On the evening of Wednesday 29th September during Self-Management Week, some members of Long Term Conditions Hebrides, who had been shortlisted for Self-Management in the Community Award, went online to join the second digital award ceremony hosted by Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland.
They patiently awaited the opening of the golden envelope by sparkling Laura Boyd of STV News and to their delight were revealed to be the winners!
The group were thrilled to be recognised for their work and support given to those living with long term conditions in the Western Isles. It was inspiring to listen to the various self-management stories from individuals and groups across the country, about the importance of providing people with the tools they need to help themselves and each other.
Since the pandemic began, members had (until recently) been meeting via Zoom four times a week to take part in meditation and light yoga. Led by Dr Gail Cunningham and Mairi Thomson, the focus is on learning about potentially life-changing self-management skills to cope better with an array of challenges, both physical and mental.
These sessions would not have been possible without the support of funders, CalMac Community Fund, The National Lottery, Foundation Scotland and current sole funder, Alliance. The sessions have been a lifeline to members when connection with others was limited during lockdown – with positive messages posted daily on the WhatsApp group also helping to enable a sense of connection and togetherness.
Since June 1, 2021, Alliance Self-management Fund have been providing all the financial support and will be continuing to do so until June 2023. As a result of this, on August 28 in the grounds of the Cabarfeidh Hotel, the group held their first outdoor meditation & mindful movement event, with nature around them to enhance their practise. And on October 1 as part of Self-management Week, they held their first Friday meeting which took place as a taster session, providing a relaxing mix of meditation and light yoga. All agreed it was a peaceful and calming way to end the week and to approach the weekend ahead.
It is a great success for Long Term Conditions Hebrides to now offer a session five days of the week and the group is keen to welcome new members.
Later in the year, BBC Alba will be screening a short piece on Long Term Conditions Hebrides, which will also be aired on Reidio nan Gàidheal for anyone who feels they might benefit from what the organisation has to offer.