For the past seven years we have provided fun, beneficial, and meaningful creative activity services and learning to older adults living in care homes and settings. We have a unique skill set which embraces creativity, care and educational skills and this has enabled us to provide impactful services that have increased participant’s engagement with others, their well-being, and their confidence.
Our aim is to ensure that every older adult living with social care needs has access to creative opportunities and high quality activity and learning.
The spark for Creative Paths CIC was founded from my belief that for wellbeing and quality of life, there needed to be wider access to creative activity and learning for older people living in care. I have a passion for arts-in-health activity and have dedicated the past 35 years to promoting creative activity and occupation in health and social care settings. I have experience across the care sector and have worked as a hospital artist, care assistant, activity coordinator, care manager, regional day service manager, and health and social care lecturer.
I became part of Creative Paths in 2014, joining the team pretty much at the beginning. I have undertaken many roles and responsibilities since then, though my primary focus has been on delivering Creative Paths’ community learning programme, working as a tutor delivering courses in care homes and the community. I have a keen interest in supporting people, and the benefits of arts and health. My background is in the arts and creative sector, where I have worked delivering art exhibitions and arts & heritage projects. I now focus on delivering online projects and organisation development for Creative Paths
I am a community artist and workshop provider who is passionate about providing projects that prevent isolation and promote community cohesion, I believe we are better when we are together with others! I love working with Creative Paths, it brings a sense of achievement and joy to the people we work with and it provides me with the opportunities to carry out the work I enjoy doing.
I am delighted to have had the opportunity to work with Creative Paths on two very different projects: The Clifton Storeys project, collecting oral histories from the original residents of one 1950s built estate. Once participants began talking, they discovered common memories and their stories came tumbling out. Healing, Hope and Memorial was delivered via Zoom into care homes. This new way of working was tried due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions and was a new experience for all. I was surprised by how well the participants engaged and we developed some real connections and poetry. It’s inspiring to see the difference that Creative Paths engagement makes, particularly for people living with dementia.
I have a background in Fine Art and filmmaking and use a range of art forms to help participants connect with themselves, others and the world around them. Everyone is creative and I help enable participants to express themselves in any way they choose. I’m keen for participants to take the lead should they wish to, and I use improvisation to promote this. For me, quality interactions which empower are key.
I’m a relatively new recruit to Creative Paths. I particularly enjoy the collaborative approach, developing and delivering projects, at the heart of which is warmth and empathy for participants.