find out more contact your nearest library or email Kevan Smith
Kevan Smith is a Librarian with Glasgow Life and leads their Memories Scotland Project