In February Superact was pleased to host our new partners for the Erasmus+ project Handmade Wellbeing, in Exeter. The partners from Finland, Austria and Estonia arrived on Sunday 7th February in the evening ready to start on Monday morning. This was our second meeting together, but our first short term training event.
On the Monday we were able to give our partners an overview of the work of Superact and introduce our team. We also showed the start of our digital story, which will show Handmade Wellbeing from first contact with our participants to the end. This piece of film will be a contribution to the final exhibition.
Handmade Wellbeing sees us working once again with the Guinness Care Partnership at three different settings. A residential and a day care facility in Newton Abbot, and a day centre for adults with MS and Parkinsons in Chudleigh, Devon. Our story starts with voice recordings of the participants, who discussed their interests in art and crafts. We also heard of the frustrations from the MS group on how they now feel unable to do detailed arts and craft work.
On the Tuesday our partners were enthralled to hear from our Story Teller, Stu Packer, about his experience of the ACDC project and his immersion in a pseudo care facility, roleplaying an elderly gentleman in care. This experience has had a profound effect on how Stu now works and engages with older people. In the afternoon we had a willow weaving session, this was an introduction to our partners of a traditional South West craft.
Tuesday afternoon was educational and very reflective – we were joined by Betsan Corkhill who explained the science behind repetitive craft interaction, such as knitting, and the important physiological impact it can have. We were treated to a session with Helen Webb from the Guinness Partnership and Janine Stedman from Tamsden Memories. Both Helen and Janine are very experienced care managers. They explained life from the participants and care settings perspectives.
On Wednesday and Thursday we visited our care settings. The partners observed both willow weaving and printing with our participants.
Thursday afternoon we visited the Devon Guild in Bovey Tracey for our guests to see some local artist work and spend their pocket money! Friday morning was a reflection session for the visit and a chance for our partners to ask any questions. We also discussed plans for the training week in Finland in May.
This was a great week, with everyone learning from each other. We’re looking forward to heading over to Helsinki soon to see the work they have started.