Stitch in Time provides weekly creative textile reminiscence workshops on the RUH older patients units led by our Artist in Residence and co-produced by textile students and volunteers.
The workshops incorporate a range of images and creative textile processes, taking elements from one-to-one and group conversations on the wards as well as sharing of memories. By encouraging and supporting social skills and interaction between patients, we hope to increase patients’ self-esteem and confidence by introducing them to a new skill that they can then share with their family, friends and loved ones.
Work created during the workshops is often developed by our volunteers or sometimes even by patients on the children’s ward to create a series of public artworks throughout the year.
Stitch in Time Workshops take place every friday morning 10am-12pm on Combe Ward.
The Image below is a felt bird made in response to the bird book that Edwina bought to the ward. Bill was very interested’ [and also very sad ] to make a picture. He had kept birds and was upset that he was no longer able to. He was pleased that he was able to share his knowledge with us. Prior to the making he had been extremely distressed, he had been remembering his wife and also his twin brother who had died as an infant. Gently she was able to distract him from his sad memories by introducing the bird book and felt.
Having the distraction made a real difference to the patient’s morning, Edwina had been concerned that she might not be able to console him, he cried for a long time. Making the felt distracted him, he enjoyed physically rolling and turning the work.
“I also met one of the new dementia volunteers who was very interested in what we were doing, she had experience of organising activities in a Bupa care home but said she had never witnessed anything like the work we were doing. She explained that she may be working with the volunteers to introduce them to this way of working. She was very excited!!
Audrey also worked in the day room with us. I worked with Babs and another female patient at their bedsides and we were visited intermittently by John.”
Edwina Bridgeman, Artist in Residence
Research shows that creative activities can enhance the quality of life, improve communication, empathy and understanding of needs of patients with dementia. These stimulating activities can reduce stress and the perception of pain, and often leads to a reduction in the level of medication required, number of falls and can shorten lengths of stay in hospital. These creative activities also open up a forum for discussion and communication, making people feel more relaxed and calm and more likely to voice anxieties, fears, recall memories and form networks within the group.
Artist in Residence, Edwina Bridgeman runs Stitch in Time on Combe Ward; a recently re-furbished award winning dementia friendly ward for older patients which features a spacious and homely Dayroom large enough to accommodate a range of activities.
I in 4 beds at the RUH are occupied by an older person living with dementia. The hospital can be an isolating and confusing experience for someone who has dementia and coupled with their clinical needs, they can often endure long periods of inactivity. The Stitch in Time workshops facilitated by Edwina and volunteers produce some fascinating, lively conversations and interactions between patients, staff and family/carers. The project is further enhanced when our musician in residence, Frankie Simpkins plays her ukulele and sings on the ward whilst the workshop is running. This often results in a sing along and on occasion even a patient at the Day room piano.
“My husband is a patient here and I have been so impressed with the activities in the dayroom. Patients have fun and become friends while learning crafts and enjoying afternoon teas and music. What a splendid idea!” – Wife of patient on Combe Ward