Throughout Spring and Summer of 2018 we worked with patients at Clifton Hospital to bring the outside in and onto the wards as part of a project we called, 'Wonder-Full'. It was all about improving wellbeing on the wards and rooted in the thinking that healthy minds support healing bodies.
Together we built an installation of nature inspired objects, writings, textiles & sounds inspired by personal stories of enjoying the outdoors.
Being in hospital, or indeed any care facility in which you are reliant on someone else's physical and/or medical support, can be frustrating and boring. The days are long; the noise and routine, incessant; the visitors too few and far between. It can be hard to keep your spirits up.
Through the weekly process of making and writing we reminded ourselves how the fresh air motivates and invigorates the soul, and how doing some creative can really soothe the mind.
From crochet and clay work to poems and painting, it seemed using our hands & minds to create something new whilst focusing our thoughts outwards really helped.
Over the course of our weekly sessions, we saw some of our participants get well enough to go home, whilst others told us they looked forward to having something constructive and creative to do - even if they'd never done it before.
Imagine learning a new skill in hospital, making a new friend, having a good conversation - small things that can make a big difference to the experience and duration of a stay in hospital. Wonder-Full provided a platform to make those things happen and gave patients a unique opportunity for creative expression in a supportive but, otherwise sterile, environment.
At the end of the project, Wonder-Full was nominated for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Trust Innovation and Service Improvement Award at their 2018 Celebrating Success Awards. We didn't win, but we were thrilled to have been considered alongside so many important medical teams and traditional health programmes.
Wonder-Full was a creative collaboration between Fable Arts, Ludus Dance and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, generously supported by Community Foundation for Lancashire United Utilities Lancashire Community Fund and Fylde Council.
Watch a documentary of the project here:
You can also read a blog post written by Maiya Leeke, an emerging artists from Fylde, who worked with our partners, Ludus Dance to deliver the movement aspect of Wonder-Full here.