Last week Ceartas Advocacy held its 7th Annual General Meeting in McGregor House in Kirkintilloch.
There were over 60 delegates in attendance, which included those who use our services, professionals and other organisations.
After the official business of the AGM was completed, delegates heard directly from the people who use our services, what they thought about them.
Eager ears listened to the developments in services in the past year such as the Still Game group whose members have experience of the services of Ceartas. One of the members, Nicola, told us,
‘It’s a life line to use Ceartas, but Still Game makes you part of the service’.
Still Game has taken off since the appointment of their Involvement Worker, Pam Thomson, who has ensured that the group meets regularly and is focused on its aims to give people regular opportunities to have their say about Ceartas, make a vital contribution to decisions and future developments and to have fun.
The AGM was addressed by George who shared his thoughts about De Café which he attends with his wife on the last Friday of each month in Kirkintilloch Baptist Church from 1:30 – 3pm. This is Ceartas’ support group for people with a diagnosis of dementia and their carers. George told us that it a very supportive environment where people can discuss their situations openly, get advice about caring for someone with a diagnosis of dementia and that guest speakers are very informative. Karen Heath is responsible for De Café and she said, ‘this is an important resource where information about dementia and local services are discussed and it provides routes into advocacy where Power of Attorney and Guardianship can be looked at.
Delegates were also treated to a talk-show style interview where Helen spoke about the Acquired Brain Injury group – ABI Café – which Ceartas runs with Headway Glasgow. Helen told us that,
‘ABI Café gives you social contact, reduces isolation, makes people feel important and lets you get vital information for you and your carers’.
She also told us that it is difficult for survivors of acquired brain injury to access services as they do not fall into the traditional physical or mental health categories and ABI Café provides somewhere to share experiences and learn from others in a similar situation. So come on and join us on the first Thursday of each month from 1:30 – 3pm in Kirkintilloch Baptist Church where you will have a friendly welcome, a tea or a coffee with others in a similar situation.
The groups above are some of the ways that we are providing different routes into advocacy.
You can find out more from our annual report which you can download from here: Ceartas Annual Report 2010 – 2011