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Creating art brings fun and laughter to Butterwick Hospice patients

19 May 2016
  • Sonia with the group of patients she has worked with at Butterwick Hospice
  • Sonia with the cabinet displaying some of her works for sale to raise funds

Sonia Burn, a self-taught artist with a particular talent for sharing her enjoyment of creating beautiful and interesting artworks, has been encouraging patients at Butterwick’s day hospice to get creative.

Sonia, who volunteers as a receptionist at the hospice, became involved in the day hospice after a conversation about the works of art that adorn the walls of the hospice in Bishop Auckland – most of which were created by previous patients.

Sonia admitted to being a keen artist herself and was encouraged to bring a portfolio of her work in to share with staff and patients.

People were so impressed with her work that she decided to donate several pieces for the hospice to sell to raise funds. These are now displayed in a glass cabinet in the reception area of the hospice.

Lead nurse Anne Marwood told Sonia how the hospice often works with local artists to create occupational therapies for patients and asked if Sonia would be willing to help people get creative.

Sonia accepted Anne’s invitation and she has been working with a group of day hospice patients to create decorative plaques to add to a commemorative piece of wall art for the hospice – and creating much enjoyment, laughter and conversation in the process.

"I’m delighted that people have got so much fun and laughter out of creating this wall art which commemorates the date Butterwick Hospice opened," Sara explained.

"It has grown out of a canvas, some paint and some squares of MDF and a great bunch of people who were prepared to have a go. It has developed a lot of good times for people who thought they couldn't ‘do art’ but they have realised that together they could create something very special."

One of the day hospice patients, Olwen, said: "We were a bit dubious at first as none of us are artistic but once Sonia showed us what to do we just had a go and really loved it. I managed to create more than one tile."

"We had such a good laugh working on this together," added another member of the group Maureen, while Barbara said: "It’s magic – very therapeutic and absorbing."

Sonia is delighted with the reaction from the patients and has really enjoyed working with them.

"I think they have all been pleasantly surprised by what they have achieved," She said. "They are all now looking forward to creating something else together, so I’m planning the next project which will be very different in style."

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