People living with dementia get creative for local hospital

May 2021

Our Derby City Dementia Support service has been given the green light to start an exciting new arts project thanks to a grant from the John Weston Fund, managed by Foundation Derbyshire.

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The service provides support, information and guidance for those living with memory loss, confusion or dementia, and their carers.

The project will enable people living with dementia to design artwork to brighten up the public areas of the Dovedale Day Hospital in Derby. The £750 grant will be used to buy materials to support the group in making a series of 10 large abstract coloured relief friezes on canvas.

Sue Naish, a volunteer at the service, said: “The techniques used will be a mix of painting and polymer modelling, decoupage and needlecraft which has proved successful with this group in pilot activities run to date.

“The recent restrictions halted all activity with the group but we are now working towards organising a safe restart date to enable the group to get going on this exciting project.”

Following her husband’s dementia diagnosis, Sue approached the team looking to share her passion of craft with the local community. She felt the décor within the hospital was dull and depressing. It struck them both that this is a space where people might receive life changing news and the area would benefit from being made more human, personal and brightened up.

Sue is passionate about uplifting the feel of the corridors and has been instrumental in bringing the project to fruition. Her vision was a project in which people living with dementia could collaborate to create artwork that will make a big impact on the public spaces in the unit, whilst also showing those using the unit what can be created by people with the same challenges that they have.

Liz Fairfield, a Fundraising Volunteer for Making Space who was instrumental in securing the grant for the service, said: “This is great news for the service. The project will enable people living with dementia to make a tangible contribution to society, greatly improving the environment and providing hope to others who are beginning the same journey as they are on.”

Thank you to Foundation Derbyshire for their valuable support.

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