Celebrating real life stories

John McCaughie introduces us to The Living Memory Association; a reminiscence project based in Leith, but covering the whole of Edinburgh.

Bessie, who is 98, has attended some of our social events. Her daughter Pearl describes how much these outings mean to her mum: ‘Mum had a lovely time at the Burns Supper. The Living Memory Association has given her a new lease of life.’

Bessie and Pearl

Bessie and her daughter Pearl. Bessie is holding a photo of her, her husband Harry and daughter Pearl.

As part of a 2nd World War project with local primary schools we invited George, a ninety-one year old, to meet a class of P.7s and tell them about his experiences in the Merchant Navy during the war. The children listened to George’s first hand account of what it was like to sail on the convoys bringing supplies from America to Britain and where torpedoes from German submarines were a constant threat.

Win was born in 1916 in London. She worked in an aeroplane factory during the 2nd World War and campaigned for better pay and conditions for women workers. We made Win a Life Story Book and she was delighted with the results. ‘This is really special to me to have my stories and photos collected in this book. It’s wonderful, truly wonderful.’

Edinburgh Dynamos – a women's football team from the 1950s

Edinburgh Dynamos – a women’s football team from the 1950s

These are just some of the activities we offer to older people living, sometimes isolated lives, in the community. Through reminiscence work we bring people together to share their memories, make new friends and learn form one another.

The charity also offers training in reminiscence skills for anyone interested in working with older people. Our next training day is on 13th September 2013. Please contact John for further details on 0131 553 4580 or john@livingmemory.org.uk.