Author: Julie White

Intergenerational Christmas Carol service

Our DEEDs team get together with The Inishowen Choir, Holy Childs PS, St. Johns PS & their DEEDs members to create a wonderful event getting everyone in the mood for Christmas

The event at the Healthy Living centre seen over 50 people come together to sing along to Christmas favourites and get in the festive spirit. Renditions of Little donkey, Silent night and Merry Christmas were heard with some light refreshments and socialising afterwards.

Huge numbers at our Dementia friendly Christmas Dance

145 Local older residents attend a fantastic night at the City Hotel

What a night was had at our Xmas Dementia Friendly Dinner Dance at the City Hotel were we had a beautiful dinner and dessert.  The entertainment was from one of our favourite bands Midnight Sun and they played a wonderful array of songs for everyone and the old Xmas favourites

It was the biggest crowd we had with 145 people out to join in our Dance and it was wonderful to see everyone enjoying themselves, dancing away on the floor & even a bit of line dancing

Big thankyou to the City Hotel for hosting us again and for the beautiful meal and to Philip and Micky Wilson for the entertainment.  Hope you all had a wonderful night and looking forward to seeing you all for our Easter Dance !

Christmas Jumper day in aid of Save the Children

Family First Hub & local community give back to Save the children by hosting a Christmas jumper day at the healthy living centre this week.

We would like to thank all who attended and contributed to this great cause in which we raised an amazing £500 that will be used to support local families in these challenging times

We would like to thank Fionnuala at Tesco for the hamper to raffle and refreshments; Beechwood Stores, Hassan The Barbers and the kind Netballer at OLT HLC who donated to the prizes and local families

A really special word of thanks to the Creggan Preschool & Training Trust for bringing the children over, spreading such joy and sharing some carols with our OLT DEEDS projects memory group

Raffle winners on the day were – Bridge Duffy, Aine Shearing, Teresa Brown and Jim Duffy, Hassan

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)

If you are shopping online, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) can seem like the quickest and easiest way to pay for your purchases. However, lots of people don’t realise they are a form of credit, so you need to think carefully before using BNPL, especially if you are starting to use these products to cope with the increased cost of living.

Credit is an important tool when used and managed well.  It is crucial that people understand what they can afford and have a plan to pay it off. Missing a payment will negatively impact your credit score and could affect your ability to get credit in the future.

Please scan the QR code to read “What is Buy now Pay Later” or use this link

Please can the QR code to red “Struggling to clear Buy Now Pay Later payments or use this link –

Treasured Possessions Phase 2

DEEDS was out with our dementia social group in Park to begin the Portrait Workshop phase of our Treasured Possessions project funded by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland. Artist and photographer Emmett McSheffrey led the group through a series of portraits beginning with paintings from the 1500’s and we explored photography from studio portraits in the 1800’s and ending with the selfie where we have all become photographers of our own lives. We looked at famous photos of Winston Churchill and Marilyn Monroe and found out the stories behind the images.

Emmett then led us through taking portraits using polaroid cameras. The members enjoyed experimenting with these and found they liked the black and white ones best as it reminded them of old photographs from home.

Comments on the workshop afterwards: “This was so interesting.” “I like the man in the painting – he reminded me of Jesus.” “Sometimes photographs can lie!” “This was a different kind of session today – I enjoyed it very much”.

Before we closed the workshop part of the session, Emmett took a group portrait where some of the members were pictured with their treasured possession from home. Of course, we ended with a wee cup of tea where we chatted about the objects the group had brought in. Over the next two weeks all our dementia social groups will participate in this second phase of the project.

Launch of ‘Link to Wellbeing Project’

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) officially launched a new project on Friday last, November 18, 2022. ‘Link to Wellbeing’ is a two  years project funded by NHS Charities Together and aims to support individuals waiting for orthopaedic surgery to maximise their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing in preparation for surgery.

The project is led by the WHSCT Health Improvement, Equality and Involvement Department in partnership with WHSCT Trauma and Orthopaedic service and 10 local Community and Voluntary Sector organisations who will deliver ‘Prehabilitation’ style programmes to individuals on waiting lists for hip or knee replacement surgery.

