North East Connected

Art volunteers get elderly painting their windows

TEESSIDE care home residents have been painting their windows and creating collages with community art studio Artrium.

Volunteers and staff from the Hartlepool-based studio visited Briarwood Care Home, in Eston, near Middlesbrough, to run an arts and crafts workshop.

Former Artrium service user and now activities coordinator at Briarwood Care Home, Caitlin Dawson organised the session for the elderly residents.

Caitlin, who has autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia, said: “I used to be very shy when I first went to Artrium. They helped me come out of my shell through the medium of art.

“I thought the residents at Briarwood would enjoy an art session, as I have been encouraging them to work with primary colours in the style of cubist artist Piet Mondrian.”

Residents made collages using different fabrics and papers. They also watched Artrium volunteer Gill Hector painting flowers onto the windows in the home’s sunroom before having a go themselves.

Resident Vera Davies said: “It was lovely to make a collage but the best was being able to paint on the windows. We don’t normally get to do something like that. I’m looking forward to them coming back again.”

Kathryn Hall, project lead at Artrium, said: “We use art as a medium to help people with mental health issues and to improve their overall wellbeing.

“Outreach is really important to us and we visit local schools, nursing homes and work in the community.

“It was lovely to visit Briarwood. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming.  It was lovely to see how engaged the residents were in the art sessions we held and their joy as they worked.”

Mark Culley, home manager at Briarwood Care Home, said: “We’d like to say a big thank you to Artrium for visiting the home and running a fantastic art workshop for our residents. We hope to see them again I future.”

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