Weʼve raised £444 to support Metal's amazing NetPark Wellbeing project which provides art classes for people living with dementia in Essex
- Funded on Wednesday, 24th July 2019
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NetPark Wellbeing, run by Southend Borough Council and the art charity Metal, provides art wellbeing sessions for people living with dementia, as well as people with mental illness, depression and learning difficulties.
The classes combine art and technology in an innovative style of art therapy, helping the participants to express memories and painful feelings through their work.
It’s run by Emma Mills - a qualified Art Psychotherapist and Ian Wilson – a dementia activities facilitator, along with volunteers. When speaking of the dementia classes, Emma said “There was a need to do something to help people with dementia have a meaningfully creative outlet whilst giving their carers much needed free respite.” It is also well documented that mental activities and socialising can help to slow the progression of dementia down.
Metal currently run 2 NetPark Wellbeing art groups per day, with up to 9 participants attending each group with volunteers helping. And all the classes are doing truly amazing things for those who take part.
Of the 850 participants who’ve been involved in the project since it started in 2016, 73% have said their self-confidence has improved, 82% said their symptoms of social isolation have reduced and 82% said symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress had improved. 62% of participants asked said since coming to the project their visits to their GP or crisis team had reduced.
A number of the project attendees also go on to help run the classes, with 14 of the 34 volunteers in the last year being ex-class participants. And for those who volunteer, 79% then returned to school, college or employment, showing the huge impact the project has on the lives of those who go along.
And that impact extends beyond the participants too. Over the last year, the classes have provided 1472 hours of free respite to dementia carers, which is invaluable time out for those involved.
Unfortunately, with ongoing budget cuts, the future of projects like this are never guaranteed or secure. Although offered to participants for free, there are naturally a lot of costs associated with running the art classes, including the staffing fees, art materials and travel costs for the volunteers. Without additional money, some of the classes may be forced to close.
And that’s why Becky started the Secret Postcard Sale. “NetPark Wellbeing is such an amazing project doing so much good for people who’ve been dealt a really difficult hand - it’s so important that projects like this keep going. Sadly my lovely dad has dementia and in the earlier days of his illness when he was still able to go out, we really struggled to find places we could take him that he’d enjoy and where his illness was understood. The NetPark Wellbeing classes would have been perfect. Although the timing meant unfortunately my dad wasn’t able to benefit from them, so many people are getting so much from them, and the difference it’s making to their lives is huge. I believe it’s so important that as a community we get behind projects like this and the Secret Postcard Sale gives people a great way to do that.”
Emma Mills said ‘The need for accessible mental well-being support and provision in our town is increasing and our project is currently able to offer this to all participants free of charge. By supporting the Secret Postcard Sale this year, you’ll ensure we can keep running for another 12 months, offering our services to over 80 participants and 18 carers and providing expenses for our lovely volunteers, many of whom are living with mental health conditions. I would like to say a huge thank you to Becky for her invaluable support over the last few years, all the artists who have taken the time to make art in order to support our project and those buying the Golden Tickets and donating. I cannot thank you all enough for your fundraising at this time.”
Although all of the Golden Tickets to win one of the beautiful postcards have now sold out, if you'd still like to donate through this page to this amazing cause, that would be fantastic, thank you so much.
Updates appear here
Becky Nixon started crowdfunding
Leave a message of support
Apr 4, 2019
Age concern do a lot if you want a good cause. Don't know why I'm even considering this one.
Apr 4, 2019
Not sure why.
Apr 4, 2019
Apr 4, 2019
Not sure why I'm doing this. Go to age concern, they do a lot for dementia.
Caroline Moyes Matheou
Feb 21, 2019
Feb 14, 2019
For postage x
Feb 12, 2019
Great people make things happen
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