Create develops and delivers creative arts programmes, led by professional artists, with disadvantaged and vulnerable people across the UK. The charity works with children and adults with disabilities, young and adult carers, women who have experienced domestic abuse, young patients, frail older people with dementia, people who have struggled with homelessness or substance addiction, offenders, and school children in areas of deprivation.
In April 2013, Create received £3,447 from the DM Thomas Foundation for Young People which contributed towards an extensive programme taking professional musicians and visual artists into children’s hospital wards in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire. They delivered 55 hour long workshops at 19 children’s hospitals, hospices and respite centres, reaching 484 children and young people across the year. The integration of arts into healthcare has been shown to reduce hospital stays significantly and any anxiety that stems from being in an environment that can feel intimidating and unfamiliar. Taking part in these creative sessions provided a focus away from the children’s illnesses and injuries, and lifted the spirits of everyone on the wards.
Create’s artist said, “In one workshop, two little girls sat together playing the coloured bells and got so engaged as they followed the rhythms, watched us play and joined in. We discovered afterwards that they were both about to go in for an operation and we had completely distracted them from thinking about that. They were much calmer after playing music with us.”
A parent said, “My daughter’s in hospital because she had an asthma attack. This is the first day that the doctors have taken her off the oxygen so things are looking up. It has been fantastic to hear the ward filled with music and songs! I think one of the things she has found the hardest is boredom. The children spend a lot of their time being quiet due to consideration for others on the ward.”