The Old Library Trust was chosen as one of the pilot areas for the project with the aim to deliver a further 23 8 week community-based programmes. These programmes will be delivered throughout the geography of the WHSCT in community settings and will cover a number of different topics to include; movement and mobility, healthy eating, pain management, peer support, mental health and condition management.

Chief Executive for the Western Health & Social Care Trust, Neil Guckian comments, “It can be challenging for patients maintaining their health as they await surgery. We hope the ‘Link to Wellbeing’ project will be an extension of care for people on our orthopaedic waiting lists. The project will offer individuals the opportunity to maximise their overall health with our partners in their community. By ensuring people are in the best health prior to surgery we can hope for a more positive recovery post surgery and better health in the longer term.”

Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together, said: “We are thrilled that Western Health and Social Trust will be able to provide vital additional support to patients awaiting orthopaedic surgery, thanks to generous donations from the public. We hope that the project will make a tangible difference across the region, helping patients to approach, and as a result recover, from surgery in the best way possible.”

Cathy Glass, Nursing Services Manager Trauma and Orthopaedics comments, “The Trauma & Orthopaedic team in the Trust are delighted to see this project commence. We are very aware of the impact of long waiting times for joint replacement surgery and how this affects patient’s quality of life.

We hope that this project will give support to those waiting joint replacement, help optimise them for their procedure and hence help them benefit more from surgery when it is completed.

Musculo-skeletal conditions don’t only affect bones and muscles, patient’s general health and well-being can also suffer.

We look forward to hearing the impact of the program and wish those taking part and all the many organisations supporting the project every success.”

Sabrina Dunne, Programme coordinator at Old Library Trust Healthy Living Centre comments, “Delighted that we have been able to support individuals pre surgery with the Links to Wellbeing programme providing social, physical and mental wellbeing support.  Whilst people are on waiting lists for surgery it is important that they are keeping themselves well and building strength for their recovery.  Having these services accessible to people in their own communities is so important. We are delighted to have partnered with the WHSCT to deliver this vital programme.”

Programme beneficiary, Tracy Macrory comments; “There is something very comforting about being in group where you can chat about the things you are struggling with and people can relate to what you are saying without thinking you’re moaning. I’m thoroughly enjoying the programme and just sorry there are not more like it”

Teresa Fox, programme beneficiary comments; “The programme was brilliant and I haven’t missed a session from yoga to sleep therapy, every session was worthwhile and I’m so glad I attended.”

For more information on the project, please contact Claire Hamilton, project co-ordinator on 028 7186 5127.

Bill Breslin’s journey at the Old Library Trust

Men’s health group keeping Bill on his toes

Name: Bill Breslin.

Age: 62

Why did you join the OLT programme?

Friends and family had recommended the programme to me as i had broken my hip in 2014 and after rehab needed to rebuild and maintain muscular strength and general fitness.

What do you enjoy about the programme?

I enjoy the social engagement with the men’s group, feeling fitter and healthier, making new friends and reconnecting with old neighbours.

How often do you participate in Physical exercise now?

Twice a week in the gym with this programme and walking three days a week.

Any Benefits since starting?

Many benefits including improvement in my overall wellness both physically and mentally, more energy, muscles rebuilt in my hips and legs and i have made many new friends along the way.

Overall a great programme for men of all ages and ability, getting fitter and stronger while having a laugh.

‘Eating on a budget’

Successful ‘Transform Your Trolley’ Programme at OLT

Some delicious dishes by local cook Patricia Lynch, advice on how to eat well on a budget and some fantastic fun was had by all taking part in the Old Library Trust’s ‘Transform Your Trolley’ programme over the past few weeks at the Creggan centre.

The event, part of the OLT’s ‘Transform your Trolley’ programme, saw the delivery of a nutrition programme over six weeks, supporting the luncheon group to improve their food shopping and eating habits by providing interactive cooking and nutritional sessions.

