And the winner is …

We are delighted to present the winners of our Creative Ageing Awards.

The awards are part of Luminate’s 10th birthday celebrations and the winners were announced at a Parliamentary Reception on November 22nd, 2022. Our winners are fabulous and their accolades are well deserved, but all our nominees across the six award categories were inspiring.

They have all been part of shining a light on the many people and projects across Scotland that are part of our creative culture, and who make such a huge difference to so many lives through their talent, inventiveness and heart.

Outstanding older artist

Willy Gilder 

Willy Gilder draws and paints the world around him – sometimes in a serious and considered way, sometimes rather more quickly and much less seriously. He has always drawn but lost his ability when he developed Alzheimer’s Disease. He managed to reconnect with art through listening to music: principally The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Based in Leith, Willy was once a radio journalist, and is now a part time student and a gifted teacher working with bold (Bringing Out Leaders in Dementia). Find more of Willy’s work and writing via his Twitter

Willy Gilder receives his Outstanding Older Artist award from Clare Adamson, MSP at Luminate’s Creative Ageing Awards.

Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic

Arts in older people’s healthcare

Claire Weddle 

Claire is a therapeutic activity coordinator at Borders General Hospital, working to reduce stress and distress by providing meaningful activities for individuals who have, or may have, dementia. She worked tirelessly with the Elderflowers – a team of arts practitioners who work with people living with dementia – to ensure that vital visits to people living at Melburn Lodge dementia unit continued throughout covid restrictions.  This included supporting online activities, and later the return of in-person visits. 

Claire Weddle receives the Arts In Older People’s Healthcare award from Clare Adamson, MSP.

Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic

Celebrating diversity

George Tah 

George Tah is the Creative Director and Founder of Jambo! Radio, a Renfrewshire-based channel for people of African and Caribbean heritage in Scotland, bringing communities together through engaging shows and music in multiple languages.  Coming to Scotland: The stories of African and Caribbean pioneers, is a storytelling project set up by Jambo! Radio to engage African and Caribbean elders. It brings elders and young people together to share stories which inspired and shaped them, as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022.  Listen to Jambo Radio here.

George Tah receives the Celebrating Diversity award from Dana MacLeod, Creative Scotland Executive Director of Arts, Communities, and Inclusion.

Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic

Social care and creativity

Felt Fine 

Live Life Aberdeenshire’s Cultural Services, in collaboration with Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership, commissioned a textile artist, Frieda Strachan, and Poppycock Films, to work with tenants and staff at a very sheltered housing complex in Turriff. Exploring creativity as a tool for self-expression and autonomy, ‘Felt Fine’ participants were encouraged to use the tactile material of unspun wool to weave landscapes inspired by both life and language in rural Aberdeenshire. Find out more about Felt Fine here.

Jason Strathdee receives the Social Care and Creativity award for Aberdeenshire’s Felt Fine project. Presented by Dana MacLeod, Creative Scotland Executive Director of Arts, Communities, and Inclusion.

Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic

Pioneering creative project

Red Road Young ‘Uns 

Red Road Young ‘Uns is a Concert Party of around 25 older people formed from members of Alive and Kicking – an award-winning centre for older people in Springburn, Glasgow. They perform a programme of song, dance, poetry and sketches twice a year for their local community, as well as offering performances to groups like schools and care homes. Founded in 1990, the group has challenged perceptions of ageing and older people for more than 30 years, and has inspired many older people to get involved despite believing initially that “I couldnae do that”. Alive and Kicking have a Facebook page here.

Annemarie Robertson receives the Pioneering Creative Project award on behalf of The Red Road Young ‘Uns from the Minister for Equalities and Older People, Christina McKelvie.

Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic

Jill Knox Inspiration Award

This Award is made in memory of Jill Knox who was the founder of 24 Carat Gold – an elders dance group based at Dance Base in Edinburgh – and a huge supporter of creative ageing and of Luminate.

Patricia Melville-Mason 

In 2009, Patricia and her daughter started Blow and Blast, to give ‘late learners’ a chance to take part in easy-level wind groups in Perthshire. Patricia retired from full time teaching more than 20 years before but, at 84 when she was nominated, Patricia was still sharing her knowledge and passion for music with others.  She conducted, tutored and encouraged the players and said their obvious pleasure and satisfaction inspired her in turn to keep going. “I can’t imagine my life without music. I took up the clarinet in my early teens and have been playing and teaching ever since.”  We were sad to hear that Tricia died just over a year after she received her award, and we know that she is hugely missed by the Blow and Blast community.

Patricia Melville-Mason receives the Jill Knox Inspiration Award from Minister for Equalities and Older People, Christina McKelvie.

Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic