Sevenoaks School students get creative at Hospice in the Weald
Students from Sevenoaks School have been undertaking weekly art therapy sessions with patients at Hospice in the Weald.
A group of students visits the Hospice each week to draw, paint and talk to the patients about Art. Students have been working together with some of the patients to create artwork, socialise and inspire each other.
Fifteen students are participating in the school’s Voluntary Service Unit’s (VSU) Art project, and as part of this a number of students travel to the Hospice every week to spend time with the patients and enjoy engaging in creative activities together. Every session covers a different activity and so far the students and residents have tried making clay vegetables, creating prints and experimenting with glazing. Sevenoaks School students complete weekly voluntary service as part of the International Baccalaureate and the school has over 400 students doing voluntary service at the school every week. Combined, the students log over 30,000 hours of voluntary service every year, helping both the local community and causes further afield.
Emma Delpech, Art teacher at Sevenoaks School, who runs the VSU Art project, said: “Creativity is a great source of wellbeing; providing all those involved in or observing the activity with a space of meditation, purpose and a connection with processes that can produce pleasing and surprising results. The students who visit Hospice in the Weald on Thursday afternoons benefit from this activity as much as the patients and Hospice staff do: there is connectivity and a sense of community and of sharing expressive processes. It is a process-led space, which encapsulates everything that is good about collaborating in the joy and freedom of making art. We are so lucky to spend this time with the patients at Hospice in the Weald. They enrich our lives and inspire us.”
One of the student’s participating in the project comments: “Visiting the Hospice is such a fulfilling experience. Every week that we go, I find myself getting closer to the day patients, as we see the same people so start to get to know each other and build good relationships. It is a great feeling to take something you are passionate about and translate that into helping others. Art works so well because it removes any pressure by allowing people to open up through shared creativity, play and plenty of humour.
“I am incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to go to the Hospice and to get to know all the fantastic characters there.”