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Exhibition marks end of hospice arts project’s first year

03 June 2016

The annual Art Bag project, run by the Macmillan Wellbeing and Therapeutic Service based at Peace Hospice Care, Watford, and The Hospice of St Francis, Berkhamstead, encourages people to “create, contemplate and connect”.

The project sees art bags – filled with everything you would need for a simple creative activity – given out to patients with life-limiting illnesses, carers, relatives, volunteers and the general public.

The aim is to encourage people to “create, contemplate and connect”.

This year – the first year that the project has been run – the focus was on weaving, but plans for future years include creative writing, expressive art and sharing stories for wellbeing.

Over 500 individuals from across Hertfordshire were involved in the project this year, with many of their woven creations forming a new exhibition at Watford Museum.

“[The] weaving activity encouraged participants to focus on doing something ‘in the moment’, fostering enjoyment, wellbeing and relaxation which is beneficial to those who have a life-limiting condition,” explained Annalie Ashwell, Macmillan wellbeing and therapeutic coordinator.

“It’s also a social activity and we’ve found that many people who have completed the weaving project have done so alongside others, either at home or at their local hospice.

“The project has also been a gentle way to introduce some of our other creative activities at the hospices and has encouraged more people to use our wellbeing service as a way to build resilience when living with a life-limiting illness.”

Participants in this year’s project were offered the opportunity to contribute their completed artwork to the exhibition, providing a visual representation of the communities connected to each hospice.

The artwork will be on display at Watford Museum until 25 June and visitors to the museum are being invited to try out some weaving of their own and add to the continuously evolving exhibition.

The exhibition also provides an opportunity for people to learn more about the other services offered by the Macmillan Wellbeing and Therapeutic Programme and attend taster creative sessions.

See more articles in Community engagement

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