Category: Uncategorised

OLT Staff Training – First Aid at Work

Following yesterday’s great training day for our staff to update their First Aid at Work, we want to say a huge thank you to Elaine from Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum and Marirose from Northwest Volunteer Centre for their delivery and support

New Café Space revealed at OLT

Thanks to funding from a variety of sources the Old Library trust has been able to rethink its original Café space.

Thank you to the Belfast charity society for introducing the organisation to some new funders who understood what the organisation was trying to achieve with its new vision of the café area for local people. Tom Howard fund & Hunter Smyth alongside the National Lottery Community Fund and Derry City & Strabane District Council has meant that both capital and revenue money could be invested to help create a space that is open, welcoming, friendly, warm and offers food and refreshments during these challenging times.

Project Director George McGowan thanked everyone involved. He said,

“Thank you to all those mentioned above for supporting this new upgrade and venture that will offer local residents a safe friendly space to connect with other residents, organisations, programmes and services whilst availing of food and refreshments throughout the course of the day. We do have further plans for development in the new year and hope that other funders and partners will come with us on this new and exciting journey for the local community.”

Recognition to Paula Reynolds from the Belfast charitable society for her energy and effort in this process.

Original Cafe
Original Cafe
Original cafe
Rip out
Rip Out
Extended Floor area construction
Extended floor area construction
New counter and seating
New extended area, breakfast bar and soft seating
New area different angle
New Wall art
New extended area and soft seating

Good Food Roadshow with OLT & St. Marys Youth Club

OLT along with partners at St. Mary’s Youth club host community nutrition event.

GOOD FOOD ROADSHOW. . . . .Julie White, Old Library Trust (right), pictured with her team at the OLT’s Healthy Living Centre’s Good Food Roadshow held at St. Mary’s Youth Club, Creggan on Wednesday night last. From left are Kathleen McNaught, Wendy McLaughlin and Conor Bradley. (Photos: Jim McCafferty Photography)

The event, part of the OLT’s ‘Community Food Initiative’ programme, which saw the delivery of a one-off community event that highlighted the importance of eating and living well to families and children under 12

Held on Wednesday 30th November, the Old Library Trust, recruited the support of local cook, Laurent Pirone to deliver in person the cooking demo, alongside local kickboxing coach Daniel Quigley (Strike) to provide an evening of nutrition awareness, cooking and physical activity.

The event is one aspect of the OLT’s CFI programme and events which aims to improve the availability and access to safe & healthy food options, highlighting local organisations that are offering specialised programmes to local community. Supporting community awareness/knowledge around healthy eating in providing families with access to hot meals, and opportunities to learn more about how to cook meals at home and on a budget.

Delighted with how the project went Julie White, Healthy Lifestyle Co-Ordinator at the OLT said: ‘We have been delighted to work in partnership with our local youth club, in bringing together local chef and sports coach to provide families with an evening of food and learning that we hope can be transferred into the home life. We understand that people are facing difficulty with the current cost of living, and we hope that providing these events can equip parents and families to make better food choices that are affordable and promote good health.’

OLT Celebrate International Men’s Day

A busy health checks room during Saturday’s Old Library Trust’s Men’s Health Day.

International Men’s Day – On Saturday 19th November the Old Library Trust (OLT) held a one-off event to celebrate International Men’s Day, the OLT dedicated a day of complimentary therapies, health checks and awareness raising to provide men the opportunity to access treatment and support for their health and wellbeing. This event gave men access to detailed health screening, in blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose, providing a clear indicator of their current health and staff offered help with the next steps to improve their health.

The OLT aim is to support our community, particularly men, who are at higher risk of poor mental health, suicide and who ordinarily wouldn’t avail of support services; by planning a large-scale wellness day on International Men’s Day and highlight their key theme of this year is “Helping Men and Boys”.

Local man Seamus Breslin said: ‘It’s great to see these health days in our community. Far too often, we men fail to get checked out and more should be availing of these opportunities within the Creggan community.’ ‘Regardless of age, all males should be taking part in health checks. Get your cholesterol, blood press and sugar levels checked regularly. Well done to the Old Library Trust for bringing programmes like this to the Creggan.’

Local Creggan man Seamus Breslin gets a cholesterol check with the OLT’s Jonathan Peberdy during Saturday’s Men’s Health Checks at the Old Library Trust, Creggan. The event was part of the Communitities In Transition Programme. (Photos: Jim McCafferty Photography)

Another local man, Michael McGuinness, praised the OLT for their forward-thinking. ‘These things didn’t happen twenty years ago. It’s good to get your health checked out as regularly as possible and these kinds of events should help promote the importance of staying healthy, for all of us, young men as well as those the same age as myself. I even enjoyed the social aspect of today’s programme. I’m meeting people!’

Colum Millar and Denis McLaughlin fill in a survey with the assistance of Aisling Hutton, after taking part in Saturday’s Men’s Health Day at the Old Library Trust, Creggan.

Julie White, Communities in Transition Project Co-Ordinator at The Old Library Trust also highlighted the importance of connecting people to their community and the support available.

Julie commented: ‘Today’s event is part of our aim to raise the spirits of local men and highlight the importance of providing opportunities and access for men to engage and discuss their health and taking those key steps to making a positive change.’

‘A big thanks you also to our funders at the NI Executive Office who continue to support the work of our organisation but more importantly our residents and communities.’ The OLT will be launching new programmes and events in January and wish to encourage anyone who needs support to keep an eye out for our newsletter in 2023

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.