TeaCupFilm-Apr2018-Weldmar-PatientsWorkingAn animated film made by people attending Weldmar Hospicecare’s Day Services

The Arts Therapy team at Weldmar Hospicecare work with patients and family members using a wide range of creative activities. The aim is to offer people opportunities to express themselves, rekindle skills and maybe gain new ones.

During 2017, this team worked with over 50 patients, family members, volunteers and members of staff to create an animation that looked to challenge people’s misconceptions about what a modern day hospice is.

Eileen Haste, Arts Therapist for Weldmar Hospicecare, said “People who attend Weldmar’s day services are at a significant, and sometimes challenging, time in life and opportunities to experience yourself as a person, not just a patient, are invaluable in maintaining a positive sense of identity. All of the people who worked on the animation felt strongly that they wanted to express their feelings to a wider audience about their actual experience of the hospice, and what a positive role it has played in their lives”.

Weldmar’s Arts Therapy team ran regular animation workshops at each of the five day services Weldmar runs - in Dorchester, Weymouth, Sherborne, Blandford and Bridport. Participants were involved from the outset, with story boarding, and then illustrating images, assembling and animating the scenes and recording voice overs.

People who participated in the animation project described how they had at first been worried about accessing Weldmar services because of the perceptions they themselves held about what would await them:

“My first thoughts about what a hospice might be … is that it is somewhere where you go to die or perhaps just be extremely ill for several weeks. “

“The first thing I thought about is that everyone just sits about.”

Eileen said “As it turned out this misconception of what a hospice is was not the only one the project addressed. It could be easy to make the assumption that people attending a hospice would not have the capacity to come together to produce an animation. In fact people were brimming with ideas. But while some participants didn’t doubt their capacity, they did doubt their ability to grapple with digital technology. It turns out those people underestimated themselves. It seems we are surprising creatures. The animation expresses beautifully that the hospice can be a very lively place to be in and that even while living with a terminal illness people are able embrace and engage with each other and the modest yet expansive ideas that come their way”.

The animation can be viewed on Weldmar’s website now at www.weld-hospice.org.uk/teacup or on their YouTube channel www.youtube.com/weldmar

Weldmar Hospicecare is a charity that provides end of life care for people living in Dorset who need specialist support. Their compassionate approach supports patients and their families, medically and in other ways, in the community, in their hospice and at home.  All their care is free and reliant on public donations, as the NHS provide around 25% of their annual running costs.

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