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Mary Irvine’s blog: Leven Lits Go International

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Leven Litts Go International – with a little help from our (Greek) friends!

‘We’ve under spent! We’ll have to give it back.’

This was the response when the Leven Litts totted up their Lottery Finances as they believed their year-long project was coming to a close. Because of the generosity of a large number of people in the area we had not spent the projected amount initially calculated.

What to do? Only one thing to do. Contact our lottery liaison officer for advice. Previous consultation with this gentleman had always been quite cordial, even becoming friendly. That’s as close as such a relationship can be via email, of course. The advice was heart-warming. Could we think of other ways to spend the money within the project remit? We certainly could. Eventually we decided that, as we had already produced material for reading and images for visual stimulation, a CD and a DVD for visual and aural stimulation, we could now tackle two more of the senses, feel and smell. The suggestions and costing were accepted and a two month extension given to complete the project.

 The sense of touch we decided could be addressed with ‘feelie’ bags of varying sizes, textures and fasteners. A familiar object would be placed inside each one. The group had to go no further than ‘Kitchen Craft’ of Alexandria to fulfil 95% of these objects. Again we were looking for a variety of shapes and textures as well as being something that could evoke memories.

Nearly all of the bags were made by hand and were donated for free. Thanks to Rona at the Artizan Hub, Dumbarton, for providing bags with zips.

 And the Greek connection? Mary recently spent four weeks in Greece (researching and writing she hastens to add). Whilst there she mentioned the project and was presented with 18 bags made and donated by Voula and Esther. δυο σας ευχαριστώ πολύ. (Thank you both very much.) We have already distributed over 100 feelie bags to local care homes and will continue this on a rolling basis.

We were lucky in finding a company that sells pre-packed smells so that will be the next phase of our project.

 If you know a care home not in receipt of any of this material you can contact us by email on alexwriters1@gmail .com or leave a contact details at the Alexandria Library, Gilmour Street.

Mary Irvine's blog: Remembering Margaret Harrison
Mary Irvine blogging from Greece: Costas’ Rules/Costas Rules!
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Publisher of Pat’s Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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