New paintings at Fife care home helping residents remember

From left, art club president Elma MacIntyre, Ms Scott, and residents Billy Stewart and Alex Murrie.
From left, art club president Elma MacIntyre, Ms Scott, and residents Billy Stewart and Alex Murrie.

New paintings hung on the wall of an East Wemyss care home are helping residents recall fond memories.

Members of Kirkcaldy Art Club have created paintings featuring local landmarks and history, triggering positive reactions from the residents at Abbotsford Care Home and leading them to remember stories from their past.

Mandy Scott, senior carer, contacted the art club earlier this year with the idea.

She showed various images to the care home residents to see what ones they liked, and then sent them off to the artists to create their own interpretations.

One features a mix of mining scenes and phrases, another looks out of a window towards the lighthouse at Elie, while the largest one includes various local landmarks such as Ravenscraig Castle.

The art project is just one started by the care home with the aim of starting conversations with the residents. A shed filled with tools and a small garden have also been created, while the care home also plays classic songs for the residents to sing-a-long to.

Staff are now creating a memory wall which will feature old pictures from the area and periods such as World War II, which might trigger memories and conversations.

“Sensory items open up a whole conversation,” explained Ms Scott.

“Some of the pictures are of local landmarks. Most of the residents are from this area. We’ve got a mining picture. One gentleman can tell me what all the pits were called. It brought back a lot of good memories for him. We’ve also got one with local landmarks.

“It brings back memories from their childhood and from when they were growing up or bringing up their families in this area.”

Kirkcaldy Art Club had been involved with a similar scheme at a Dysart Care Home and its committee members jumped at the chance to take part.

One of the artists, Duncan Gilfillan, created the mining collage. He said: “They wanted a piece showing mining memories. I’ve still got a tremendous affinity for the mining and the miners. If there’s a piece of paper, I’ll always end up drawing a man with a mining hat on.”

As a thank you, the care home donated £100 to the art club.