Tuesday 25 November 2014
By Chloe Breen, Diversional Therapist
The Diversional Therapy department here at The Shakespeare Hospice is situated in a beautiful sunny part of the hospice – a conservatory over looking the beautifully kept sensory garden. Weather permitting the doors are opened wide allowing the light and fresh air to pour in.
The walls are adorned with paintings and crafts at various stages of completion and there are arts and crafts of every kind to choose from – in fact we have a running joke that the craft cupboard houses anything you would possibly need to get creative – it’s a bit like a Mary Poppins bag, from bedknobs and broomsticks to acrylic paints and lolly sticks!
I have worked here as one of the Diversional Therapists for just over a year now and every day that I’ve been here I have been blown away and humbled by each and every person I’ve had the honour of working with. I’ve seen memory boxes for grandchildren lovingly made by hand, husbands making silk scarves for their wives, wives creating mosaics for their husbands, sisters personalising cards for brothers and daughters saying ‘I love you’ with decorated plant pots and bird boxes.
I’ve seen a half hour lesson in card making turn into a hobby for life, and a person registered as blind create art for the very first time!
Most recently, a man debilitated by his illness has created beautiful paintings of boats on the ocean waves – there is no limit to what goes on here at the Diversional Therapy table and it has to be seen to be believed!
Staff and volunteers at The Shakespeare Hospice are patient centred in their approach and we appreciate that not everyone has the same needs. This year we have had professionals running workshops including needle felting, collage art and rag rugging, as well as providing entertainment such as music and singing, plus the listening project for the Stratford upon Avon Art Festival. And we cannot forget our wonderful volunteers who come in every week and give their time and skills.
Patients and carers at the Day Hospice in December will be able to take part in upcoming demonstrations including print pressing Christmas cards, bauble decorating and soap making. We will also be entertained by visitors including U3A’s steel band and The Willows Primary School singing.
A patient recently told us: “I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed those Wednesdays, I was so proud of my achievements, and the lovely friendships I made which I hope will remain for a lot longer.”
The overall feeling of hope and purpose in Diversional Therapy is tangible. You can do things that you never believed possible.
You don’t have to be ‘good at art’ to join us here at the Diversional Therapy table – we welcome everyone of any ability!