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Heading down memory lane at Daar Lodge

DGHP has teamed up with Wigtown Book Festival Company and Open Book to provide story-telling sessions to some of its residents.

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Sheltered residents of Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP) have taken a trip down memory lane thanks to a partnership story-telling initiative aimed at health and well-being.

Following the success of the first story-telling session held at Catherinefield Court, Dumfries, a few weeks ago, residents of DGHP’s sheltered housing complex Daar Lodge, in Kirkcudbright, have had had the first of their sessions.

DGHP has teamed up with Wigtown Book Festival Company and Open Book to provide story-telling sessions to some of its residents. The sessions will run through to the end of the year.

The popular storytelling days follow two successful pilot projects at the end of last year. This led to funding being secured to continue the projects which use memories, memorabilia and stories to help residents reminisce and share tales of their past.

The funding, from Wigtown Book Festival Company and Open Book enabled author and storyteller Jean Edmiston to deliver the sessions, which will continue monthly until the end of the year.

Jeanette Barnes, DGHP’s Head of Supporting People, said: “The story-telling certainly helped the residents recall some fantastic memories and gave the opportunity for some mental stimulation which is always good from a health and wellbeing aspect.”

For the session at Daar Lodge, Jean brought along items from the past, including war-time silk parachutes, and she told the story of how, in days gone by, women would make their wedding dresses from the silk. She also brought along her father’s wartime flying wings, to tell stories and stimulate memories. Stories from the past were shared by the members present and included some heartfelt memories of the war years.

Jean also read well known poems so residents could join in. The next sessions will be held in May, and residents have been asked to bring along something that means a lot to them and share their story with others.

Margaret McKeand, Community Participation Manager, said: “It was lovely to hear residents tell their stories around some of the items shown by Jean, in particular the war-time parachutes. Residents went away from the session feeling good about themselves.” 

Pictured: Some of the residents from DGHP’s sheltered housing complexes with author and storyteller Jean Edmiston at the most recent storytelling session.