25 & 26 November 2021 – Brunton Theatre

29 November & 1 December 2021 – Musselburgh Library


Over the 4 sessions, Christine Ryder and colleagies from Outside the Box spoke to around 50-60 people in total.  Only 1 or 2 people had heard of a Meeting Centre.  Everyone they spoke to thought it was a great idea and that it would be great for Musselburgh.

Over the 4 sessions, it was Thursday 25th  in the Brunton  that was the busiest.  Outside the Box expected the Friday to be busy, the cold windy weather, Storm Arwen and the red weather warning for later in the day probably kept people at home.  Of all the people they spoke to in the Brunton just over half were from other parts of East Lothian or from outside the county.  All bar one of the people they spoke to in the library lived in Musselburgh.


What people thought about the idea of a Meeting Centre

People were very positive about the idea of a Meeting Centre for Musselburgh.

“A brilliant idea for carers especially, carers really need that”

“Anything for dementia is a good idea”

“Much needed! Great thing!”

“Brilliant, really needed”

“A brilliant idea, incredibly needed”

“Would have been good for my Mother in law, we were looking for something just like this”


Who would go?

Many of the people we spoke to knew of family members, friends or neighbours who would benefit from a Meeting Centre.  Additional leaflets were taken to pass onto people.

“I have a 91-year-old friend, who this would be ideal for. She loves people and would love getting out more to do things and see more people”

“How soon is it opening, this is what we have been looking for for my Mum”

“I wish my Dad was in East Lothian, he has just been diagnosed and this would be perfect for him and us as a family”

“Too late for us now, as my Mother in law is now in a care home and her dementia is too advanced now”


What would people do there?

We asked people what activities they would like to see happening/think people they know would like to see happening in the Meeting Centre.  Here is what people said:

  • Help to look at the past/history/reminiscence
  • Singing and music very important
  • A place to socialise/talk
  • Crochet/knitting/sewing
  • Companionship
  • A place for carers to relax and be themselves
  • Bingo and games
  • Food/eating together
  • Speakers/shows/live entertainment
  • Sensory activities
  • Gardening/watching the birds/wildlife
  • A place to try new things
  • Sporting memories
  • Crafts

“Not just old fashioned music, my Dad wouldn’t thank you for that, he likes all music including the modern rap music.”

“Singing is so important, I was a music teacher I saw first hand the impact singing has on people it has cognitive improvement and brings people alive. I have seen it bring people bring people back to life.”

“Our local history is so important; it would be great to link in with the museum and the schools around our history. The kids could hear first hand about where they live and its history whilst the person can reminisce.”

What are the important features of a Meeting Centre

We also asked people what they felt were important features for a Meeting Centre:

  • That carers feel welcome
  • That it is a place where people can be themselves, not just about dementia
  • Parking
  • Minibus/transport to get people there
  • Drop in centre so people can pop in for advice or to see a friendly face
  • Homely not institutional
  • Easy to get to
  • Warm, with a warm feeling and warm colours
  • Accessible to public transport and not far from the bus stop
  • Familiarity
  • Continuity of people
  • Visible to the community, not somewhere that people are hidden away in “don’t put baby in the corner” “really important not Colditz”
  • Access at the weekend
  • A place to let off steam and have a moan for carers
  • Welcoming
  • Comfy chairs
  • A place where friendships can be made and nurtured
  • Family involved
  • Links to the community “I miss being part of my community”
  • A place where the community can be involved – volunteer etc

What is already available for people with dementia and carers in Musselburgh?

Here are the activities people told us they either attend now or attended prior to covid during our conversations

  • Walk and coffee group
  • The Hollies
  • Sporting memories
  • Singing group at the community centre

Christine Ryder, Outside the Box








Posted in .