Category: Uncategorised

Volunteer Celebration

We had a wonderful celebration for our Volunteers this week as it #VolunteersWeek2023.

We had the lovely Shauna McMenamin in to do some Gratitude & mindfulness, to let our Volunteers know that they are soo valued and we could not do the work without them.

We had a bite to eat and some cake to take home and the Programme Co-ordination Sabrina Lynch presenting them with their Volunteer Certificate and and wee something to acknowledge their brilliant work


Future Innovators award

OLT receives award from the Future innovators programme led by Co-operation Ireland

Programme Manager at The Old Library Trust Sabrina Lynch pitched an idea to the future innovators panel about the possibility of using the café space at OLT and creating a social enterprise space that ensures that local people can avail of affordable Food and refreshments on a regular basis.

The idea was successful and will be rolled out over the weeks and months ahead.

OLTea – coming soon!

Men’s Health Week

In Support of International Men’s Health week we have organised a couple of days of FREE activities to help encourage you to be more physically active

This Includes

▪Kayak / Canoe / Paddle Board taster sessions, (Tuesday 13th June 10.30am Creggan Country) park


▪ Round of 9 hole Golf at Foyle Golf Club, (Friday 16th June, Afternoon TBC)

Both days aim to increase social interaction, Fun and a bit of light competition with a load of Craic

Anyone that attended last years events will testify how much fun they had. So if you are interested please contact Jonathan 02871373870 or email

‘Younger Days’ by Emic, OLT, Creggan

Féile’s ‘Graffiti On The Walls’ project is back for 2023, and the first artwork has just been completed!

The artwork, ‘Younger Days’ by Emic, has just been completed on the side of the OLT building on Central Drive, Creggan.

The artwork features a young person walking in nature. The figure blends together with the foliage to represent growth with birds taking off into the sky to represent achievement. The dusky colours are intended to be warm and peaceful.

The mural took inspiration from the poem ‘Blackberry Picking’ by Seamus Heaney, which is a nostalgic look back at his lost youth and growing up.

A Communities In Transition project by The Executive Office.

Community day of Action

Protest against austerity and cuts to vital frontline and community services #Dayofaction

Cuts to frontline & community services are having a devastating affect on some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Staff at OLT joined in the ‘Community Day of Action’ in Ebrington square in support of the fight and determination for action #dayofaction

Treasured Possession Exhibition Launch

Treasured Possessions Exhibition Launch at the Millennium Forum on Friday 2nd June

Proud staff and volunteers at the launch

The exhibition is the result of an arts process funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (Arts and Older People Programme) which enabled DEEDS members living with dementia to make a link to the Tower Museum for a dementia friendly session looking at the people’s 10 artefacts, reminiscing and engaging in storytelling about the objects. Betty Doherty from the Tower Museum commented “The Tower Museum was delighted to work with DEEDS to provide object handling workshops for their members in the Museum specifically designed for people living with Dementia.  The Museum is working to becoming Dementia Friendly which can be seen in the work that we do with Nursing and Care homes as well as our exhibitions. This new project has added a new dimension to the work which is helping to make Derry and Strabane a dementia friendly region.”

Member enjoying refreshments at the launch

Lisa Heaney, Access and Inclusion Officer welcomed everyone to the Forum

Our volunteer Colette with Patricia

Our volunteer Liz with Marie who attended the exhibition

Back in their social groups the members explored what possessions they may have at home that they treasure most.    Each of the six DEEDS Social Groups were then photographed with their treasured possessions by the artist photographer Emmett McSheffrey who also led workshops examining how portraiture has changed from its beginnings in paintings, cameos, silhouettes and leading into photography. The members then explored taking portraits within their groups using polaroid cameras. Finally, two members from each of the groups were chosen to represent their group for a large-scale portrait with their Treasured Possession.  The artist photographer Emmett McSheffrey noted: “The exhibition encourages you to look at the individual and group portraits to look beyond their dementia diagnosis and see the person.”

Support worker Wendy with John and Ann

The members then worked with Community Dramatist Patsy Devine to have their stories recorded for the exhibition. These group and individual portraits have formed the exhibition alongside the members’ stories. Patsy Devine added “Like us all, each person has their life story to tell. Our lives include elements like possessions at home that are dear to us. Take the time to listen to the stories that the members have recorded about their own objects– each offering a short glimpse into a moment in time. Or see how this is brought to life in the short film. And think about what you yourself may have at home, that you hold close as your very own Treasured Possession. “

Sinead Devine, Deeds Co-ordinator noted how thrilled staff were that DEEDS was funded by the Arts Council to create the project. “The arts are a great connector for people living with dementia. This funding gave our members access to high quality arts provision which enabled them to express themselves with photography and storytelling. It also linked those with dementia to the Museum Services in the Derry as part of our linking to the community focus.”

