Elderly participants have been knitting mini hats to raise money for their day care centre.
They get 25p for each little hat they send to adorn a smoothie bottle and that’s just one of the fundraising efforts going on at Linlithgow Day Care Centre.
The centre, on Edinburgh Road, has undergone a transformation recently, changing its name from St Michael’s Day Care Centre.
The idea behind the change, was the hope that more people would feel compelled to donate as for many years it was widely considered to be part of St Michael’s Hospital.
Running costs are covered by a grant the centre receives from West Lothian Council every year but expensive training courses for staff often leave the charity struggling to make ends meet, which is why manager Karen Wright has had to throw herself out of a plane and endure the Tough Mudder course to raise valuable funds.
She said: “People just don’t have the money anymore so it’s getting more and more difficult and most people give to children’s charities over an elderly charity.
“There’s been a lot of confusion with the connection to the hospital but hopefully with the name change and the move to the old county building soon, people will realise we’re here.”
The centre is bound by the Care Inspectorate and all staff are being put through an SVQ qualification course which is compulsory. These courses cost between £800 and £1500 each, meaning added expenses for the charity.
“We know all our clients personally and they like having a carry on with us, but it’s all about different approaches,” said Karen.
Many of the clients suffer from dementia, which provides daily challenges for staff. Karen highlighted the need for meaningful activities and therapeutic activities in helping keep their minds and bodies as active as possible.
“To you and me, going to the chippy is nothing, but for them, going out for a fish tea is massive.”
Quizzes, drawing, playing cards and dominos are some of the favourite activities, but recently the group of daily visitors to the centre have been putting their time to good use and helping to raise money for their home from home.
They are designing and making a calendar to sell at Christmas time and keeping their fingers nimble by knitting little hats. Karen said these are both therapeutic, as they keep their minds and bodies active, and meaningful because they feel they are contributing to a cause.
She said something as simple as helping to clear the table after lunch can be meaningful to some of the clients.
“Bingo is great for hand eye co-ordination and so is Play Your Cards Right,” she said.
Chairman of the charity Bert Lawson believes the success of the centre is all down to everyone who works there.
He said: “We’ve got excellent staff. We all get on and the clients are enjoying their time at the centre. We try to make it as homely as possible.”
He said local businesses are great supporters of the charity as when they were broken into last winter and £300 was stolen, a generous local businessman was quick to write a cheque.
Bert hopes that with moving to the old council building in 2017 the centre can have more of a presence in town.