Storytelling at Edinburgh care homes

Yesterday, residents at two Edinburgh care homes, Tower Care Home and Porthaven House, were treated to storytelling sessions from Jack Martin.

The Edinburgh-born actor and stand-up comic, who has starred in TV shows such as Still Game and Taggart, told a selection of intriguing stories to elderly residents based on his own personal experiences.

Jack told us he was looking forward to the sessions “You never know what might happen; there are so many various bits and pieces, all the result of a life long interest in talking and listening to folks.

“Most of my stories come from personal experiences, I was a stand-up comic for many years working the clubs around Scotland – so I have a lot of tales to tell.

“I enjoy making people laugh and my ambition is to get more people laughing and reading – storytelling is often a great escape from life and brightens up everyone’s day.”

From comedy to scary and fairy stories, the storytelling sessions entertain but also help build the pensioners’ confidence and improve memory.

Councillor Norman Work, vice-convener of Health and Social Care at the City of Edinburgh Council, said:

“Storytelling is a great activity for older people as it triggers memories, rekindles imaginations and combats loneliness. It is fantastic that we have Jack Martin on board as he is a real character with lots of interesting and fantastic stories to tell.”

Caroline Budge from the Scottish Storytelling Centre, added:

“The Scottish Storytelling Centre is delighted to be involved in this collaboration with Edinburgh City Libraries. Jack is a key member of the Centre’s ‘Life Stories’ group, providing storytelling and reminiscence to older people, their staff and carers across Edinburgh.

“The City of Edinburgh Council’s support has been vital in enabling us to provide this invaluable service. Storytelling not only recognises and reaffirms older people’s life experiences, but creates a sense of community that helps to combat isolation and improve self esteem amongst older people. We hope this is the start of a long and fruitful partnership with the City Libraries team”

Edinburgh City Libraries provide a regular monthly library delivery service to more than 60 care homes in the city. We deliver books in large print and audio formats, as well as equipment such as CD, MP3 players and reading magnifiers. We bring the library to everyone who finds it difficult to use their local library because of age or disability. Our extensive reminiscence materials collection is especially popular with care home activities co-ordinators, as is our free book request service. If you need to know more about this aspect of our work, please contact Access Services.

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