Held on Wednesday afternoons, the Old Library Trust, recruited the support of local cook, Patricia Lynch to deliver in person the cooking demos, which showcased step-by-step how to create simple, quick, and nutritious meals.

Additional to the wonderful dishes served up, the OLT’s Julie White, led a weekly discussion and some activities on nutrition with each session focussing on key areas such as creating a balanced shopping list, meal planning, how to eat well on a budget, how to cook basic nutritious meals, and making use of leftovers.

Delighted with how the programme went over the weeks and the openness of the participants to try out new recipes, Julie said: ‘It has been great to deliver our programme to our senior residents. They have been so engaging throughout, getting involved in discussions and activities. They have also been so open and willing to try new recipes and even tried their hand at home to recreate some of the recipes developed with Patricia. It was learning through fun and everyone enjoyed it!’

The programme which is funded by Safefood is part of a wider partnership with the Healthy Living Centre Alliance that will see Healthy Living Centres across Northern Ireland deliver a range of programmes, with the aim to support, encourage and promote making small positive changes to how we shop and eat food.

For more information on future programmes, contract or call 028 71373870.

Sabrina Lynch, OLT and Patricia Lynch, Cookery Facilitator pictured with some of the ladies who attended last week’s ‘Transform Your Trolley’ at the Old Library Trust.
Tasting the delicious food served up at the ‘Transform Your Trolley’ event at the OLT are Fidelis Kerr, Margaret Gorman and Ann Doherty. (Photos: Jim McCafferty Photography)

DEEDS begins visits to the Tower Museum

DEEDS began their visits yesterday to the Tower Museum as part of the Treasured Possessions: The People’s Artefacts project funded by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland (Arts and Older People Fund).

Members from Strabane, Mellow DEEDS and Men’s Exercise enjoyed their visit to the Tower Museum yesterday. The session was led by the fabulous Betty Doherty as she took them through artefacts that people had donated to the museum.

For many it was the first time they had visited the museum. As part of the visit several members got the chance to participate in a virtual reality experience of the old docks as a working dock, war ships from 1917 and the port as an emigration point.

“It really brought back a lot of memories seeing objects like the old whisk again.” said Barry

“Memories of my mum in the kitchen,” said Hester.

Hugh noted that it was “fantastic” and “really enjoyable”.

Next week the groups will discuss what precious objects they have in their own homes that they can bring in and use for reminiscence.

‘Fed and Watered’ at OLT Air Fryer Masterclass with Seana

A packed hall on Thursday night for the Old Library Trust’s two-hours Air Fryer Masterclass with the renowned Derry chef and Master Airfryer ‘Seana McAirfryer’ saw some tasty bites served up for all to try.

Thanks to funding from Safefood and their community food initiative Over 40 took up the free offer to come along and see ‘Seana McAirfryer’ at work on the implement she has mastered since Covid lockdown. There was a chance to ask questions, sample some savoury delicacies cooked on the Air fryer and have some fun.

The event showcased how to use an airfryer, how to create simple healthy meals at low cost and the intention was to give parents and families the opportunity to learn quick and easy recipes along with nutritional support from Seana and the event was funded by safefood as part of their Community Food Initiative project.

Served up under the Healthy Living Centre at the OLT, event organiser Julie White said she was delighted with the uptake from both male and females and also the broad age group who attended.

‘It was great to see a packed house for the event. Seana is so relaxed and makes everyone feel comfortable. That makes for a relaxed but fun environment, enjoyed by all those who attended.

‘We even managed to raffle two airfryers to the audience and had two very happy ladies in Eleanor McDermott and Gloria Morrison.’

Feedback after the event was extremely positive to the Old Library Trust and Julie added that it was encouraging to see so many people wanting to learn more how they can get the most from their house appliances and eat well.

One of the participants described the enjoyment on Thursday night, stating: ‘It was an excellent night. I enjoyed every minute, from the food, to the company and listening to Seana, it’s been great!’

Following on from this event, the Old Library Trust will be running a parents nutrition programme launching Friday, 11th November at 12:30pm.

For more information contract at or call 028 71373870.