Placement at Children's Hospice South West
When I studied Creative Art Therapy Studies at City of Bristol, I chose my placement to be at Children's Hospice Southwest. During this project, I collaborated with another student to plan and run sessions for the patients, their loved ones, and the staff. I had the opportunity to facilitate fun, playful experiences for larger and smaller groups.
Overall, both sessions taught me to be in the moment, not to overthink and that it is ok to depend on the staff and service user's families as they know the individual best.
Placement at Southmead Hospital, Bristol
This was another placement when I studied Creative Art Therapy Studies at the City of Bristol. I attended a 6-month placement at Elgar House in Southmead Hospital, a dementia and complex care unit. I was required to plan creative activities to stimulate the patient's cognitive and motor skills. Other requirements were attending training and openly communicating with the volunteer group before and after sessions.
I approached individual patients asking if they would like to do an activity and have some company. The feedback from the participants was positive; for example, I made them feel acknowledged. From this experience, I learned to adapt to the participants' needs and made lots of heart-warming memories.
After my placement, I was required to create artwork in response to what I learned at the placement. I created two illustrations based on my conversations with the patients. I learned that many patients in the ward felt lonely, trapped, and had scattered fragments of their memories. One consistent factor throughout the sessions was touch and the need to be physically close.