Artist joins Abbeyfield Bridge of Allan during the pandemic

During the pandemic, budding artist Margaret Farley moved into our sheltered housing in Bridge of Allan. Staff and fellow residents in the supported accommodation love seeing the beautiful artwork she creates.

Margaret started taking art classes with Madeline Cosgrove in 1992, held at Airthrey Castle in Stirling University, followed by Cowane Centre in Stirling, then finally at St Saviour’s Episcopal Church in Bridge Of Allan. Margaret explains: ‘I prefer drawing watercolours and working with charcoal. It’s a feeling of accomplishment when I finish my artwork successfully.’

While many vulnerable adults have felt isolated and alone during the pandemic, Abbeyfield Bridge of Allan encourages residents to keep up with their hobbies and interests. Exercising their creativity is hugely beneficial for elderly adults’ mental and physical health. Art therapy challenges them and can stimulate the senses to become sharper. In addition, learning new art forms can enhance thinking skills and improve the nervous system.

Jane Ritchie, an Area Supervisor at Abbeyfield Scotland, added, ‘The pandemic has been extremely challenging for many vulnerable adults. However, residents at Abbeyfield Bridge of Allan benefit from the support from staff and a welcoming and safe environment. Residents are encouraged to participate in activities, offering companionship and the opportunity to maintain interests and develop new ones.’

Margret tells us about moving into her new home; ‘My arrival to Abbeyfield, Bridge of Allan was with half of my household goods, in the middle of the pandemic. All the staff were there to help me unpack and to feed me. It felt like I had come home! There have been ups and downs, but it takes special people to run an Abbeyfield house, and Bridge of Allan is blessed.’