Month: May 2015

Gaelic for Beginners

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clisStarting Friday 29th May, CliS – Conversation Course for Beginners will begin at Mearns Community Library.

CLiS is focused on adults in the early stages of learning Gaelic. It is suitable as an introductory course for those learning the language for the first time, and also compliments other methods of learning that students may already be participating in.

Contact Mechthild Graeme for further information

01463-226732 or visit

or email

tel. 01339 886 004

Raising the bar on safety and security in Aberdeenshire

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Entries are now being sought for the 2015 Aberdeenshire Best Bar None awards, a Scottish initiative aimed at combating alcohol related crime.

All licensed premises in the area are encouraged to take part in the scheme to help Aberdeenshire’s night-time economy flourish and keep the public safe whilst enjoying the area’s pubs, bars and clubs.

Administered nationally by the Scottish Business Resilience Centre but run locally, Best Bar None Aberdeenshire is a joint partnership between Aberdeenshire Council, the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Belhaven Pubs and the Scottish Licensing Trade Association.

The scheme is helping to create a safer drinking environment across Scotland for everyone involved – the wider community, customers, owners, licensees and bar staff, as well as police, fire and other partner agencies.

It focuses on safety and customer care and gives each licensed venue the opportunity to prove it meets the standard of safety and service set by the government and alcohol industry.

Jenny Wylie, Community Safety Officer, said: “Aberdeenshire has been involved in the Best Bar None scheme since 2007 and we are delighted that it is going ahead again this year.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for premises to demonstrate their dedication in running establishments in a professional, safe and caring manner and for those premises to receive accolade for this.

“The invitations for this year’s scheme have just been distributed and I would urge all premises to get involved so we can continue to make Aberdeenshire a safe place for all.”


Read the rest of this entry »

Music and Mental Health Benefits

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music1Listening to music is a relatively inexpensive, effective activity which can be used in everyday life to improve our mental wellbeing. Lively up beat music can lift the spirits and improve mood and sometimes encourage us to get moving! Similarly calm and soothing music can help us to relax and ease fear and anxiety. Studies suggest, listening to music releases a chemical in the brain that has a key role in affecting our mood.

Here are some of the psychological benefits of listening to music:

  • Helps improve mood and increase positive emotions
  • Encourages self-expression
  • Improves level of interest
  • Improves social interaction
  • Increases relaxation and reduces tension and anxiety
  • Improves self esteem

Studies also show that music promotes positive overall health and those that listen to music demonstrate:

  • A better night’s sleep
  • Diminished pain
  • Improved memory and recall
  • Increased ability to concentrate
  • Increased mobility and co-ordination

As mentioned above music is something that can be incorporated into your everyday life and is very versatile.  Music can be enjoyed:

  • On your own or in a crowd
  • While doing housework or in the shower
  • While out for a walk or in the car
  • At work or relaxing at home in the evening
  • Going to sleep or awakening
  • While moving/dancing or lying still
  • At home or outdoors

The possibilities for incorporating music into our everyday routines are endless and with the use of modern technology e.g. iPod, iPad, playlists, i tunes, Spotify etc. a wide variety of music and genres have become extremely easy to access. music2


Eating Well and Mental Wellbeing

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All this week, Pillar Kincardine have been telling us about issues important to them. Over the next couple of days, we look at how your diet and what you listen to can effect your mental health…



What does eating well mean? Broadly speaking it means eating in a way that:

  • Keeps our weight stable
  • Provides all the necessary food groups and vitamins
  • Is an enjoyable experience

Why is eating well important?

It helps to prevent many diseases which are linked with being overweight. Diseases include high blood sugar, high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, cancer, joint problems and sleep difficulties. Eating well also nourishes our brain so we feel better emotionally.

