Residents at a Blackpool care home have been tapping into their artistic talents.
By Julia Bennett
The Willows Care Home, on Midgeland Road, Marton, highlighted National Care Home Open Day with an exhibition of more than 60 pieces of artwork produced by their residents.
The event, held on Friday, June 28, featured pianist Caroline Cooper playing a variety of classical and modern music while residents, their families, friends and staff browsed the display and enjoyed refreshments.
Paul Swithenbank, chief executive and owner of The Willows, presented residents with certificates for their achievements.
He said: “Our residents really look forward to their weekly art therapy session with our activities and wellbeing co-ordinator Julie Critchmoor, which has had a significant benefit to their health and wellbeing.
“I can see an improvement in their concentration and attention.”
Paul thanked Libby Metherell, an A level Art student from Kirkham Grammar School and great-granddaughter of resident and artist Doris Lunnon for volunteering each week to assist Julie and the residents.
Libby, who is also working towards achieving the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, said: “I’ve enjoyed supporting people of an older generation through the medium of art.
“I have also gained confidence thanks to the guidance of Julie and all the residents.”
Julie Critchmoor, activities and wellbeing co-ordinator, said: “I’m so proud of our residents.
“Everyone has worked very hard painting a variety of landscapes for our spring/summer exhibition.”
Eileen Dootson, 84, who has lived at The Willows for four months, said: “I still can’t believe how people like me, who have never painted before in my life, can produce a painting using a sponge, a toilet roll tube and cotton buds, the effect is amazing.
“My daughters Julie and Sylvia said, ‘Mum, have you done that?’”
The exhibition will be displayed for a couple of weeks then the artwork will be sold to family and friends, raising money to buy more materials.