Event: Day Conference: Spiritual, Health and Wellbeing Perspectives on Loneliness, Isolation, and Dementia.

Venue: Sanctuary, Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL.
Date: Saturday 7 December 2019.
Time: Registration: 9.30am-10am. Day Conference: 10am-4.35pm.
Event Description: We will discuss Spiritual, Health and Wellbeing Perspectives on Loneliness, Isolation, and Dementia.


EICSP Day Conference: Saturday 7 December 2019.

Spiritual, Health and Wellbeing Perspectives
on Loneliness, Isolation, and Dementia.

Venue: Sanctuary, Augustine United Church,
41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL.

Registration: 9.30am-10am.  Day Conference: 10am-4.35pm.

Sanctuary, Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL.

Organized by Edinburgh International Centre for Spirituality and Peace, EICSP,
Scottish Charity, SC038996, www.eicsp.org


Conference: 9.30am-4.35pm:

9.30am-10am: Arrival and Registration.

10am-10.20am: Welcome, Introductions, and Invitation: Dr Ian Wight.

10.20am-10.40am: Very Revd Dr Derek Browning.

“You in your small corner, and I in mine”:
Loneliness and social isolation – how should we respond?

Loneliness and social isolation are not new phenomena and can be caused by age, poverty, societal judgement, and illness. In the 21st Century, we can add social media and technology to that list. How can faith-based communities, alongside others, work to provide avenues of hope and transformation to those left out or left behind in today’s society.

BIO: Dr Browning has been a Church of Scotland parish minister since 1987 and is currently working in Edinburgh. He has held several leadership positions within the Church and was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2017-2018. In his year as Moderator he promoted the theme of ‘hospitality’. It is better to build a longer table than a taller fence. During that year he met several world leaders including the Queen, the Pope, Angela Merkel, Theresa May, and Nicola Sturgeon.

10.40am-10.55am: Discussion.

10.55am-11.15am: Phyllida Anam-Aire.

Loneliness isolation and dementia:
The decline of a wholesome (holy) communion in our ‘higher raised living’.

I like to ask questions during my talk. I will ask the question why many of our old - and indeed young - people isolate in order to survive 21st-century living... leading to depression and thoughts of self-harm. I will ask what spiritual health might look like, what one might need in order to be well within oneself and to feel part of the community, contributing to it and receiving from it.

Other questions might include: Where does spiritual health find a space in our success-driven world? Do we isolate when we are lonely or does our loneliness lead to our isolating?

Dementia is a dysfunction in the brain, yet the use of music and photographs are helpful tools in remembering. Can you imagine that more community get-togethers offering, for example, craft, art, singing, dancing could be useful? If we bring back the beauty in our environments, in our infrastructures - both within and without - might this lead to a less depressing and lonely state of being for our community, old and young?

BIO: My name is Phyllida Anam-Aire and I love my name. Anam-Aire means Soul career, one who cares for Soul. I am the mother of two adult children and am a grandmother to two grandchildren. My birth was in Donegal, Ireland and English is my second language. I speak and sing the old Seabheanna language - no longer spoken in Ireland. My chosen work in this incarnation is being with the dying and bereaved, and offering retreats with the theme of death and dying. I have lived ten years in Germany working as a psychotherapist and teaching Celtic Consciousness. The Celts believed that everything and all is information, and I teach this in my integration of humanistic psychology and Celtic Consciousness. I live with deep joy in my heart and believe that love is the healer of all our personal, cultural and collective pain.

11.15am-11.30am: Discussion.

11.30am-11.50am: Tea/coffee break.

11.50am-12.10pm: Brian Sloan.

No One Should Have No One To Turn To.

I plan to address the growing issue we have of isolation, loneliness and dementia in Scotland - the fact there is great work already happening in these areas but how can we be more joined-up. An overview of our work, and perhaps some case studies.

BIO: Brian Sloan is Chief Executive of Age Scotland. He has overseen the expansion of the charity’s offering to enable and support older people to live healthier and happier lives. Along with pioneering work to support the Men’s Sheds and Walking Football movements, he was instrumental in developing a helpline for Scotland’s older people and a training suite recognizing the challenges of our ageing society. Looking to the future, Brian’s aspiration for the charity includes expanding the work around helping people in the 50-60 age bracket plan for retirement, further develop work to better the health outcomes for older people and strengthen Age Scotland’s ability to tackle loneliness and isolation across Scotland. He is married with four children, very active in a variety of sports and a qualified Barista!

12.10am-12.25pm: Discussion.

12.25pm-12.45pm: Anne Callaghan.

Making Loneliness is Everyone’s Business.

I plan on addressing: the Campaign to End Loneliness; definitions of loneliness and the different types; risk factors for chronic loneliness; Scottish Government strategy to combat loneliness; making connections and dementia; and what can organizations and individuals do.

BIO: Anne Callaghan is currently Campaign Manager in Scotland for the Campaign to End Loneliness.  She is co-chair of the Action Group on Isolation and Loneliness (AGIL) which looks to influence, provide expertise and champion innovative approaches, as well as sitting on the Scottish Government Social Isolation and Loneliness Implementation Group. Anne is passionate about the positive change that individuals and communities can make. She has over 25 years of experience as a campaigner on a range of issues in human rights, international development, and social justice. Based in Glasgow Anne is currently addicted to outdoor swimming, loves the theatre, and literature, and gig-going.

