Tuesday 12th September 2017 - Isles FM then Home

What a great final activity of the Tour! I dropped into Isles FM in Stornoway where I met presenters Donnie and Janet and spoke on their show about the work of Playlist for Life. Donnie played some tunes from my playlist including some new ones which I've picked up since my tour. Thanks Donnie and Janet!

Monday 11th September 2017 - An Lanntair

Today I had a community engagement event at An Lanntair in Stornoway. Here I met Maggie Smith from the Arora project which focuses on the development of a dementia friendly community on the Islands.

Maggie and I Playlist for Life and in particular the cultural relevance of music to the islanders. 

Saturday 9th September 2017 - Day Off but......

Day off but never shy away from an opportunity! When I was visiting the Arnol Black House. I put our poster for the community engagement event at An Lanntair on Monday afternoon at 2pm onto their Community Noticeboard.

Friday 8th September 2017 - A day in Stornoway

First meeting of the day was with MSP Alasdair Allan. Great meeting with Mr Allan commending what we are doing and for the Tour. He will write a letter to the Government saying just that. 

The Music Detective meets Alasdair Allan MSP in Stornoway

Before I left Alasdair told me about a #songfrommyplaylist

Then it's on to Dun Berisay and Dun Eisdean Care Homes in Stornoway for another two positive meetings with their managers.

In between these two meetings I spotted Alzheimer Scotlands Solus Day Centre so of course I popped in to meet with staff, volunteers and service users and ask them about #songfrommyplaylist.

Alzheimer Scotland's Solus Daycare Centre, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis

Maureen MacLeod Daycare services co-ordinator told me about a #songfrommyplaylist

Maureen then introduced me to Mary Ann who was about to have her lunch but wanted to tell me about a song from her playlist. (I thought Glaswegians spoke fast!!)

Final meeting of this day was at Western Isles Hospital, Stornoway. Here I attended the Dementia Champions meeting led by Dementia Nurse Consultant Elizabeth Shelby

Elizabeth Shelby and Dementia Champions meet the Music Detective.

Thursday 7th September 2017 - Harris

Ferry crossing from Berneray to Leverburgh, Harris. Almost immediately I'm meeting with Leverburgh Care Home Manager, Isabel Campbell.

Then across the road to South harris Medical Practice for a leaflet drop at the surgery.

The the drive north to Tarbert to visit Harris House Care Home and a lovely meeting with the home manager and staff.

Staff at Harris House, Tarbert, Harris

Shona Davidson (Senior Carer) tells me about a #songfrommyplaylist

Final meeting of the day was with the dynamic Peggy McKay who leads Western Isles Community Forum.

The Music Detective meets Peggy McKay of Western Isles Community Care Forum.

Wednesday 6th September 2017 - Up and Down and Back Again!

A day of toing and froing across the causeways between North Uist, Benbecula and South Uist.

First stop was a really positive meeting with Libby Learmond of Tagsa Uibhist in Balivanich, Isle of Benbecula.

Libby Learmond of Tagsa Uibhist meets The Music Detective

Libby what's your #songfrommyplaylist ?

On to South Uist to Sacred Heart House (Taigh a'Chridhe Uile Naomh), Daliburgh, where I met with the manager Christine MacInnes before having a great chat with Alison MacDonald, Senior Health Promotion Officer, NHS Western Isles.

Alison says a bit about how she is keen to get Playlist for Life across the Western Isles. Sorry Alison for the song pressure.. maybe you can email it to me when you've had more time to think ;-)

YouTube Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oS-YgOmymI

Then off to meet Senior Charge Nurse, Marion Henderson and Staff Nurse Michelle Cameron, who are Dementia Champions and other Health Promotion Officers at Ospadal Uibhist agus Bharraigh (Uist and Barra Hospital) on Benbecula

Dementia Champions and other Health Promotion Officers at Ospadal Uibhist agus Bharraigh

Penultimate visit for the day was a return to North to Trianaid Care Home, Carinish, North Uist, where I met manager Rachel Anderson and staff.

Then its on the Taigh Chearsabhagh Arts Centre, Lochmaddy, Isle of North Uist for an evening community awareness session. Thanks to all who attended especially Kate McDonald (Arora Project) and to Lynn Ferguson who left this lovely message on Facebook "Thank you Andy for an inspiring evening at Taigh Chearsabhagh Lochmaddy tonight. Loved every minute and love your work."

Tuesday 5th September 2017 - Clach Mhile Surgery

Great meeting over a cuppa with GP Scott McMinn, Practice Nurse Mairi Campbell and Medical Student Tara Walmsley at Clach Mhile Surgery, Castlebay, Isle of Barra

GP Scott McMinn's #songfrommyplaylist

Practice Nurse Mairi Campbell's #songfrommyplaylist

Final Year Medical Student Tara Walmsley's #songfrommyplaylist

Sadly that's my time in Barra over so it's off to get the ferry to Eriskay and onto The Uists and Benbecula.

