Posted: 8th September 2015
Bringing Creative Workshops to vulnerable people and Dementia sufferers in their own environments; Drop-in Centres and Care Homes
Maggie Hollinshead, Textile/Mixed Media Artist and Gallery Owner has been running Creative Workshops recently as part of the Arts for Health Project at South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Mental Health Trust. If you follow Maggie on Social Media you will see regular updates of her Creative Journey. Maggie has taken a ‘leap of faith’ recently and launched her first Crowdfunding Campaign.
Maggie says “I thoroughly enjoy working with vulnerable people, those with Dementia and their carer’s, providing a platform where they can socially interact whilst enjoying the benefits provided via Creative Sessions. However, funding is continuing to be cut and it is a constant game of waiting for funding before securing the next contract. I thought I would have a go at achieving the funding myself – pressing the ‘going live’ button was very scary.”
The Campaign is time sensitive, so any ‘sharing’ would be much appreciated see more HERE
I watched my Mum suffering from Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease over fifteen years. Eleven years of her life were spent in a residential home, the last six years being in bed, unable to do anything for herself and often with her eyes closed. As a family, we were lucky, in so far as the care she received was exemplary and she remained dignified throughout.
Needless to say, the experience of watching and supporting my mother throughout this time has given me a very special experience, which I can use in a positive way to help others going through this journey and in other vulnerable situations.
I have been involved as a volunteer many times working on creative projects with groups of residents in care homes in a similar situation. What I quickly discovered was that once sitting around the table, the conversation would begin to flow. Often the people who appeared to be very confused and elderly, would transform into people half their age, discussing their careers and family life.
I think this time of shared activity and conversation is of extreme value to the social life of these people and, for the family to see completed projects that their loved one has taken part in can be of great comfort.
I would like to take my Pop-Up Sketchbook Workshop to Care Homes, Dementia Coffee Mornings, Drop-In Care Groups and all manner of other community groups, in addition to Coffee Shops, Tea Rooms, Pubs and Clubs where these people and their carers would feel comfortable to chat and take part in a creative activity.
To date, I have found a great need for this activity but a huge lack of funds to pay and whilst I am happy to do some volunteer work, I cannot sustain this long term and it is not fair to other Artists to offer unpaid Workshops. Essentially having funding for the Workshops would enable me to concentrate on booking, planing and, most importantly, delivering these Creative Workshops, which I feel so passionately about.
The materials used will range from drawing, painting, collage, printing, stitiching etc on various surfaces from paper to fabrics and using a wide variety of source materials. I would also like to use digital media/ipad both as a creative tool, but also, as I have already found useful, as a resource to help with reminiscing, answering immediate discussions and to inspire creative sessions.
As an Artist working with Mixed Media and Textiles, the projects we will work on will vary, but will be adapted to the ability of those taking part. My aim will be to encourage collaborative pieces, exploring different materials and styles.
Many people are being encouraged to use colouring-in books as adults these days, but, although I acknowledge they have a place, for me they are of limited value and my experience with vulnerable people has shown that they are happier to create something more personal. Drawing really does change lives. Everyone has drawn and at some point in their lives they have either decided to continue or decided to stop.
Most recently, as part of my creative discipline, I have been working on a resular basis for the Arts for Health Project as part of South Staffordshire and Shropshire Mental health Trust and the feed back has been unanimouly positive, I think this is partly due to my good fortune of having been born with a cheery and sunny disposition, which I love to share.
No Two WiRE Network Meetings are the Same
Maggie is also Volunteer Network Leader of Stone and Newport WiRE Networks, along with Penny Eccleston. Both Networks have a good following and, as is the way with WiRE, are run differently! Stone meet on the third Monday of the month from 10.30 – 12.30 with tea/coffee. Newport meet, at Maggie’s Gallery, The Coachman’s House Gallery, Newport TF10 7AX, on the third Wednesday of the month. This is a popular Lunch Meeting from 12.00 – 2.00. Both Meetings have a format of Networking, Speaker and Mini-Masterminding/Action Learning Session. DM Maggie on either facebook page or via the WiREUK web site for more information on either or both Networks.
WiRE Members Collaborate for a Michaelmas Event
On Saturday 26th September, Maggie Hollinshead and Sarah Lewis are collaborating on an event at Maggie’s Gallery. Sarah will be bringing her wonderful Pop Up Vintage Tea Rooms to the courtyard at the Coachman’s House Gallery to provide a destination for lunch/afternoon tea and culture. The Vintage Tea Rooms will be there from 11.30 – 6.00 and there will be an exhibition launch too.
Extras, Networking in person or virtually …..
Taking part in WiREHour has increased my followers
Visiting other WiRE Networks has increased my contacts, not least by meeting virtual contacts in person
To enjoy all that WiRE has to offer you need to be proactive and most of all you need to JOIN, WiRE only exists for and by its membership.