Person-Centred Creativity Development Workers Nick Clements and Katja Stiller have started working on a new project at the Children’s Hospital of Wales. Our aim is to set up a safe and fun environment where children and young people will be able (as much as possible) to forget about being patients, to have fun and be creative.
The idea for this project has grown out of discussions with the Children’s Commissioner’s Office around children’s rights, and the sessions are funded by the Arts Council of Wales.
This project will give the participants the opportunity to share their perspective, make films, produce art work and to be heard. Throughout the project we will be looking at children and young people’s needs and rights.
Our aims and objectives for the children and young people are:
- to express themselves creatively
- to regain a sense of control in their lives
- to have fun
- to be listened to
- to work with others
- to express their views and opinions
- to get a sense of achievement
- to enhance their self-esteem.
The sessions will be flexible and the young people will be able to create a piece of work within each session. ‘Right Here Right Now’ is primarily about process, because we do not want the young people to feel any pressure. The work they will produce over the next three months will be displayed along the staircase of the Children’s Hospital.
On the first day we met five year old Anisha and her mum. Anisha told us that she had been very sad, scared and sick when she got to hospital; she was dreaming about going home, to her toys and her bed. She said that everybody had been very nice to her and that she is now feeling better. While the nurses removed Anisha’s drip she told us about the fish she was drawing called Cinderella who is going to a Fish Ball with all her friends. At the Ball they will dance, play Simon Says, Chinese Whispers and have fish cake. Anisha and her mum had been waiting since 8 o’clock that morning to go home. When they were finally allowed to go home they decided to stay and to finish her painting.
Natasha, a mum of a toddler waiting for an operation, started drawing and told us that she needed to calm her nerves. Another mum agreed, reaching for the glitter, saying “This is really therapeutic for us too”.
We also worked with young people at the Teenage Cancer Trust. Over the next few months the young people will produce their own short film. Cancer and the treatment has taken a lot of their energy, however the young people we met were full of hope. With this project we want to support them in looking beyond their illness.