GC Virtual Film Club Discussion

As part of the Scotland wide Virtual Cinema initiative, the John Gray Centre Film Appreciation Club has been holding informal video chats on selected films. During the Lockdown, our online meetings have been occurring bi-weekly, on Thursday evenings between 6.30-7.30 pm. So far, we have discussed selected films accessible via Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and All4 (Channel 4) player, and YouTube. We also exchange other film and book recommendations! 

So, if you love films and are looking for something different to do, then why not join our vibrant virtual film chat.

Our next session will be on Thursday, 4 June 2020 at 6.30pm. We will be discussing an indie film entitled ‘Atlantics’ (2019, Mati Diop), which is available on Netflix. The film is an unpredictable, supernatural drama, set in Senegal, and presents some surreal twists. The story revolves around young lovers who have to choose between love and duty. ‘Atlantics’ won the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival 2019 and its director became the first black female director to compete and win at Cannes.

For enquiries on how to join our video chat, please email jgc@eastlothian.gov.uk OR  jgcfilmclub@gmail.com

Stay safe, stay home, and happy viewing!

Public consultation opens on Blindwells/Cockenzie development area

Public consultation opens on Blindwells/Cockenzie development area

A public consultation opened on Monday, on plans to ensure a major area of development in the county can become a national example of environmentally-friendly and inclusive development.

The consultation aligns with the Council’s National Development bid submitted last month. The area has been identified as a place-based response to East Lothian Council’s Climate Change Strategy, approved by Cabinet on the 21st January 2020 and interacts with the existing communities of Tranent, Prestonpans, Cockenzie and Port Seton and Longniddry and Macmerry.

The public consultation will ask all interested parties for their views on all or part of the strategy, which focuses on:

  • Access and Movement
  • The Water Environment
  • Culture, Heritage and Leisure
  • Greenspace and Biodiversity
  • Strong Communities, Regeneration and Enterprise

It is based around a study, drawn up in partnership with ELC, the Scottish Government, The Lothian Drainage Partnership, SEPA, Scottish Water and Scottish Natural Heritage, called ClimatEvolution Vision and Action Plan.

Spokesperson for Environment, Councillor Norman Hampshire, said: “The vision and action plan is not a finalised masterplan for the area, rather it is a high level document which sets out an ambitious vision for the area over the coming 30 years. This is a unique opportunity for anyone with an interest in the area to give us their views. We will look carefully at all consultation responses as we want to ensure we are putting forward the very best proposals for this key area of East Lothian – for the benefit of all its residents present and future and for the communities as a whole.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to ensure that one of the key areas of East Lothian, which is one of the fastest growing local authority areas in Scotland, is developed in an innovative way. We’re looking at how developments can be carbon neutral and bring forward major community benefits such as healthy walking and cycling links, an attractive natural environment, employment opportunities, innovative energy generation and first class leisure facilities.

“It’s not all about what’s new, though. We are looking at enhancing the existing local environment and making the most of the area’s unique history as well as its mining and agricultural heritage and the site of the Battle of Prestonpans.”

Potential projects for the area contained in the vision document include:  

  • New transport hubs linking rail, road, cycling and walking
  • Facilities linked to the transport hubs detailing the history of the area including the Battle of Prestonpans, which may attract tourism
  • Outdoor leisure facilities
  • Climate resilient planting programme
  • Use of underground water, including mine water, to create geothermal energy

While elements of public consultation, such as public meetings, will not be taking place – plans are being developed to make the consultation as inclusive as possible while doing things in a slightly different way to standard procedures, including putting more emphasis on online resources and more active engagement with community councils, Area Partnerships and other community groups.

The council’s aim is to have the Climate Evolution Zone designated as a nationally-important development – so an amended report based on the consultation responses needs to be finalised before the end of 2020.

The consultation is open until 26 July. 

Dementia Awareness Week 2020

There are many different ways technology can help you to live well with dementia. This information mainly covers electronic ‘assistive technology’ that may be useful. https://bit.ly/308jJV8

You might also want to visit our own in-house experts for advice on telecare – email telecare@eastlothian.gov.uk for all general enquiries.

