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.
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.