12.45pm-1pm: Discussion.

1pm-2.15pm: Lunch

2.15pm-2.35pm: Amanda Ward.

What is a Good Death?

The presentation will examine death and dying in Scotland, and what having a good death means in this context.

BIO: Amanda is CEO of Friends at the End SCIO; 3 months away from submitting her PhD thesis on ‘Scots Law on Assisted Dying’; teaches Medical and Healthcare Law and Ethics at Glasgow and Strathclyde university; is Secretary to the Cross Party Group on End of Life Choices in the Scottish Parliament, and has worked as legal advisor to various MSPs. A member of the Law Society of Scotland’s Medical Law subcommittee, Amanda is also a 1/2 marathoner and retired gymnast but most importantly mother to two darling little boys.

2.35pm-2.50pm: Discussion.

2.50pm-3.10pm: Maureen O'Neill OBE.

The Role of Faith Communities.

I plan on addressing the role of faith communities in tackling loneliness and isolation, based on the work I have been involved in with an ecumenical group, which focuses on the importance of  spiritual friendship.

BIO: Maureen has been the Director of Faith in Older People for nearly 14 years.  She was previously the Director of Age Concern Scotland (now AGE Scotland) and has served as a board member on a variety of voluntary and public sector organizations. She was a Scottish Government nominee on the European Economic and Social Committee. Maureen currently chairs a care home and serves on a charity that supports older women who are experiencing financial hardship.

3.10pm-3.25pm: Discussion.

3.25pm-3.45pm: Edie Irwin.

Approaching Old Age and Death – Spiritual Paths and the Mind/Body Relationship.

I have travelled to many countries over 50 years, and now - at the age of 73, in the 4th quarter of her life – I reflect on topics relating to the spirit and spiritual paths from youth into old age.  I plan to address the varied and contrasting approaches to old age and death, globally, and related topics including loneliness, isolation, and changes to mental outlooks, such as dementia.

Is the relationship of Mind and Body the same at Death as it is at Birth? What helps? What hinders? Is anything truly universal? I hope participants will join in this far-flung exploration, not seeking answers but loosening categories and exploring the spaces in between.

BIO: Edie Irwin MA, UKCP, EAP, TRTA studied and worked with Dr. RD Laing in India and London in the 1970s.  She practised massage and psychotherapy in Edinburgh from 1980-93 as a staff member of Wellspring and as co-founder of the Edinburgh Tara Trust.  From 1980 until 2013 she worked under the guidance of Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche and has presented the work, now known as Tara Rokpa Therapy, in over 15 countries. Since completing a 3-year meditation retreat in 1997, she has been a member of the Tara Rokpa Therapy Training faculty and continues to travel to therapy groups worldwide, as well as maintaining her practice of psychotherapy, massage and psychotherapy supervision in Edinburgh. Currently she is especially interested in the development of Tara Rokpa Therapy in Zimbabwe.

Edie is co-editor of Akong Tulku Rinpoche's Taming the Tiger (Rider) and is the author of Healing Relaxation (Rider).  Both of these books are available online. She has also developed other materials available from Tara Rokpa: "Back to Beginnings", "Working with the Elements" and "Working with the Six Lights" - as well as the DVD "Relaxation Exercises". From 2005 until 2012, she was a member of the UKCP Ethics Committee.                         

3.45pm-4pm: Discussion.

4pm-4.20pm: Dr Hashim Reza.

Loneliness, Isolation, and Dementia.

The Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society works to meet and improve the needs of the Shia community and others. This can only be achieved by collaborating with other organisations with similar objectives.  We are a faith-based organization who reach out to people of faith as well as no faith. There is an increasing need for faith groups and charities to come together in order to help those suffering from mental health issues - as befitting faith-based principles. With an increased awareness of loneliness and isolation affecting many individuals, it is vital that support is provided to those most vulnerable.

BIO: Dr Hashim Reza is Specialist Adviser Health Informatics at the Royal College of Psychiatrists and chairs the Informatics Committee of that College. He is appointed Consultant Psychiatrist, Caldicott Guardian and Clinical Lead for Informatics at the Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust. He qualified MB BS in 1982 in Lahore, Pakistan, and MRCPsych in 1989 after training in psychiatry and psychodynamic psychotherapy in Southampton, UK.  He was appointed to an academic post at Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan until May 1997 when he left the Department of Psychiatry as an Assistant Professor. In addition to different management roles over the years, he has been the clinical lead for the development and implementation of the electronic Care Records Service in London since 2005.  He currently works as a consultant psychiatrist to a home treatment team at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup.

4.20pm-4.35pm: Discussion.

4.35pm: Closure: Shared Reflections Circle.


Loneliness, Isolation and Dementia

NB: There will be no refund if you cancel your booking.

Cost: £10/£8 (Concessions)/£3 (Students). For a Registration Form:
Contact: Neill Walker, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 0131 331 4469.

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