Lorraine Calderwood, Arts Programmes Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented, We know that taking part in arts activities can raise self-esteem, boost confidence and motivation, as well as help to relieve stress, loneliness worries and pain.  The Arts and Older People Programme aims to increase opportunities for older people to engage in the arts and more recently, has focused on delivering arts activity within care home settings, working with residents living with dementia and their carers. Thanks to The National Lottery players, Baring Foundation and Public Health Agency, the Arts and Older People Programme is providing meaningful opportunities for our older people to take part in the arts, enriching their lives for the better and the Arts Council is thrilled to support this wonderful, engaging project from The Old Library Trust.”

The exhibition continues until 25th June at the Millennium Forum where it is estimated that over nine thousand people will view it throughout that time.

DEEDS Engage, Empower & Pledge Conference

The Old Library Trust DEEDS (Dementia Engaged & Empowered in Derry & Strabane) Project delivered a unique Dementia Conference asking people to Engage, Empower and Pledge to do more to create a Dementia friendly city and district.

The DEEDS project funded by the National Lottery Community Fund hosted  the conference on Tuesday 16th May in the City Hotel celebrating the first phase of the DEEDS project itself,  as well as launching the new phase of work including the introduction of the new training and education programme. The conference attracted carers and families of those with dementia, professionals working in the field of older adults & dementia as well as local community and statutory organisations. It also attracted local businesses who were looking to learn more about how they can better support people with dementia when using their services.

The Mayor Sandra Duffy opened the conference and welcomed everyone to the event.

Paul Sweeney, Chair NI Committee of the National Lottery Community Fund spoke about how delighted Lottery were to be funding the second phase of the DEEDS project.

Eddie Lynch, Older People’s Commissioner spoke about the importance of community intervention for dementia.

Ciara Burke, Age Friendly Officer, DCSDC talked about the council’s wish for the city and district to become dementia friendly.


Neil Guckian, Chief Executive Officer, WHSCT spoke about the challenges facing the trust with waiting lists and the joint partnership with projects like DEEDS to help find solutions to those challenges. One of the new elements of the DEEDS project is developing a new Pre-Diagnosis programme in partnership with the Trust.

Deirdre Harkin Lecturer in Adult Nursing Ulster University Magee spoke about the partnership with DEEDS who deliver Tier One Training to the first year nurses and paramedics each year.

Jim Roddy Manager City Centre Initiative spoke about the importance of training for businesses and services and cited the recent training of security guard staff by DEEDS which is helping staff in their roles.

Participants took part in a short immersive experience in their break out groups.

Staff Member Wendy interviewed a carer Deborah Keys who has since become a volunteer with DEEDS.

George McGowan OLT Director, closed the conference asking for those present to make a pledge for dementia on the butterflies in their packs.

Deeds partnership: Strabane & District Caring Services , Hillcrest Trust, Learmount Community Development Group (Park), Caw Nelson Drive Action Group and some of our wonderful volunteers.

And Mellow DEEDS our amazing choir closed proceedings in style with their renditions of “That’s Amore” and “Bring Me Sunshine”. A perfect end to a wonderful day!

Treasured Possessions Launch in Strabane

Treasured Possessions Exhibition

Our social groups from Strabane District Caring Services, Caw Nelson Drive Action Group and Learmount Community Development in Park all gathered in The Alley Theatre to celebrate their amazing exhibition. This project was funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and provided a dementia friendly session at Tower Museum with the lovely Betty Doherty and her team. The groups then worked with Emmett McSheffrey Artist/Photographer and Patsy Devine Community Dramatis to create beautiful portraits and to capture stories of the members. The exhibition is on until 26th May when it will then transfer to the Millennium Forum Theatre Conference Centre on 2nd June.

OLT HLC National lottery community fund

Funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland
JJ and Margaret stand proudly with his portrait
Support Worker Kathleen with volunteer Sean discussing the exhibition
Group Portraits and information on the exhibition
More of the artwork on display: Note the QR codes to link into the stories of the members
Some of the Portraits on display
Capturing the exhibition launch: Emmett McSheffrey
Lyn and Seamus go round the artwork

New DEEDS Training Begins with the Tuned In Project

Sabrina and Sinead were joined by the amazing Alison Bristow – a Learning Disability Dementia Nurse WHSCT to present their new training to the lovely people at the Tuned In Project. Tuned In uses the digital and creative arts, media and music to support people with Learning Disabilities to build independence, skills and confidence. DEEDS presented what it is like to have dementia and about communication including an experiential element within the workshop. Alison enhanced this by focusing on learning disability and dementia and presented on why those with learning disabilities are more likely to develop dementia as well as what to look out for specifically and how then to make a referral. The group were wonderful, enthusiastic and well engaged in the process. Feedback was brilliant and the door is open for more engagement for staff on this topic going forward.