Our arts-based activities are a key part of our holistic programme. The arts activities provide people a safe space to think about and share past experiences and express their feelings.
Art and writing
Art and writing sessions are offered by our two Artists in Residence, illustrator Jane Ray and children’s author, Sita Brahmachari, with support from illustrator Ros Asquith, who volunteers with us.
The online art and writing sessions gather around a ‘Virtual Hearth’ in which people appreciate art, draw, play games, share conversations, write and sing. Each term there is a theme for example, the colours of the rainbow.
Sita described how she supports the class to compose poems like this: ‘I gather a ‘treasure hoard’ of words, gathering the language of the hearth like sparks from a fire… we use these sparks to build a communal poem, a collective listening that I lightly structure together to express the stories told around our hearth.’
We were delighted that in 2021, Sita, as a Royal Literary Fellow, ran a programme in writing skills for clients with higher levels of English. The programme included supporting people to write applications for university places, personal statements, writing poetry and writing creatively.
Our Choir gathers to share songs from their own heritages, as well as to learn new songs. Many students find the sessions therapeutic and also a good way of staying connected to their friends and the community. Our choir is led by Romain Malan, Director of the World Harmony Orchestra.
Client: “I love the music because it makes me relax and switch off bad thoughts.”