Arora dementia team at An Lanntair gets £103k boost

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The Arora Dementia Friendly Community Team at An Lanntair in Stornoway has been successful in its bid for a National Lottery award for £103,536 from the Big Lottery Fund to continue and develop its award-winning Dementia Friendly Community work for a further two years.

The project will have a new name ‘Cianalas’ (meaning ‘belonging’ in Gaelic) and will move towards academic research to work with universities and communities, while retaining the core support events of the current Arora project.

This Big Lottery fund has been match funded by £51,470 from Life Changes Trust, which has been the project’s core funder for the past three years. The Life Changes Trust was set up in April 2013 with a 10-year £50million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund.

Since April 2015, the Arora project team has been building on An Lanntair’s existing education and outreach work by supporting people living with dementia and those in their circle of care with cultural, arts and heritage work.

The project has been led by the people in the community, shaping the project work according to their interests and strengths, which has led to intergenerational working with nurseries and primary schools, care centres, day centres, hospitals and community groups.

The project will also be hosting a symposium at An Lanntair on April 23 and 24. The Cuimhne (Memory) Symposium is an exhibition, academic symposium and workshop series to celebrate the past three years work, while looking ahead to the next two years.

Paula Brown, Arora project co-ordinator, said:  ‘The team is thrilled with the opportunity to continue and develop our work with our community through culture, arts and heritage projects and to inform the development of our work with academic partners.

‘We are particularly moved to be continuing our work with Life Changes Trust as we have enjoyed the benefits of networking with and learning from other awardees and the support of the inspirational team.

‘We are equally excited to be working with Big Lottery as a new funder and look forward to developing our working relationship with the new team.

‘Both of these awards are worth more than the essential funds and represent valuable acknowledgement of the value of our work together as a community.’