In Your Mind’s Eye
In Your Mind’s Eye started a ground breaking project run by Gwanwyn in collaboration with staff and patients at the Seren Ward, a dementia assessment unit at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital.
Thanks to the project, artists have been visiting the ward since 2011 to find ways that they can be put to work with nurses and patients. The aim has been not only to produce work for the ward but to incorporate art into the everyday life and therapeutic practice of the ward, with all kinds of associated benefits for the health and well being of those involved.
We have invited a variety of practitioners, including visual artists, ceramicists, musicians, storytellers and poets, to develop creative activity and integrate this work into the unit’s methodology.
The new unit’s understanding of the intrinsic value of arts has flourished. It is popular with patients, staff and families and now has a dedicated arts space in order to deliver artistic programmes.
In 2014, students from the Applied Drama programme at University of South Wales, Newport shadowed the sessions delivered by the professional artists and created mini performance showcases that fed into their final year practical assessment.
Staff now have the confidence to develop their own creative ideas within the ward and have created a sun room and book wall.
The success of the project has meant that the project leads (Gwanwyn Programme Manager and the Ward Manager from the dementia assessment unit) were invited to speak about In Your Mind’s Eye at the NHS Wales Confederation conference in January 2014.
For me, as the ward manager of Seren, I cannot thank Gwanwyn enough for agreeing to try something very new and different. It has helped us shape the future of dementia assessment in hospital wards.
The project continued in 2015 with a new partnership between Gwanwyn, University of Wales (Newport) and Gwent Arts in Health. It sees 3rd year students on the Applied Drama Course receive mentoring from In Your Mind’s Eye artists to deliver art sessions to dementia patients. The students will then deliver their final year project as part of Gwanwyn 2015.