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25th April 2017

Charity launches creative activities pack for care homes

A WELSH charity’s art for care homes programme is launching a new bi-lingual resource pack to help care home staff and residents to run creative activities workshops.
Age Cymru’s cARTrefu project is sending a cARTrefu Activity Pack to every care home in Wales.
The packs provide ideas for care home staff and residents on running activity sessions covering visual arts, words, performing arts and music.
“Since 2015, we’ve been running the cARTrefu arts project and linking care homes with some of Wales’ most creative artists to give older people in care homes access to quality arts activities,” said Reg Noyes, Age Cymru’s cARTrefu project coordinator.
“Our artists have enabled hundreds of older people who live in care homes to create their own art through sessions in visual arts, performing arts, words, music.
“We’ve now developed the sessions our artists delivered into the cARTrefu Activity Pack, which features colour-coded cards to help care home staff and people who live in care homes to run their own cARTrefu sessions.”       
The cARTrefu Activity Packs contains activities split into four areas – visual arts, performing arts, words, music.
All the activities are designed so they can be delivered without any expert knowledge or specialist equipment.
Rebecca Evans, Minister for Social Services and Public Health said: “We know that creative activities can have a very positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing.
“The new cARTrefu Activity Pack will enable care homes to run quality arts sessions for residents, providing opportunities to try new activities, express their creativity and engage with other residents.”
The pack provides advice on how to lead a creative session, including planning, the importance of getting involved in the activities yourself and the timing of sessions.
It also looks at creating the right space for delivering a creative sessions and considerations including playing relaxing background music and encouraging family members and visitors to get involved.
“With growing evidence of the positive impact that arts-based activities can have on our health and wellbeing, it’s more important than ever that older people have opportunities to explore and express their creativity”, said the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Sarah Rochira.
She added: “Age Cymru’s new cARTrefu Activity Pack is an excellent resource, packed full of useful and practical ideas and information that will help to ensure that older people living in care homes across Wales will be able to take part in a wide range of creative activities and enjoy the many benefits these activities can bring.”
The cARTrefu Activity Pack has also been welcomed by representatives of care and nursing homes in Wales.
“As a long term supporter of the arts in care homes, I am really happy to see the development of this resource”, said Mario Kreft, Care Forum Wales' chairman.
“Every year Care Forum Wales hosts the Wales Care Awards to celebrate and promote best practice and the Sir Bryn Terfel Foundation Award for Promoting the Arts in Social Care reflects just how significantly we view the arts.
“Having seen first-hand how the opportunity to express themselves through the arts enriches the lives of residents, I would wholeheartedly encourage care homes to get involved and spread a little joy.”

To accompany the cARTrefu Activity Pack, Age Cymru is holding four free training events for activity coordinators, care home staff, and managers around Wales, hosted by My Home Life Cymru’s Suzy Webster and cARTrefu project coordinator Reg Noyes.
Each event will be devised and run by a professional team of cARTrefu artists, who have been running creative sessions in care homes around Wales for the past two years. The artists are bringing their knowledge, skills and experience to help give care home staff the ideas and confidence to get creative with residents using simple activities.
The events will be: May 2 at Hengoed Court Care Home, Swansea, May 3 at Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon, May 5 at  St. David’s Care Home, Rhyl and May 8 at  College Fields Nursing Home, Barry.  If you work in a care home and would like to attend one of the events please contact Reg Noyes on call 029 2043 1576 to reserve a place as places are limited.

More can be found on the Age Cymru website.

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