Self referral dementia group ‘Looking Forward’ attended their first fine art classes at Mill Green (Mill Green School provides a quality education for learners aged 9 – 19 with severe, complex, profound and multiple learning difficulties including Autistic Spectrum Disorders).
‘I left school not being able to read nor write but I could do art, funny that isn’t it?’ – John, Looking Forward.
On Friday they worked with teachers and students to produce a series of artistic personalised mugs. Looking forward are a group who have identified the early onset of dementia and have formed the group to use activities, such as culture, to help curtail their condition. The Cultural Coordinator approached the fantastic arts officer at Mill Green, Amanda, to hold workshops for this community group in the school where the amenities and staff are second to none.
‘I had 150 staff under me, and I was bloody organised, not like now’ – Rita, looking Forward
On arrival the group were offered a cup of tea and both John and Rita divulged their life stories to the group of John being a shop steward and Rita as a home care manager. The group were then joined by 2 members of staff and 2 students , Alan and Melissa. Amanda led the group by showing them a mug she’d made earlier (Blue Peter comes to mind here) which enthused the group into starting the project immediately. Using special paints, paper, brushes and imaginations designs were created on the paper.
‘I think mine’s the best don’t you?, I never thought i had something like this inside me’ – Dave, ex-miner, Looking Forward.
Next step was the finished paper to be wrapped around the mug which was then placed in a press, heated up and then the paper peeled back slowly to reveal intergenerational artistic creations (pictured). A great afternoon was had by all, new acquaintances were made and a greater understanding of generations with differing conditions was formed.