Diversional Therapy team respond to Australian Animal Rescue

Tuesday 14 January 2020

Di Gough, a Diversional Therapist at The Shakespeare Hospice in Stratford upon Avon, has been busy with her band of volunteers and patients sewing, knitting and crocheting emergency care equipment for animals caught up in raging bushfires in Australia.

Di and her team responded quickly to the recent news, joining thousands of other amateur crafters across the country to make joey and possum pouches, koala mittens and blankets to send to Australia via various means.

By using a pattern guide released by The UK Crafters United group, Di has co-ordinated the team which has made over 100 mittens and pouches from materials donated to the hospice. Staff and friends have already made plans to take the items themselves to a special collection centre in Cheltenham set up by The UK Crafters United group that will transport the items to Australia.

Di said,

“We just thought ‘What can we do to help?’ This has been a great project to be involved with and both the Monday, Wednesday and Thursday patients have joined in with the sewing and knitting. 

“Everyone has spent time sharing stories of holidays in Australia and are just glad to do their bit to help.”

The Shakespeare Hospice Day Hospice is the largest stand-alone Day Hospice in the West Midlands. The ‘Diversional Therapy’ sessions help support patients and carers to explore their feelings and experiences in a creative context, whilst also diverting the focus from their physical condition should they wish. 

Diversional therapy sessions, through creative activity, supports both a non-verbal approach and outlet for complex emotions whilst also facilitating group discussions and peer support in a safe environment. These sessions support approximately 120 patients each month and are free to attend but all of the Hospice’s services rely heavily on fundraising to provide.

Sue Olver, a bereaved relative who is supported by The Shakespeare Hospice said,

“I have attended a couple of diversional therapy sessions at The Shakespeare Hospice, and they are such a wonderful thing to do.

"I recently lost my husband to motor neurone disease and it is so good to be able to talk to people about it and also feel you are doing something useful by making joey and possum blankets and pouches for Australian bushfire victims.”

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Registered Office: Church Lane, Shottery, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 9UL