Arts Crafts Dignity in Care – final reflections after two years

By June 15, 2015 Features No Comments


As ACDC phase 2 winds up to the final seminar at the Lighthouse, Poole on June 16th we can now start to reflect on an inspirational two years. Since our last update in March we have now delivered all of our sessions including a mainstream event for Carers and support workers.

At the end of March we held a refection meeting for all artists involved in the ACDC initiative from across UK, Belgium, Netherlands and France. We worked in small groups to discuss how the immersion sessions and pilot sessions had changed the artists’ perspective on their professional relationship with care workers, and how by changing their own expectations of a workshop session they are better able to “tune in” to the participants and help to reduce the feelings of social isolation. As a result of our notes from these discussions one of the artists from Dorset wrote the following poem:

I am a connector.
Choice is my purpose.
I connect with you and we are we.
Feeling what we do
Is what we do
Feeling To Do.
Our cultures are our stories.
We may not understand
Our story differences
Cultural difference is what we do
We reflect on the reversed picture
In the mirror.

One touch is the warmth of sun
We don’t need more complication
We can reach each other with a low tempo,
Simple basic human interaction.
More activities mean more sunshine.

We care for those we work with and we care with them.
we all have a need to care for each other.
Confronting what it is to be you.
We have been young
We have not yet been old
(When does being young finish
And being old begin?)
As we walk the care full path from young to old together
we are both care givers and care receivers;
An arm, a touch, a shoulder
If I could stumble half a mile with your tension,
I would find there is no cup of tea at the end.
And when we reach the other place
We should not think about forgetting
But be here in this time of memory
And here we are people and in this space
We will accord each other our own Dignity.
Posted by Peter John Cooper

The Artists then worked on how they would like to explain to Care workers and support organisations how both can work together to better effect for the participants. The result was our Mainstream session.

We held our Mainstream Session at Dillington House, Somerset on May 7th and three of our artists led the session. We were joined by freelance care workers, safe housing associations, care homes, day centres and artists. The afternoon was described by the participants as follows:

“I feel this way of working is something I can take into my work and share with management as I feel brighter? Don’t know how to describe it…
“I feel I better understand the importance of making a connection with people and to be present and more empathetic in my work”
“I really felt the passion for what you do, the music and story- telling combination was very powerful and as an independent carer it gave me a sense of being of value and how I can better interact with creative activities”
“I was put in touch with skills and knowledge that I had learnt years ago but that I can now apply in my current work setting and life, things I had forgotten – thank you”
“Very different to any other training session I have attended – It was soul soothing..”
“It made me think of the residents I look after and put myself in their shoes”

Our next sessions were combined with care workers in three venues.

  • A story-telling session with Saturday youth club for young people with learning disabilities
  • A music and story- telling session at the Oak trees nursing home in the dementia setting
  • A music and story-telling session at The Laurels day centre for adults with learning disabilities

For the combined sessions we worked with 50 participants, 3 artists and 12 care workers.

It was felt that everybody learnt from the experience, and the venues are all really keen to work with us in partnership and as a training opportunity for their care staff.
We have a seminar fast approaching to share the results of the ACDC programme and we look forward to the next steps to enable us to take this training programme forward.
Tuesday 16th June – The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset – 12.00 – 4.00pm

For registrations please go to:

Tracy Hill – Project Manager
June 2015