If you want to know more about Smart TEC , email Katie Harrison at Katie.Harrison@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk

Interfaith listening service open to all

Edinburgh Interfaith Association has set up Time to Talk, a COVID-19 listening service for care home residents and their families. No advice will be offered – only kindness, empathy and a willingness to listen. The service is available every day from 11am – 7pm.

To find out more about the listening service, email ClaireAtTimeToTalk@gmail.com or call 07519 418451.

You can visit their website here.

Forming habits during COVID-19

This article was written by Health in Mind. 

Visit the Health in Mind Covid-19 page for more resources and updates.

A habit is behaviour that we do repeatedly, often unconsciously. Our daily life is filled with them. From the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep, we act out hundreds of small habits. Take a moment to think of some of the patterns of behaviour you go through throughout the day.

What’s your typical routine when you first wake up? Do you hit the snooze button and go back to sleep?

And what about at bedtime? Do you put on your pyjamas, brush your teeth and go to bed with a book?

These are all common habits that we engage in, and we often do them without even realising it. They become automatic, just like driving a car, and the more we do them, the more ingrained they become.

During this period of social-distancing, many of us have to develop new ways of living our lives – new routines and new habits. We can’t socialise in the same way, many of us have to work from home or perhaps we’re unable to work or volunteer as we were before. This means we’re unable to engage in many of the daily habits we previously relied on, and we’re being forced to create new habits. Many of us would also like to take this chance to try and introduce healthier habits into our daily life.

Habits can play a huge role in our mental health. When we’re able to create a new, healthy habit in our life, we experience a sense of achievement that can be hugely beneficial to how we see ourselves.

How can we change our habits?

In order to change our habits, it can be helpful to understand how they work. They are made up of  four parts:

  • Reminder – the thing that reminds us to do a particular habit. This can be a time of day, a place, another event, an object, a person, a feeling, or a combination of these things.
  • Craving – the desired outcome, the thing that we’re hoping to get out of the habit.
  • Response – this is the actual habit itself, the behaviour.
  • Reward – this is the emotional benefit we receive from engaging in the habit.

Often this is an unconscious process, so it might take some time to recognise these four parts in action when it comes to your own habit. Here are a few examples;

Reminder – our phone alarm is buzzing at 7am
Craving – to make the noise stop
Response – we reach over, pick up our phone and turn our alarm off
Reward – peace and quiet

Reminder – we sit down on the bus, and we’re feeling bored
Craving – for some entertainment
Response – we pull out our phones and start scrolling through social media
Reward – we feel entertained

How can we use this information to change our habits?

Now that we know what drives our habits, we can change certain situations in order to reduce or increase the likelihood of us engaging with them. If we’re looking to incorporate a new habit into our life, here are the general guidelines;

To create a new habit… 
Reminder – make it obvious
Craving – make it desirable
Response – make it easy
Reward – make it satisfying

To break an existing habit…
Reminder – make it hidden
Craving – make it undesirable
Response – make it difficult
Reward – make it unsatisfying

So take some time to have a think about your own habits, and if you’re looking to change something then consider how you can use the above information.

If you don’t quite manage to stick to your plans, try to be gentle with yourself. Often our habits are deeply ingrained, and during times of stress or anxiety, we have a tendency to fall into well-worn habits. So whatever you do, it’s important to have self-compassion and to see any mistakes simply as learning opportunities.

If you would like to comment on this article to Health in Mind direct, click here.

Crookston’s letter of thanks from the First Minister’s Office

Dear Ms Skead

Thank you for emailing the First Minister and attaching the link to the ‘We’ll Meet Again’ video that was made by the staff and residents of Crookston Care Home.

The First Minister thought it was a very imaginative way for staff to help residents communicate with their loved ones and for everyone to be involved in a joint project. Although restrictions still prevent the things staff and residents noted they were looking forward to, she was glad to know they are all staying so positive.

The First Minister wanted to pass on her thanks to the staff for their contribution and is grateful for the incredible job carers are doing in exceptional circumstances through the COVID-19 pandemic. She sends her best wishes to all the residents and staff, and her thanks for sharing your video with her.

Kind regards

Carol-Ann Miller