Significant impact that therapeutic participatory arts can have on people’s lives
We have a long history of partnership working with Bazooka Arts ….. to promote different approaches, to raise awareness of the impact of, and enthusiasm for arts-based initiatives, as well as the potential that the Arts has in enabling and empowering local people and local communities.
The NL Connections project evidenced the significant impact that therapeutic participatory arts can have on people’s lives, there is a strong commitment to improving the quality of life, the need for this type of work is well evidenced and it is our view that there is a clear need and demand for such work locally (as well as nationally)
Our long history of partnership working with Bazooka Arts leads us to think that they would be extremely well placed to deliver further inputs in our area – with Bazooka Arts already having more than demonstrated their commitment to working with vulnerable people and across health and social care services to promote the role the of the arts in building positive mental health and wellbeing and reducing isolation.
The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation highlights that North Lanarkshire has the second highest percentage of data zone areas where multiple deprivation exists……Despite this background and the challenges it creates, we continue to strive to offer innovative creative approaches that enhance overall quality of life and help people progress their individual aspirations and outcomes. ….
We believe that the Arts, alongside a whole range of other approaches such as sport, cultural or faith activities, amongst others, have a critical role to play in helping create more inclusive, more diverse, more cohesive, more tolerant and understanding communities.
Key skills & approaches to working with vulnerable adults
East Renfrewshire CHCP recognise the therapeutic and social benefits of involvement in the arts and as part of our programmes of work with older adults we engaged Bazooka Arts to provide workshops based in our local day care facility in Barrhead.
From the outset Bazooka Arts were able to demonstrate key skills and approaches to working with vulnerable adults and had a proven track record in this field. They were very clear about the outcomes that could be achieved by using arts as a means to improve people’s quality of life through producing high quality artwork.
The first block of activity involved the production of paintings utilising a range of media including silk and paper. By working with individuals to identify a memorable ‘place’ and by building people’s confidence, a number of paintings were produced that were exhibited publicly in Barrhead Health and Care Centre.
The second project was a drama project in which the members began to work as a group and to share ideas and support one another. Both projects had a clear impact on the confidence and self-esteem of participants and were delivered in a person centred way by the ‘Bazooka Team’. Feedback from participants has been extremely positive.
I hope that we can continue to work with Bazooka in the future as they have a clear understanding of our aspirations for older adults, in particular to build people’s capacity to improve their own lives through involvement with art, and I would be happy to recommend the company to others wishing to commission or fund similar programmes.
Created positive experiences and connections for people
Bryony and Zoë have assisted the older people to get back their independence and friendships by reuniting them back into the community that they were once fully active in. It has created positive experiences and connections for these people through their participation. One member who was recently widowed told me how much the group has meant to her. Before her husband’s death she was a full time carer for him and was very isolated. This group has been invaluable to her, re-engaging her with the community and in helping to alleviate her loneliness.
Witnessed the coming together of people
Bazooka Arts’ choice of artists goes beyond choosing them for their artistic abilities. I firmly believe that the way the process of silk painting is calmly and engagingly explained to participants encourages those who have some skills and those who declare “I will never manage that” to have a go. I have on many occasions witnessed the coming together of people with a range of difficulties, round a table fully engrossed in the process of producing their own work.