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Hello and welcome to Lifeline.
-There you go, Graham. Thank you.
Today I'm helping to build a shelter with a charity
which symbolises the need for homes for the homeless,
and we'll be hearing how laughter is the best medicine from one volunteer.
It really is, especially in times when people have no money.
And, of course, we'll be looking at our community notice board too,
but first to our main appeal today,
the Reminiscence Network charity, a charity which tries to help
tackle the isolation and loneliness felt by many of the elderly.
The Reminiscence Network believes that each person has a unique story
that is worth recalling, sharing and recording.
Individuals, families and communities can learn
from the past to help them understand the present.
It can help them feel more confident about coping with the future.
The network values people through cherishing their memories.
I have to tell you a story. My mother baked soda bread,
and it was based on a griddle, and at that time...
As people grow older, there should still be the opportunity
and encouragement to develop and explore new skills.
It can be a very empowering experience.
I'm going to do it a bit lighter, Tommy.
We'll just do a wee bit of a light reflection on that now.
Tommy, who suffers from Alzheimer's, joined one of the network's
creative reminiscence groups and rediscovered his love of art.
I'd forgotten all about it. I had no memory of it at all.
And then that sort of clicked into my head.
It makes you use your mind,
and you have to concentrate
and think about what you are doing.
Things like that there, at least we do achieve things at the end of it.
That gives us hope.
Reminiscence groups meet regularly across Northern Ireland.
This project is supported by the Northern Health and Social Care Trust
and the Big Lottery Fund.
The project also works with individuals on life story work.
# They tried to tell us we are too young
# Too young to really be in love... #
-We learned so many things, Mammy, that we didn't know about.
Tales about her grandparents,
about great aunts that went to America,
about her life as a child in Ballymena, about her life as...
She has a lovely voice, Mammy, and she did lovely operas,
and good memories, bad memories, laughter, sadness,
but the stimulation was just wonderful.
This is my grandmother and this is her daughter.
Photographs always tell a story, every photograph to me does, anyway.
It's important to me for my grandchildren that
they'll have memories of me when I was young.
You can talk about a specific memory...
'The Reminiscence Network provides a range of training programmes,
'such as reminiscence work in dementia care, life story work,
'and guided autobiography.
'Familiar items from the past are used to help deliver the training.
'Reminiscence Network, through their training, will enable you to build trust'
with the individuals who are coming along.
That's a lovely process in itself,
and being part of allowing people to open up and share their story,
and capture that.
We shouldn't overlook elderly people.
We should value and treasure them.
We'd love to hear from anyone who would like to do training
in reminiscence work,
or indeed to set up a reminiscence group in their local community.
That can be quite an expensive process,
so it would be very helpful,
any financial donation, no matter how small.
For example, to make a life story book takes a lot of time and effort,
and yet it can be a vital link to an older person
recapturing their memories and really valuing their life experiences.
That's what I just love,
when we're all together and everybody is telling their wee bit
about something, and it makes the past all come together, doesn't it?
Reminiscence Networks helps thousands of people in Northern Ireland
reconnect with their memories, enhancing lives and well-being.
Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
# I'll tell my ma when I go home the boys won't leave the girls alone
# They pulled my hair and stole my comb
# But that's all right till I go home... #
To make a donation to the Reminiscence Network,
visit our website...
Click on the "donate" button.
Or send a postal order or cheque
made out to the Reminiscence Network to...
And you can learn more about volunteering for the charity
on their website.
The idea of banking the time you've spent volunteering
so the hours can be traded for your own benefit
is really catching on across Northern Ireland.
This is a laughter yoga class at the Lighthouse Centre in Belfast.
It can improve your mind and body and for instructor Cathy,
her timebank participation improves her life too.
You can come here and you can get things like,
you can get decorating done,
you can get your lawn cut,
you can get your dog walked, even, in return for things.
You can offer anything and get anything in return. It's brilliant.
There's more information
on timebanking for volunteers
on our website.
And now a quick look at our community notice board.
St Vincent de Paul are looking for top-quality clothes,
hats and accessories for their charity fashion show in June.
You can contact them on...
Northern Ireland's largest disability exhibition
is being held at the end of May, and Motability will also host
their big event show on the same dates. Visit...
Or get your hiking boots on next month
to help Northern Ireland Hospice.
There are two fundraising trek routes in the Mournes.
To register, just call...
Well, have a look at this.
The Shack Attack is really taking shape now
in a rather chilly Wallace Park in Lisburn.
I'm joined by Diane from Habitat NI.
Diane, you're keen for people to come along next month,
get their hands dirty, build some shacks
-and, of course, raise some money.
-We are, Jo,
we're delighted to bring Shack Attack
to Northern Ireland for the first time ever,
and we really encourage people to build their own shack,
gather scrap materials, create their own design and raise money for such a good cause,
and helping people who are living in poverty housing around the world
to move out of their shacks and into a proper home.
And anyone can get involved - companies, individuals,
people just looking for some fun and a bit of a challenge.
Yeah, something a bit different to get involved with, but also
to stay in their shack overnight, just to give them a flavour of what
it's really like to live in poverty housing around the world.
How do people actually go about
getting involved in volunteering?
They can phone us at our office,
they can get involved by looking on our website,
and they'll find all of the details on there about how to get involved.
Listen, from a very chilly Wallace Park,
I hope the sun shines on the day.
All the very best of luck, and of course,
all the details from today's programme are on our website.
In the meantime, I'm heading in there to try it out for size.
See you next time!
The Reminiscence Network charity makes an appeal for support to help nurture people's memories. We hear about Timebanking where volunteers trade their time to earn services themselves. And Lisburn's Wallace Park prepares to host 'Shack Attack'.
To find out more about the work of Reminiscence Network NI or to make a donation then visit bbc.co.uk/niappeals or send a postal order or cheque made payable to Reminiscence Network NI to:
The Appeals Office Broadcasting House BBC Northern Ireland Belfast BT2 8HQ
Their charity number is: XR33961.