Confidence in movement
A sense of community
These are key benefits which the dance programme About Being brings to the stroke survivors I work with.
About Being starts in the hospital and then moves into the community. The aim of the work is to offer a space for people who have had a stroke to come together to explore, create, socialise and take part in exercise that can support their physiotherapy programmes.
In all, it is a project where the participants take ownership of their recovery.
Solid friendships have formed in the group which were particularly called on over the COVID lockdowns.
The emphasis of my sessions are not on ‘dancing with a disability’ but on moving together as a group in a supportive environment to explore and create. There is no right or wrong with movement.
Working in partnership with other professionals, including occupational therapists and physiotherapists, the group meets once a week at the University of Cumbria. UoC occupational therapy and physiotherapy students support the sessions. This is a unique approach to About Being and offers a place for shared learning between students, arts and health sectors and also the participants: they teach the students about life after stroke.
People’s stories of past and present, music, poetry, the world around us and nature are some of the starting points for movement in the sessions. The groups input to these themes mean they can build a connection with what they have experienced to how they move.
Autumn 2021 we worked with film Cumbria Wildlife Trust at Gosling Syke nature reserve. Using the theme of ‘change’: of seasons, of the group’s life before and after stroke, we worked with Alice Underwood films to create Swimming Upstream.
other This beautiful film not only demonstrates the benefits for all, but also gave participants more confidence their own abilities and that they have a much to give in their lives after stroke.
FILM LINK HERE
About Being is supported by Cumberland Infirmary, Healing Arts and Cumbria University and is a development of a 10-week programme of work I led on the neurology ward at Cumberland Infirmary as a part of my Reaching Horizons project.
About Being is one of many creative health programmes in the country. I hope to see in the not too distant future, these projects being a part of our healthcare where a logical, accessible progression from hospital to the community is created.
And the person is at the centre – not their medical issues.
How you can get involved:
Sessions run on Wednesdays, 2.30pm – 4pm £5 per session, companion free at the University Of Cumbria, Institute of Health, Fusehill Street CA1 2HH
Tea, coffee and biscuits free at every session.
Contact Susie if you would like to find out more or to join a session
Email : email@example.com
Call : 01434 345736 / 07554478851
Photos © Jonathan Russell