25th August 2016
Setting the scene for creative wellbeing sessions at Heysham Gardens
There has been a chorus of light, sound and action at a series of creative wellbeing workshops at Eden Housing Association’s Heysham Gardens Extra Care scheme in Carlisle this summer. ‘Setting the Scene’ theatre workshops organised in partnership with Theatre by the Lake enables residents of all abilities to stimulate their senses and get involved.
‘Setting the Scene’ at Heysham Gardens included a series of five creative sessions designed to encourage people to share, create and connect with a blend of simple drama exercises, singing, music and movement, storytelling, crafts and conversation.
Designed for participants and carers to enjoy together, activities were built around a theme and adapted to suit our residents. This meant every session was unique, tailored to give those taking part the chance to be involved as much or as little as they liked.
Sarah Bowman, Community Development Officer for Eden Housing Association said “We’ve been delighted at how this partnership has developed. Freelance Creative Facilitator Jenn Mattinson and Theatre by the Lake Participation Assistant Rosa Cooper-Davies, really got to know us.
Residents talked about no longer being able to go away on holidays, so one session focused on ‘something exotic’. They enjoyed a mix of dance, songs, colourful craft and chance to try or rediscover exotic fruits like papaya, dragon fruit and mango.
Feedback has been very positive, it was a chance to share new experiences and focused very much on what people can do, rather than the abilities they have lost. ”
A sense of drama and colour was provided with the costumes brought along from the theatre, with Freelance Creative Facilitator Jenn Mattinson who said “One of our aims is to encourage a sense of community, but there’s already a fantastic sense of community here. There were a broad range of needs and abilities and we worked hard to ensure everyone was involved in their own way. Residents who are often quite quiet came alive and one or two with a musical talent had confidence to bring along their own instruments which was very rewarding.”
Eden Housing Association (EHA) has always provided a range of training and workshop opportunities for their tenants and residents, working with funders and local organisations to make it happen. Sarah Bowman Community Development Officer at EHA said “We have been able to provide these workshops at Heysham Gardens, thanks to a legacy fund left by one of our tenants. Looking to the future as funding in the social housing sector becomes tighter; the collaboration with specialists and other partners in the county will become even more important.”
The sessions at Heysham Gardens were run by Freelance Creative Facilitator Jenn Mattinson and Theatre by the Lake Participation Assistant Rosa Cooper-Davies, in partnership with Theatre by the Lake.