Ellie from the Sensory Trust shares with us their Re-Ignition funded project, Creative Spaces Keeping Connected.
FEAST funding enabled Sensory Trust to work with artist Naomi Hannam of Creative Roots to design, create and send out activity packs to our 165 creative spaces members.
The packs were designed to connect out group members to nature over this period, especially those who are unable to go outdoors due to shielding and living in flats/without easily-accessible outdoor space. It was important that these activities were easy to understand and that those who live alone with dementia were still able to take part.
We decided on three activities: Painting from your window, Making a clay bird, and Making a felted soap bar. All three don’t require participants to go outside to take part, but could be embellished by things found or observed outside.
Painting from your window included inspirational images by David Hockney, inviting our group members to use bold and bright colours to depict what they can see from their windows using acrylic paints.
Making a clay bird’ included some feathers, clay and invites people to use things from around their house to impress into the clay – e.g. biro end, teaspoon edge.
Making a felted soap bar creates a different sensory experience by wrapping carded wool around soap and placing it into a stocking, rubbing it whilst dunking it in water.
Each activity had accessible instructions with materials needed. We also created a stop-motion film of the activity packs with their contents along with ‘how-to’ videos, to widen the reach of our activities and invite people outside of our groups to take part.
We have been inundated with positive feedback about the packs. In each pack we included a letter along with a feedback form, making a point of the important of both positive and negative feedback.
“The pack is a-mazing. I couldn’t believe it! I particularly liked the felting activity. It’s so different and sensory. Thank you”.
Carer from our Wednesday Wanderers walking group.
“They are very good to pass the time away, especially at these terrible times. My wife is in a home with dementia, so this has helped me to pass the time away”.
Carer from our Camborne group.
“The main outlet for me is my art so I enjoyed the change of making pictures from my windows”
Member of our Paul Nature Group
Everyone who completed our feedback forms said the packs “definitely” made them feel connected to nature, “definitely” made them feel a sense of achievement and “definitely” made them feel connected to their Sensory Trust Group. What a result!
Find out more about the Sensory Trust on their website here.