A home care company in Oxford has launched an art class for its clients, making art activities accessible for everyone who receives care at home.
Hannah Tomlin, a senior carer who was recently named as the events co-ordinator for Walfinch Oxford says: “I was inspired to set up a weekly class in Uffington village hall by Bill, one of our care clients. I set it up myself, but once I told Walfinch Oxford, they decided to support me and help me develop it.”
Bill says: “I used to go to an art group but it stopped running. Now Hannah has set up the group it’s easy for me to get to.
“I like that it’s relaxed and informal. It’s not taken too seriously. None of us profess to be artists but we enjoy getting together and having a go. It’s given me something else to think about. Thanks to Hannah for starting the group.”
Now several local Walfinch clients come to the class, often brought by their carers, who join in the activities. It’s open to anyone, and local villagers come too.
Hannah, who enjoys arts and crafts herself, and provides the art materials, says: “The first six sessions were still life, for which I supplied the subject. We hope to do weaving, decoupage, printing and pottery soon, led by local crafts people. People who come along can also choose their own subjects and bring their own projects if they like. We want it to be open to all abilities, so we also provide materials for mindful colouring.”
Some attendees initially struggled because they had not done any art for years, but Hannah says: “I tell everyone that it doesn’t matter about the end result – it’s about enjoying the creative process, and the carers and other attendees encourage each other to have a go. We have had some lovely artwork produced already.”
Hannah, who brings along cakes and refreshments for sharing, adds: “It gets people out of the house and moving around and provides social interaction. We celebrated Bill’s 97th birthday at art group with a birthday cake and all sang to him.
“Art is a fulfilling activity and known to be beneficial for mental health and well-being. It’s lovely to see the emotional effect it has on the people who come along.”
Kam Gill, Managing Director of Walfinch Oxford, says: “Art classes are commonly available in care homes, but we are delighted to support Hannah in extending the opportunity to home care clients and their communities. Our carers often take clients to activities but to offer this ourselves is a great addition to our services.”
For more details of the classes see Walfinch Oxford or call 02045414500