Hello, Happy New Year. My name is Michelle and I lead the Creative Ageing programme at Givin’ it Laldie. In November, I attended the first ever Deepness Dementia Arts Festival in Scotland held in Eden Court.

The festival showcased the creativity of those living with dementia, challenged public perceptions of dementia, and showed how creativity impacts on the wellbeing of the dementia community. The third 100/6000 Gathering created by Ron Coleman also took place at the same time. The conference, devised and led by people living with dementia was inspiring and a great opportunity to listen, observe, and learn from their experiences.

As part of the festivals programme, there was opportunity to watch some BOLD film commissions, take part in workshops including clowning led by Magdalena Schamberger, jazz singing led by Sophie Bancroft and Tom Lyne and an art workshop led by Willy Gilder. I attended a workshop facilitated by Ronald Amaze called A Box of Smiles and it was so creative, imaginative, and beautifully led, and an experience I will treasure.

There were many events including art exhibitions, performances including Ron Coleman’s ‘Caught in this moment of time’ followed by discussions and a wonderful concert showcasing STAND and songs from their new album.

Back in the Gorbals, we had some lovely winter themed shows in the Sheltered Housing. There was lots of singing, laughs, dancing, and a bit of Christmas cake on the go. There are many new residents in the dementia units over the last couple of months. I’ve been enjoying getting to know everyone and look forward to working together in 2024.

Pictured: Beautiful Art Exhibition by Dolphin Arts Project, Ullapool exhibited in Eden Court at the Dementia Arts Festival.