Befriending Caithness - #Befriendingis picking up the thread together

Mon 31 Oct 2022

During #BefriendingWeek, let's hear what #BefriendingIs from Befriending Caithness



Befriending Caithness continues to “pick up the thread” in moving our Befriending Textile Project onwards.

During lockdown we were asked to take part in a project led by the Lyth Arts Centre, where their Artist in Residence, Joanne Kaar, met with our Befrienders through zoom each week to put together a reminiscing textile project. This resulted in various canvas bags full of reminiscing embroidery on clothing which are being used within the local care homes and befriendees.  The Themes were the following:

·       Lessons
·       Food
·       Celebrations
·       School Nurse
·       School Travel
·       Arts and Crafts
·       Holidays

We continue to develop this project by using the embroidered textiles throughout Caithness.


Befriending Caithness Reminiscence Bags

As a Befriender with Befriending Caithness and as a volunteer with Wick Voices - an oral history project, I was absolutely delighted to take part in Joanne Kaar’s Textiles - the fabric of life CAIR project based at Lyth Arts Centre. Participating in the project during the pandemic gave a sense of purpose to Befrienders and Befriendees and the resulting reminiscence bags are a valuable resource for use within the community.

Wick Voices oral history project holds monthly reminiscence sessions at Pulteney House Care Home in Wick, so we were delighted to make use of the Befriending Caithness Reminiscence bags during sessions.  Residents have fully engaged in handling and admiring the garments.  As the theme is ‘School Days’ lots of discussion ensued as members of the group reflected upon their own school days, picnics, concerts and festivals.  It is anticipated that further sessions, using the reminiscence bags, will take place when residents will have further opportunities to ‘take a peek’ inside the bags and take ‘a trip down memory lane’.

It is also planned that the reminiscence bags will be used during Wick Voices reminiscence sessions with the Monday Group, held at Wick Youth Club.  The group of elderly and vulnerable adults thoroughly enjoy reminiscing so the reminiscence bags will be used as a stimulus for discussion.

Doreen Leith, Befriending Caithness Volunteer



The next exciting stage of the project was transferring the embroidery into Post Cards.  Funded by the Lyth Arts Centre. These postcards are being distributed among the community and used for keeping in touch with people and also helping Befriending Caithness in raising awareness.

Then there was the idea of transferring the embroidery into tea towels.  These wonderful tea towels are being sold in local shops and local craft markets, raising awareness.  All have a story printed out on the back of a post card to explain the journey of the project.

The outcome of the above has been, participation from Befriendees, good conversations with individuals in the community, post cards written, befrienders learning a new skill in sewing and most importantly, a time of reminiscing with the Befriendees and the public within Caithness.

We would encourage others to “pick up the thread”.



Angie House

Befriending Caithness

If you're inspired and would like to get involved please visit:

Befriending Caithness – Caithness Voluntary Group (