Fife dementia charity sees second album on horizon after successful 2023
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Striving For A New Day (STAND) has provided support for those diagnosed with early on-set dementia since it formed four years ago. The charity now offers eight meeting spots across the Kingdom, including one at Ostlers House in Kirkcaldy.
Last year saw the group embark on some of its most ambitious projects so far, including releasing an album of songs written by group members.
Gerry King, who was one of the original founders, said it has been a busy year: “We started off with a new album of 10 original songs written by people with dementia, and their husbands and wives and families. That was pretty fun. We then showcased that with a sold out show to 300 people at Rothes Hall in Glenrothes in April.”
The group was also invited to Helsinki, where it took part in the European Alzheimer's Conference, and also took part in similar events more locally in Inverness and Orkney. However, Gerry said one of the most important pieces of work they’ve done in the last 12 months is their work with school children.
He explained: “We used to go out and do dementia awareness presentations to local businesses, really anyone that would listen – but what we were finding was that, unfortunately, you get to a certain age group and it's like banging your head against the wall. you have a preconceived idea of what dementia is which is just hard to shift.
“Whereas with primary school children it's like working with a blank sheet of paper. They have no preconceived ideas at all, and what they actually do if you go home, and they teach mums and dads as well.”
The group is now looking to expand as it prepares for 2024, with plans to recruit a permanent development officer to help programme their activities and funding applications – and there might just be another album in the works, thanks to work undertaken by groups in Kinghorn and Dunfermline.
“It's a completely different style of music and it's really quite nice, so it's good to hear that,” Gerry explained.