The Friday Club was a stimulating visual art session run monthly at the Hereford Alzheimer’s Society day care centre at the RVS in Hereford. The project ran from 2012 to 2016 and had over 30 people attend across the life of the project.
The sessions were diverse in the range of arts activities offered and everyone was encouraged to engage creatively in any way that they could.
The arts activities engaged participants by stimulating memories and facilitating conversation. Through engaging in the project, some participants reported a re-awakening of old or forgotten creative skills, whilst others were trying something new.
As part of Remember Me 2014 and Afrovibes 2014 festival the group were invited to have their art session at The Courtyard, and make work to be displayed at the events. It was unclear how the group would find working in a different setting for the day but these sessions worked really well, feedback from the participants and staff was really positive, and a testament to Courtyard staff who were highly praised for being so helpful, supportive and understanding of people’s needs.
The group also went on to make work that was part of the Elves and the Shoemaker 2015 Christmas show, and a banner for the Hereford River Carnival, as well as an exhibition as part of Remember Me, The Courtyard’s annual arts event held in Dementia Awareness Week.
‘At the heart of these art sessions is a feeling that being creative gives us a sense of profound satisfaction, happiness and social connection. There is a great personal reward when we engage in making art, it makes us feel good.’
I did one or two paintings when we had to do a test in school, I have always admired somebody who can paint. I haven’t done art since at school so it’s good to start painting now.