In late 2016 , having worked for many years in schools , I decided to offer my person-centred approach to creativity to a new group of people , who I felt could benefit from my skill as an arts facilitator.
My mother had recently passed away from dementia , and I had observed how she reacted to creativity, how it gave her an opportunity to live and experience the moment in a positive way that brought her some escape from the often terrifying effects of her illness.
Now , 2 years later I have discovered a network of `Cafe`s` run by carers & volunteers eager to help sufferers of memory loss, to offer them activities they would not normally consider .So , with the help of caring institutions I have set up my `Expressive Paint ` sessions in response to a need amongst , mainly the elderly, to bring them together in a group activity that they can enjoy in the moment and have fun with.
The sessions usually last between 45 minutes and an hour . Groups are encouraged to share experiences and ideas in the sessions . I encourage group participation by talking through each stage of the process with them . I also encourage them to talk about memories that may prompt a response an start a creative process.
The participants work on one long sheet of paper .Sitting side by side encourages , I find, confidence and therefore greater possibility for creative expression as well as helping to overcome the feelings of isolation that many with the this cond ition feel.
My approach to this work;
I believe everyone has creative ability in some form ,and this is borne out in the results that often surprise the participants. The process of the sessions come directly from my own experience of the creative process and is based on trusting your inner need for self-expression as a form of healing. Understanding this is a process ,often with vivid results means that I can see this potential in others.
Many of the memory cafe`s have limited funds to afford the work I can offer. Although I have been successful in working in many cafe`s run by carers and volunteers, I would like to make what I do available to more groups across the South West and UK.
How Crowdfunder will help;....
If I was self-funded with the help of crowdfunder, I could also make what I do available to the carers themselves . Carers of people with dementia , are often family members who can feel trapped by circumstance. My aim would be to offer either one on one or group art sessions for carers in the form of a half day retreat.
Crowdfunding this activity will mean being able to pay for my time ,material costs , and transport to and from the venues.
For £100.00 per cafe` I will be able to offer most venues a session for this price including materials and transport in West Cornwall.(Those further from this locality might cost more on transport.)
It will also enable me to join a course to further grow the potential of what I can offer . Here is a course I am applying for; http://www.insiderart.org.uk/
REVIEW FROM RECENT MEMORY CAFE IN CRANTOCK;
“My 90 year old mother attended the Crantock Memory Cafe where you facilitated a workshop. She always enjoys attending but she was so enthusiastic that day and had derived so much pleasure from the activity that I wanted to give you a more personal feedback. Arts and crafts have always been of interest to her, particularly art, and it was joyous to see her so animated.
Mum's hearing and eyesight have deteriorated, but the pleasure she derived from being able to express herself in a familiar but forgotten medium makes any effort worthwhile
With many thanks “ – Pam Cooper 2018