Eating is essential for sustaining our lives, keeping healthy and preventing disease but most of us struggle to eat what we need and battle with eating what we want and what makes us feel better emotionally.  We tend to eat if we are sad, lonely or hurt but equally if we want to celebrate success or as a reward. Attempting to change our eating habits is much more than just learning the facts it’s about making good choices every day which is easier said than done. Understanding why healthy eating is so important and looking at the benefits of certain foods helps on this journey. Read the rest of this entry »

The Benefits of Arts and Crafts

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art “Some of us feel bad about [taking] time for creative expression. One would  think that we’d view creativity as ‘more productive’ and hence less guilt-  producing than leisure, yet we still seem to believe that self-expression is  less of a priority than satisfying the needs of others.”  Alice Domar, Ph.D.

Unfortunately, many of us push crafting and creativity to the bottom of our To Do List. Maybe we feel guilty for doing something for ourselves—women, of course, are taught that everyone else’s needs should come first—or maybe we feel that even when we’re relaxing, we should be doing something productive.  All we need is permission from ourselves to spend time creating and the courage to push beyond our comfort zone so our projects truly express what’s inside and help us to unblock, purge, and transform our feelings.  Read the rest of this entry »

Mindfulness Meditation

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Continuing our focus on mental health, find out how Pillar are using mindfulness with great results.. breathe

Another way in which we have been practising mindfulness at Pillar is via meditation. We have discussed how meditation need not be associated with specific religious beliefs or entail difficult body postures. It need not take longer than five minutes and does not involve an ‘emptying’ of the mind, but rather an effort to take some control of our thoughts. Meditation has been shown to increase the grey matter associated with wellbeing and compassion, and decrease areas associated with stress. On a physical level, it has been shown to lower high blood pressure and lessen chronic pain. Read the rest of this entry »

Mindful Colouring

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Read on to discover how Pillar have used colouring in to enhance the lives of many…

mindful colouring

“Mindfulness” is a bit of a buzzword in mental health nowadays, but is in fact rooted in the ancient traditions of Buddhism. Tried and tested for centuries, the art of mindfulness encourages us to slow down and focus on the present moment. It urges us not to worry about a past that cannot be changed and a future that will not be improved by present anxiety. Experiencing all that the present moment has to offer is, from this point of view, truly living, and will have numerous benefits for both our physical and our mental health. lists these benefits as including less anxiety, better problem solving and sleep and greater happiness overall. Read the rest of this entry »

Pillar Kincardine

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Yesterday we got to know Sara Kamrath, Service Manager Pillar Kincardine. Today, we look at what Pillar does.


Pillar Kincardine was founded in 1989 as a result of the success of “Stepping Stones” and Pillar Aberdeen’s provision of social and leisure activities for people within Aberdeen City (Pillar Aberdeen has since closed on 29th August 2010).

Pillar Kincardine’s objectives then, as now, were to provide support services for people who have experienced or continue to experience challenges in relation to their mental health and to promote mental wellbeing.

We have been providing day services continuously for 25 years.  These services were developed in response to service user’s needs and have evolved over the years.  New projects and initiatives have grown out of earlier ones. Read the rest of this entry »

Mental Health Awareness Week, 11th – 17th May 2015.

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Since the first Mental Health Awareness Week in 2000, mental health groups have  pushed topics like loneliness, anger, fear, exercise, alcohol and friendship into the public sphere.

All week, K & M Communities will be focusing on the great work done by in Kincardine & Mearns by Pillar Kincardine, founded in 1989 as a result of the success of “Stepping Stones” and Pillar Aberdeen’s provision of social and leisure activities for people within Aberdeen City (Pillar Aberdeen has since closed on 29th August 2010).

Pillar Kincardine’s objectives then, as now, were to provide support services for people who have experienced or continue to experience challenges in relation to their mental health and to promote mental wellbeing.

We thought it would be good to speak to Sara Kamrath, the smiley face who greets you at Pillar, Kincardine. We persuaded her to tell us and you a little about herself… but not in the conventional way. We wanted to dig deeper…   Read the rest of this entry »