A wellbeing initiative for older residents
The Active Minds project is funded by Harrow Council’s Adult and Community Learning, it forms part of government research into health and wellbeing. Over the past 12 weeks the project has been delivered by facilitators to HCHA’s older tenants living at St Barnabas Court, Gillian House, and Paxfold sheltered schemes, and Ewart House extra care scheme. Our tenants have benefitted from a free programme of activities ranging from ‘reminiscence’ workshops through to creative art and craft techniques, like jewellery-making, glass painting, wirework and sewing. We have seen our residents come together, chat, laugh and make, in a friendly informal taught atmosphere.
Ekky Archibong has delivered the six session craft course at St Barnabas. She said, ‘A benefit of this programme has been that it has helped to bring people out of their flats into the communal area, and encouraged interaction amongst residents who wouldn’t normally be chatting together. It has stretched minds, built confidence, and improved the quality of art for all the participants’.
Above: St Barnabas resident Kari Aina with all the craftwork she has made over six weeks, from a stitched bag, to jewellery,
a pot and collage. Kari remarked, ‘I like these workshops, I have learned that I can do things I never knew I could.‘
Ewart House: Five weekly sessions on reminiscence were held with many people joining in the interactive discussion groups. Facilitator Rochelle Scholar used props, videos and photographs to prompt conversations around participants’ memories,
thoughts and feelings on topics including: evocative scents, the history of markets, laundry, and the history of tea.
Resident Darren Porter commented, ‘The workshops brought people together and broadened minds.’