Where there is darkness, Rotary club brings light

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A philanthropic group is bringing some light to Linlithgow town centre with a tree that can bring a little sunshine to people’s lives.

The Rotary Club of Linlithgow Grange has adopted a tree outside the library in The Vennel and turned it into a “beacon of light and hope” for people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s and their carers.

The fixture is now adorned with LED lights and diamond white bulbs.

Anyone wishing to remember past family members, loved ones or friends can also have a dedication placed on memorial boards in the library windows in exchange for a small donation.

All the money raised will go to three local good causes – St Michael’s Day Centre, Carers of West Lothian and Maple Villa in Craigshill.

Choir leader Norma Costley of the Sunshine Singers, who helped launch the initiative, said: “The Sunshine Singers were formed by Rev. Cheryl McKellar-Young of St Michael’s Parish Church with the explicit aim of improving the quality of life for people living with memory loss and their carers through fellowship and music.

“Research has proven that the singing of favourite songs from the past can stimulate memory and even improve speech in those who are finding it harder to communicate. In addition, there is a feel-good factor when singing with others.”

The Rotary club hopes the Tree of Light campaign will become a permanent fixture in the town centre every Christmas to raise awareness of severe memory loss.