Arts Boon for Team BCHC | Charity News Blog

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Arts Boon for Team BCHC

Thanks to a generous donation from Playtech Software Limited administered through the Charities Aid Foundation, we have been able to create and deliver a far-reaching, accessible, and participatory arts and cultural programme for both colleagues and patients. The aim is to increase engagement, reduce social isolation and boost morale following the pandemic.

Singer Bob Gessey entertains staff, patients and visitors at the Dental Hospital for NHS75Launched in 2022, the Arts & Culture in Health project also serves to alleviate boredom and reduce anxiety for patients and service users, as well as providing team building activities for Team BCHC staff. The project provides arts for wellbeing activities such as music, dance, crafts, and more and has engaged 4,061 individuals across 87 sessions at 36 venues. Take a look at just a few of the sessions we’ve delivered across the Trust since the project launched:

On Friday 27th January 2023, BCHC Charity funded a session for a clinical away day from Circus Mash, a circus skills training group. The invigorating and moral boosting session included juggling exercises using balls, juggling clubs, and diablos. One staff member said that the session was “fun, interactive and good to work alongside colleagues and encourage each other”.

Working with Singing Medicine, we’ve provided interactive musical sessions at staff wellbeing days, on inpatient wards and at charity events. As well as being a great form of entertainment, singing and other musical activities can also promote reminiscence and improve memory, help with emotional pain or grief, and encourage a sense of community and connection. After the challenging nature of recent years in healthcare, these sessions have been invaluable to patients and staff alike; a real boost to morale. Patricia, an Occupational Therapist on Ward 14 at West Heath Hospital, said; “It takes people’s minds off things, especially for those who are struggling with low mood. Usually, our job requires us to focus on the physical health of patients, but this activity helps the mental side too… it’s excellent!”

We have introduced staff to the acoustic tubes ‘Boomwhackers’ at a number of away days, providing a lighter engagement activity that encourages communication and brings people together through teamwork.  The sessions provided by Unbeatable Energy have been a huge success. Jean Dipple, IPC Assistant, shared; “I think that was one of the simplest yet most effective examples of great leadership and systems working I have experienced. Well done, BCHC Charity and all involved for a truly memorable moment’’.

A member of staff with a stitching craft kitArts and crafts projects are a simple and fun way to provide stimulation and distraction to patients on wards. As part of the Arts in Health project, we’ve provided inpatient services with mindful colouring books, pens and pencils, craft kits and more to help keep patients busy and entertained. Staff have also benefitted from beautiful sewing craft kits which act as a mindful activity to help them decompress and relax during breaks or after shifts. One member of staff reported that they “thoroughly enjoyed the craft kits… For somebody who deals with anxiety, it helped me feel more relaxed.”

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