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Highland Senior Citizens Network

Nothing about us without us

2015 "Crabbit Old Woman"

"Crabbit Old Woman", also variously titled "Look Closer", "Look Closer Nurse", "Kate", "Open Your Eyes" or "What Do You See?" is a poem written in 1966 by Phyllis McCormack, then working as a nurse in Sunnyside Hospital, Montrose. The poem is written in the voice of an old woman in a nursing home who is reflecting upon her life. "Crabbit" is Scots for "bad-tempered" or "grumpy".

HSCN in conjunction with Eden Court Theatre, Inverness created a short video of the poem to be shown at their annual Conference in April 2015.

2014 "I'm Not A Complainer" and "Who's Here for Me?"

Research Project and Report

We challenge preconceptions and attitudes by engaging in Qualitative Research - both our own and that of partner organisations. While surveys can explain what people do, or how people think, they do not provide information around why they make these choices. Qualitative Research goes beyond surveys, to give you an opportunity to describe what it's like for you - and why.

Listening to people who have experience of services is one of the best ways of knowing what works and what does not work.

This Qualitative Research project that was carried out on behalf of the Network by Dr Sara Bradley was completed in 2014. We hoped that the evidence gathered from the experiences of Service Users and their Carers would provide the impetus for change where it is needed.

Dr Sara Bradley's Full Report can be accessed by clicking here.

Executive Summary (Click here).


'Who's Here for Me?' Training Films and Facilitator's Notes

During the gathering of the research material it was realised there was potential for the research to have a greater impact if the stories and experiences being recorded could be captured on film. Several of those who were interviewed in the course of the research agreed for their words to be spoken by actors. This produced a professional film entitled 'Who's here for me?' and individual excerpts can be seen by clicking on their play buttons below.

The film is to be seen primarily as an educational resource.   We hope that this will help both those delivering hands-on care and those responsible for the planning and management of care.  Before viewing the film it is recommended the Facilitators Notes are read.  These notes are an aid for those using the film for teaching and training purposes and will encourage the viewer to view the film as a means of improving care where necessary and recognising good examples of care.

Facilitator's Notes (Click Here)


"Who's Here for Me?" has been produced as short film clips of stories spoken by Actors.  The order of the stories below are: Betty / Jane / Kate / Frances / Iris / Denis / Tina / Elizabeth

Older People's Get-Togethers

Highland Senior Citizens Network held a wide range of Older People's Get-Together between 2017 and 2019. Our Spring 2019 News-letter contains the best summary of the issues raised by service users at the meetings and of their views on the benefits these gatherings bring.

The success of the Get-togethers so far largely rests on

  • the willingness of local older people's groups to welcome us to their community
  • support from organisations both in the Third and Statutory Sectors
  • partnership working with local groups, Age Scotland, Scottish Older People’s Assembly, Highland Council Tenant Participation Team and many other services and organisations
  • NHS Highland funding to support engagement