On the ferry to Eriskay I met with Thomas Fisher who had emailed me asking to meet to discuss what we do and see if it might help his father who lives with dementia.

Thomas agreed to do a bit to camera. Watch it here.

Monday 4th September 2017 - "Everyone on Barra Knows Each Other"

I spent this morning and lunch with the folk at Cobhair Bharraigh hosted by Margaret Ann Beggs, her staff and the ladies and gents who attended today. What a lovely feel to this place. Bright and very welcoming. Margaret Ann was great! She told me lots of very useful and thought provoking information. The population of Barra is quite static. Unlike some of the other islands the youngsters haven't left to go to the mainland when they grew up. There is a great sense of community on the island and "Everyone on Barra knows each other." This Margaret Ann thinks means that sense of connection for those who develop dementia remains.

Live Playlisting at Cobhair Bharraigh, Isle of Barra

Anyway we had a great morning "Live Playlisting" and singing and reminiscing and story telling. Everyone got to meet 'The Music Detective.' Thank you Cobhair Bharraigh and thanks for lunch!

Meeting the Music Detective at Cobhair Bharraigh, Castlebay, Isle of Barra

Who's the real Music Detective?

Following lunch with the staff and Clients at Cobhair Bharraigh I had a brief stop at St Brendan's Care Home in Castlebay before an evening community information session back at Cobhair Bharraigh.

Community information session

Margaret Ann Beggs from Cobhair Bharraigh tell us about #songfrommyplaylist

Sunday 3rd September 2017 - Isle of Barra

Last night was quite stormy and wet. 45 mph winds certainly made the Motorhome 'Rock and Roll."

It's also been very wet today and the winds! Lord Beaufort would have described it as a gale.

Sunday 10th September - Some of those place I've been and people I've spoken to

Our tour poster in the butchers shop window in Castlebay, Isle of Barra

I went for a bit of a drive around the island to get my bearings and a feel for the place. I started at the community shop, Bùth Bharraigh. Here I met Duncan and Naomi.

Duncan is a local musician who plays for the residents at St Brendan's Home and Hospital. I'm going there tomorrow. Naomi is a volunteer at Bùth Bharraigh and works at Cobhair Bharraigh (a home support and daycare service). I'm spending tomorrow morning with them. We chatted for a while about the power of music and of course I talked about the #PowerOfPlaylists.

Never one to miss an opportunity I stopped for a chat to a couple of guys who were camping on the same campsite as me. We talked about #PowerOfPlaylists

Saturday 2nd September 2017 - The Western Isles Music Detective Tour Really Begins!

After A 95 mile drive to Oban I can safely say I'm getting to know Motorhome etiquette! You wave to other motorhome drivers and you ignore caravaners!

Anyway left Oban (below) and will be in Castlebay by 8pm

Friday 1st September 2017

Hi everyone! Today I took delivery of the Motorhome that will be my base for the duration of the Western Isles Tour.

It's fantastic and has all the facilities I'll need over the next 12 days. I'll be able to visit the Islands of Barra, North and South Uist, Benbecula, Harris and Lewis and be able to visit the many dementia projects on each island.

Thanks to all who have helped with the logistical issues! I look forward to meeting you all!

Last point for today is I managed to get all of the Playlist for Life Team stowaways to leave. They all wanted to come with me but me and Sherlock need our space too!

Thanks Team! (especially for the Shortbread biscuits)

Getting Ready for The Tour and Meeting the Tour Mascot 'Sherlock'

Andy and Sherlock the dog

In July, I put out a call to the Western Isles, via social media, announcing plans for a campervan tour and asking for people who want more information on Playlist for Life to get in touch. I was overwhelmed by the response...the post on Facebook was viewed by 23,000 people! As a result, I’ve had lots of invitations to come and talk and have a packed 8-day schedule. I’ve been invited to social events too and even had kind people booking me in to camp sites. I can’t wait to get there and meet everyone.

I'll be travelling from Barra to Lewis with my sidekick mascot Sherlock. Along the way I'll be stopping off at care homes, home-support groups and volunteer organisations to meet people living with dementia, carers, volunteers, care professionals and the local MSP.

I'll be reporting from the tour here on my blog, so check back to see what we’ve been up to!

September tour schedule:

Sun 3rd – Tues 5th Barra
Wed 6th Benbecula, South Uist & North Uist
Thu 7th Harris & Lewis
Fri 8th – Tues 12th  Lewis (except Sat & Sun)

Want to get in touch? email: [email protected]

Follow me on social media? Twitter: @AndyDetective

Follow Playlist for Life?

Twitter: @PlaylistforLife

Facebook: @PlaylistforLifeUK

Please Share, Comment and Like ;-)