Marnie Keltie

Marnie Keltie is the Day Care Supervisor at the Craigard Day Centre in Lochmaddy, North Uist. She talks about the activities they do, and the reasons why they’re important.

A typical day would be fairly untypical because that’s… it kind of depends on how people are feeling, what the weather’s like, um, what’s in the offing really.

Um, we do, we do have a bit of a schedule in that every Tuesday we go to Taigh Chearsabhagh, and we eat lunch and we see whatever exhibitions are on.

Taigh Chearsabhagh’s the art centre in Lochmaddy, a museum and art centre, and they have always something interesting to see. And the staff are always very helpful and friendly.

Quite a lot of what we do is creative, because, um, I feel strongly that it’s being creative that gives you your self-esteem and your self-worth. And certainly I think it’s when people make beautiful things that other people want to buy, um, you feel good about yourself and, you know, everybody likes to feel that, you know, that what they produce is a valuable commodity. And I hope that that’s what we do.

We do, we do a lot of craftwork, and Donald, who you’ve been speaking to, is very skilled at stool-top weaving, and we get a lot of orders for that, actually. People want to buy those. And I think most houses in Uist will have one, really, or a piece of Donald’s work, so that’s good. And, but we do all sorts of other craftwork. We do stained glass, and we’ve done several windows for public buildings. Um Donald again is very skilled at that. But everyone has a hand in that because there’s quite a lot of… you know you have to clean the glass and putty it and things. So everyone can do a bit of that.

It’s quite a specific technical skill – stained glass making – and what you produce is something out of the ordinary and beautiful. So, the ones that we’ve done for the church, for the village hall, for Ùrachadh Uibhist – which is another community centre – um, they’re quite meaningful as well to the community. And it’s, you know, it’s our contribution to the community. So, you know, we’re not just receiving services, we’re giving back.

Um yes, well, for the last three years now we’ve had an exhibition every spring in Taigh Chearsabhagh and I would like to see that continuing because, um, not only do they make high quality work, then we present it professionally, beautifully mounted and framed, and it’s on exhibition alongwith any other person who wants to have an exhibition in the café at Taigh Chearsabhagh. And, um, it always sells well because it’s high quality and I think that as well – not only are we taking part in the life of the community, the community sees the standard of what we produce, you know, and, and, I hope, understand that everyone, no matter what they have to contend with, um contributes as fully as any other member of the community. And I think that’s something, I think, is really important. Yes.

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