Claudia contacted us and asked if we’d send her some products for her university project. We were happy to help and to hear about how well the project went. Here, Claudia tells us all about it:
Throughout my final year of studying my BA (Hons) Degree in Visual Studies at Norwich University of the Arts, I have focused on the therapeutic uses of art mediums, as well as following the ethos of kindness, giving and the act of ‘gifting’. I am interested in significant actions which make a difference to people’s lives. This began when I ran a series of groups at a residential care home in 2012, which were hugely successful in providing meaningful activities that benefitted the residents’ mental health and well being.
The importance and impact of these groups was illustrated in the case of one individual who initially appeared angry and afraid to leave her room, but began to do so on a regular basis as a result of taking part in arts and craft activities. When it came to the last session, the residents mentioned how sad they were that they would not be able to carry on with their paintings, because they didn’t have the access to the resources and materials.
I recognised there was a clear need to grant this access to art and craft materials, for which I began to seek charitable funding. I set about constructing attractive wooden boxes in which to store the materials. This would allow residents in care homes and sheltered housing to access arts and craft materials and enabled them to participate in art activities whenever they wanted. Once I had collected all the materials and finished the boxes, I spent some time visiting all of the care homes and sheltered housing to run various art groups in order to introduce the residents to the boxes of materials.
Derwent has played an essential role in providing the access to resources through sponsorship of my project by donating Pastel Collection tins. These tins of Pastels in particular have been very popular from the boxes and have helped one individual with Dementia who used to be an artist years ago, rediscover her artistic skills and has found great comfort and enjoyment in using Derwent Pastels.