Creative sessions in Spalding for people living with dementia

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Art has the power to get a man back in his shed when he’s lost his confidence.

It’s also a tool to make new friends, to enjoy social interaction and to feel useful again.

Carol Parker (facing) carrying out Creative Classes for Dementia.

Carol Parker (facing) carrying out Creative Classes for Dementia.

Community artist Carol Parker understands the power that art has to transform lives.

She says: “It does make a difference to people. I have been doing it for 30 years and I know it’s going to help them.”

It was a man at one of the creative sessions she runs at Boston who had stopped going into his shed following a diagnosis of early onset dementia.

Carol gave him a project: a chunk of wood and a request to carve a curvy line in it. He came back with a piece of art, complete with carved holes and a channel for pebbles. He’s now working on wire sculptures.

Carol is now hoping that art can make a difference to people from Spalding and the surrounding area who are living with dementia as well as their carers .

She is running creative classes for this group of people at Tonic Health, which is behind the Job Centre in Broadgate House, Westlode Street, Spalding.

Sessions are run in 11-week blocks on a Thursday from 11am to 1pm – there is one running now, a new one starts on May 5 and another on September 15.

The venue is perfect as it is one that is familiar to some people who attend the Dementia Cafe held there each Wednesday (1.30-3.30pm) and run by Marilyn Morris, mother to Bowen practitioner Michael Morris, the proprietor of Tonic Health.

The cafe offers a weekly mix of gentle exercise or Laughter Yoga, beauty therapies, health talks and nostalgia – as well as food and companionship.

The creative sessions are not meant to be art classes – Carol will share techniques and ideas and then it’s up to those who attend what they would like to do.

Carol said: “It could be writing, embroidery, painting... it’s whatever people want to do and they will bring their skills to the group as well.”

At Carol’s sessions there is a small charge for tea and coffee, while a suggested donation of £2 is requested for those who attend the Dementia Cafe.