Ruth Maguire MSP joins in intergenerational fun with Anam Cara

Ruth Maguire MSP for Cunninghame South recently highlighted the work of Anam Cara (a Dementia Respite Unit) in Kilbirnie, Ayrshire in the Scottish Parliament, as well as linking the organisation with Generations Working Together.

Ruth visited and helped out with the Anam Cara’s intergenerational quiz in Kilbirnie, Ayrshire after discussing the work of the centre in a recent motion.

The motion was proposed by Christine Grahame MSP and highlighted intergenerational projects. Anam Cara means “Soul Friend” in Gaelic. In Celtic tradition, an Anam Cara is a teacher, companion or spiritual guide. The centre opened in 2009 and offers flexible residential breaks for a minimum of 24 hours. The centre runs various intergenerational programmes, one of these being a weekly visit with the local early years’ centre, St Bridget’s. Claire Mills, the manager of the centre told us:

“Since 2014 Anam Cara has recognised the importance of intergenerational work in enhancing the lives of those people living with dementia. Having St. Bridget’s Early Years Centre visit us weekly to join in our meaningful activities which include singing, movement and exchanging knowledge and skills. Our guests who visit us for short respite breaks say this is the highlight of their stay. As quizzes are a favourite of our guests we decided to start holding an annual intergenerational quiz.”

When talking about what the quiz involved, she explained:

“with the help of Lawrence Lindsay from Celebrating Memories who put together an “old and new” format which included cartoons from the past like “Bill and Ben” and modern day such as “Peppa Pig”
meant there was something that everyone could answer. It was very competitive with mixed teams and buzzers. There was also extra points for singing and dancing, following the final question the blue team were victorious although it was very close. “

Ruth Maguire helped with the quiz, presenting the trophy on the day and Claire said the centre was delighted to have her help and were grateful for the link with Generations Working Together. As a result of this link, the care home is now a member of a Generations Working Together local network and is looking to have staff trained in intergenerational practice. This link will also help us support Anam Cara with information and advice as well, as highlighting Anam Cara’s intergenerational projects.

Kate Samuels from Generations Working Together said it was great that Ruth Maguire has continued to be so involved with Anam Cara after the debate. She also encouraged politicians to let the charity know about any intergenerational projects in their area.

For more information about the intergenerational quiz and the work of Anam Cara please contact the centre on 01505 684371

To discuss intergenerational projects in Scotland and their benefits or for press enquiries, please email Kate Samuels on Kate