We were delighted to welcome Michael Wicherek of Box Clever Theatre www.boxclevertheatre.co.uk to Farnham Maltings to run the most recent in our series of drama workshops aimed at supporting and inspiring carers of people with dementia.
These informal and friendly evening workshops bring together professional actors and local carers (both family and professional) in an informal setting with a threefold aim:
- to learn helpful techniques and be inspired
- to have fun
- to meet people in a similar situation and share experience and support.
What people said after this session:
“Very charismatic leader, taking people out of their comfort zone, but in a safe way. Very professional and high quality tutor.” Participant from the Alzheimer’s Society
“Using drama as a tool to help both carers and people with dementia is a creative concept and one that worked. I liked the way that the workshop linked ‘living with dementia’ into the session and gave people a creative output either verbally, through drama or written”. A second participant from the Alzheimer’s Society
We ran our first session on Mon 14 Mar 2016. What people said:
“The Care for Carers workshop at Farnham Maltings was a breath of fresh air – lots of laughter, lots of fun and above all a lovely group of people. Kath Boddy made everyone feel very welcome and Sophie Russell led an imaginative workshop which cleverly drew out our creativity. A great evening – thank you.” Right at Home, GF.
“This 70 year old quite taken by doing something frivolous (in the nicest sense) for the first time in yonks. A highly imaginative and entertaining structure to last night’s session. A big thank you to Kath and Sophie.” Participant
“.. the session was extremely liberating… I was very glad I came..” Participant
“.. my sister and I laughed til we cried on one of the exercises.. that has to be a good thing..” Participant
What is Take Care?
In the sessions we look at ways that the tricks of an actors’ trade – improvisation techniques which have been used for centuries by serious actors and clowns alike to get themselves out of awkward situations – such as when another actor gives them the wrong line, or a piece of scenery malfunctions.
We believe that by transferring actors’ skills to a care situation we can allow carers to feel freed up to explore more interesting possibilities and equip them with the ‘yes’ approach to an unfamiliar situation, such as when someone with dementia retreats into an alternative reality and would benefit from their carer ‘going along with it’ for a bit.
We’re continually responding to feedback and while the second session involved a lot of talking, we have since moved the focus back to mainly creative working. Meanwhile, we have paired with the Sunflower Cafe at Brightwells Gostrey, which runs every Monday morning and offers the chance to share experiences and advice in greater depth in a friendly setting.
That said, Take Care gives carers some opportunity to meet other carers over a glass of wine and we chat generally about how the arts can contribute meaningfully to carer well-being and happiness. This is a gentle introduction to these techniques with an experienced, fun and understanding workshop leader; no experience necessary.
This pilot has been made possible with seed funding from Right at Home (Guildford and Farnham), Farnham Town Council and Farnham Lions Club.
7-9pm | £6 (incl. refreshments)