During the Valentine’s weekend our Forres service took part in the Window Wanderland Forres event which saw hundreds of local people create artworks based around the theme of 'Love Is'.
The theme was a call to express all kind of love – for your friends, pets, hobbies, you name it!
Gabe dedicated his window to his girlfriend Abbi, 80s and 90s music, learning to drive and chocolates. He said "Chocolates are my weakness and my love!!! Taking part in this event has cheered me up during lockdown. It was perfect"
Alfie dedicated his window to his love for music, especially Jim Reeves and The Beatles and birds.
Hugh dedicated it to rugby, wildlife, bird watching, owls and Dad’s Army.
Tracy’s loves are dolphins, seals, romance and nature. Tracy said "I enjoyed the colouring in of the pictures, it has helped me to not be anxious".
Alina’s window was all about her love for the film ‘Frozen’, music, unicorns and princesses. She added fairy lights too. She has really enjoyed this event and she is a great fan of art and crafts.
We loved Hugh and Geoffrey’s window full of hearts!
Scott chose the love heart pattern himself and said he has enjoyed doing it as "it’s given us all something to do when we are stuck at home".
Support worker Jayne took the lead on this activity and helped staff and individuals to get organised for the event. She said:
‘My manager Michelle brought the event to my attention as a leaflet had been left in our office. With the help of one of our supported people we printed out some pictures to colour and a letter explaining all about the project. We delivered them to 8 individuals on the project and it just went from there. It was lovely to see people getting excited and focused taking part. I feel it has given us all something fun to get involved in during the lockdown. It’s not easy finding things to keep us all upbeat so in my opinion the event has brought positive benefits for us all.’
Jayne has worked at Ark for 13 years and came equipped with an art degree but no previous experience in support work. She uses her love of art and crafts to help people express themselves.
‘I'm a huge believer in art therapy. Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, people have been unable to go to their usual groups so it's very important to keep them occupied and art and crafts are the activities I encourage as I know the benefits to our mental health.’
She has also set up, with some of the individuals she supports, an events committee. They all have a role in the committee, from making decorations to designing tickets or posters for the events. Their latest one was a Christmas party just before lockdown but they also organised day trips to local attractions and 3 years ago they even put on a music festival open to the whole community! Members of the committee were involved from start to finish: they planned the event, helped with the running of it and a couple of them even sang at it!
It is stories like this that makes us say that our colleagues are amazing. Thank you Jayne and all the Forres staff for finding creative ways to keep people entertained, involved and happy while keeping them safe.
If you would like more information on the Window Wanderland event check their website Window Wanderland - A Covid-safe way to connect people, transforming streets into magical outdoor galleries.
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