The Building Community through Arts team has worked with a wide range of organisational clients, taking care to explore with them at the outset their particular issues and the objectives they wished to set for their programme. A BCA programme can bring together diverse people, such as care home staff and residents, their families, and school and business volunteers.
People living and working in social care settings have found the BCA processes invaluable and very enriching:
- For the benefit of the people with whom they work, to improve quality of life
- For the staff to raise their motivation and morale, and enhance working relationships
- For the staff group to explore working in a collaborative learning environment
- For the continuing improvement of best practice
- To enhance skills development: communication, working with others, improving own learning and performance, adaptability, problem solving, creative thinking and innovation
- To work with people from different parts of the community, making new contacts, learning from each other and valuing differences
What People Said:
- “The dynamics of the group had changed as the staff had changed during the programme” – Care Manager
- “BCA were filling a gap by attending to social interaction. This social core training with spontaneous and continuous work on creativity fills a great need in training provision. It’s brilliant.” – Local Registration Officer
- “This work should be the model for Social Services everywhere and BCA’s networking and training methods could be applied in any area.” Senior Social Worker
- “Mind Opening” said by a member of the care staff team, after an introductory workshop. The Education Officer for the home commented “This sort of work is essential. I liked the practical aspects, leading staff through the creative process and understanding what that process involves.”
- “Just holding the person’s hand, when a lot was shared in silence” said by a member of a care staff team, when working with a resident who was deaf, yet wanting to participate in the workshop
- “It was good to be ‘people’ not just ‘care staff’” said by one participant, describing how dismissive people can be about care staff, failing to see them as individuals with their own creativity to contribute to the organisation.
- “Now everything is an activity” said by a member of staff who had realised that creative care was a 24 hour programme, and any contact between resident and care staff could be creative
- “Isn’t it brilliant for staff and residents to be sitting and working together” said by a resident when participants in threes, supported each other with ideas, reminiscences and by sharing their feelings. Another said “I always enjoyed the sessions. You always had a leader to ask questions and we always wanted to go again!”
- “It was very useful, we were talking amongst ourselves, rather than sitting around like stuffed dummies” said by a resident some time after a workshop when communication continued
- “It opened another dimension of the resident” said by a care staff member, who in the workshop, had surprisingly discovered things she had never known about her resident before. She felt able to refer to them later on in private with the resident, and so build up confidence in their relationship.
- “Sometimes it’s difficult just visiting with nothing to do. It’s great to have a project to work on together and to get to know the staff in a different way. It makes me feel more part of a team” said by a family member reflecting on sharing in a programme along with her mother who was a resident.
- “It has had a beneficial effect on all the staff and residents and has gone a long way to build up team working with the staff group” said by a residential home manager working with his staff.
- “If the resident is happy – then I’m happy” Care Staff
- “I felt important – that my work was worth something” Part-time Care Staff
- “Talking with residents creatively was now on a scale from ‘waste of time’ to ‘valuable use of time’” Care Organisation Manager
- “Allowing painful as well as joyful memories is equally worthwhile. We must not insist that people are ‘terminally cheerful’” Care Manager
- “Thank you for teaching us we can be more: thank you for showing us that we can be more; and we will be more, I promise you” Care Staff
- “My confidence grew, watching staff develop as I sat back” Care Manager
- “A project like this brings out the unexpected” Participant with disability
- “You made me realise that just because I am in a wheelchair it doesn’t mean I can’t do anything. I still have my hands and my mind. It’s all in the mind. I told my GP this. “How I wish more of my patients realised that!” came the reply.” Day Centre Client
- “My whole attitude towards my self and my work has changed”– Residential Home Care Assistant
- “They were finally able to communicate and a lot of healing took place” – Care Staff speaking about a family group
- “At the start we each identified our personal and organisational objectives. By the end of the programme all our objectives were met.” – House Manager of Residential Home for Older People