Fiona's art therapy helps vulnerable older residents

AN art club is set to continue providing a vital source of companionship to some of the Capital's vulnerable older residents after securing funding from a senior care centre.

Monday, 12th March 2018, 6:00 am
Fiona Fahey says participants in her art classes often surprise themselves by what they can achieve

The therapeutic sessions, hosted by artist Fiona Fahey, allow older citizens to explore their creativity in a friendly environment while also providing an opportunity to socialise with fellow art enthusiasts.

And the classes are now set to continue thanks to support from Edinburgh care facility Home Instead, who have allowed Fiona to set up her studio in their Castlebrae centre.

However, participants in the classes do not need to be residents of Home Instead facilities and can attend alongside other members for the same rate.

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Previously, budding artists in Fiona’s sessions were included in an exhibition titled Treasures from the Attic, featuring artworks created in the classes.

Fiona said: “I have a particular interest in using art as therapy, I find the process therapeutic and love to see this in others.”

“In facilitating workshops for older people, I meet amazing people whose creativity and enthusiasm inspire me”.

The workshops are split into two classes, each specialising in one artistic style. In the watercolour class, participants will practise mixing colours and then create their own landscape, still life, or a work of their own following a demonstration by Fiona.

Fiona added the workshops were a space for those attending to express their creative side.

She said: “My classes are relaxed and fun, I love to see what people can do. They often surprise themselves.”

“Everyone gets a great sense of achievement, as well as enjoying each other’s company. There are no rules, just your ideas and a bit of guidance from me.”

Home Instead director Andrew Senew added: “In the care sector, so much focus is put on the physical side of things, but outside of that there are things that people just love doing that really matter to them. Art could be one of those, or it could be something they have always wanted to try.”

He continued: “There is no reason why people can’t take something up when they are a little bit older and with these sessions being open to everyone inside and outside our care, no one has to miss out on the opportunity to experience something new.”

All workshops are on Friday’s between 1pm and 4pm, with a half-hour tea break.

Refreshments and all art materials are included in the £10 charge per session and those who require support to attend should do so with their own carer, at no additional charge.

A free taster class will run at the centre on Friday, March 23 between 1pm and 4pm.