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Everyday is creative at Sovereign Lodge

1st June 2021 Everyday Creativity Sovereign Lodge

Residents and staff at Sovereign Lodge care home in Eastbourne have joined up with local artists as part of the ‘Everyday Creativity Care Homes’ project, underway in East Sussex.

Sovereign Lodge were recently chosen as one of only a few Care Homes in their area to take part in a creative pilot programme commissioned by East Sussex Public Health, working alongside arts organisation Culture Shift and three local artists: Lucy Groenewoud, Marisa Gardner and Sarah Bryant.  The program aims to explore how the impact of creative activities can improve the health and wellbeing of residents- something that is particularly important after such a tough year of Covid restrictions.

When the country went into lockdown last year, Tracy Wenham – activities coordinator at Sovereign Lodge – was committed to ensuring residents still had the opportunity to continue with much-loved creative hobbies and activities. As part of the initiative, artists supplied the home with a pack of carefully curated, quality materials and resources to try out with the residents, over a 10-week period.

Marisa Gardner, lead artist at Sovereign Lodge explained “We wanted to encourage all staff members to engage with residents in small mindful moments each day and to recognise just how valuable these can be.  Each creative prompt is designed to offer a sensory experience to spark a discussion or connection.  We were determined that the most important element was this meaningful connection, or the participation in an activity and much less about any physical outcome.” The resources have been designed to be as inclusive as possible;  The multisensory approach means there is something for everyone to engage with, whether they are non-verbal or have visual impairments. The resources have been designed to be used in a group setting or in a more personal one to one basis, with one to one engagement being particularly important during lockdown.

As a result of the pilot, residents have been creating beautiful paintings and drawings. Resident and artist Pauline certainly brought sunshine into the home when she created a beautiful drawing of sunflowers using scraper board. As a highly accomplished artist Pauline used her skills to ‘scrape out’ the design using fine tools from the previously prepared black ground. The finished mixed media painting is striking!

But it isn’t just grand pieces of visual art the home have been making. The team have incorporated reminiscence exercises into their creative projects, monitoring the positive impact it has had on many of the residents living with dementia. Tracy comments: “Robert (Bob) took part in a fantastic ‘About Me’ session. Bob happily talked about his memories and had me in stitches with some of his responses.” Resident Jim wrote his ‘advice to the younger generation’, Whilst Barbara and Bob took part in a ‘leaves and trees’ exercise. Tracy said “Barbara loved the smell of the Geraniums we planted, it reminded her of growing up with parents that loved gardening, it was their favourite flower.  It was such a lovely session to do as it really elevated Barbara.”

This initiative is just one of the many ways in which Sovereign Lodge get involved in the community to provide fulfilling activities and improve the health and wellbeing of their residents. The team at Sovereign Lodge “would like to say a huge thank you to the Everyday Creativity Team for allowing us to be a part of this ground-breaking initiative.  The support and assistance offered throughout the scheme has been invaluable and the resource materials have been so helpful”.

To find out more about lifestyles at Sovereign Lodge care home, call 01323 412285 or email [email protected]

For more information about the scheme, please contact [email protected] or visit [email protected]

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