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Duncan Rennie with Glenisla Activities Coordinator Catherine Ellwood

A care operator has appointed its own ‘photographer in residence’ to capture memory-evoking images for the care home residents. 

Parklands Care Homes, which operates across Moray and Highland, has been working with keen amateur photographer Duncan Rennie on a reminiscence project at Glenisla in Keith. Through photography and film, the initiative aims to capture the places and events that have shaped and inspired residents’ lives, including that of Duncan’s late father who was a resident at the care home.

Duncan’s latest project is a gallery of images consisting of landscapes, seascapes, wildlife and local attractions that are now on display in a newly-refurbished wing at the Moray care home. Residents selected the images after a series of reminiscence talks with them about fond memories of past times.

The gallery includes images of Bow Fiddle Rock in Portknockie, Linn Falls in Aberlour and the Keith to Dufftown Railway. 

Duncan explained: “I used to visit my dad on a regular basis and would show him pictures and videos relating to his life and interests. Other residents used to sit in and enjoy the experience. It was always a conversation-starter and the reaction from residents was one of enjoyment and happiness. I continued to take and show photos where it became clear this ‘sparked a light’ with residents, triggering happy memories and reflections on working and family life.

“I was asked by Parklands to produce images to display on the walls of a refurbished wing at Glenisla. We felt it was important that residents played a role in selecting images that matter most to them and that the photographs are displayed in an accessible form they can enjoy.”

As photographer in residence, Duncan has also created a photographic and video library to showcase life at Glenisla and Parklands’ other care homes. 

Catherine Ellwood, Activities Coordinator at Glenisla Care Home, said: “Duncan’s photography is a window into the world of our care homes and shows every aspect of life – from residents relaxing with a cup of tea, celebrating a milestone birthday, cycling in the grounds of Glenisla and even ceilidh dancing. Duncan’s wonderful images remind us that care homes are not institutions; they are full of people with active minds and active lives.”

Duncan has also been instrumental in creating a new series of reminiscence videos with residents and staff at Parklands’ homes in Buckie, Keith, Aberlour and Grantown. 

Last summer, he filmed ‘Moon Memories’, a video which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing in which residents talked about their hopes and fears for the historic Apollo 11 mission. This month, he produced ‘Valentine’s Memories’, in which residents and staff reflect on love and relationships. He will also help to produce a film to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day in May.

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