Whilst studying at Bradford College of Art (over 40 years ago!)I recognised the benefits of engaging and supporting elders in discovering their creative potential by producing items of pottery using coil and slab techniques in a variety of ways.These activities enabled the participants to think in a more inventive and exciting way about any recent changes to their health, lifestyle and status. The most positive outcome I observed was an improvement in their levels of concentration, communication and social interaction with family, friends and each other.Fast forward 40 years and I still hold onto the belief that creative visual activities can improve peoples health, reduce levels of anxiety and combat feelings of low self esteem and self worth.
Cha Cha was established as a result of my work in the community as an Occupational Therapist for over two decades in a variety of settings combined with an ongoing interest in the Arts.One main aspects of my professional intervention was in supporting people with a combination of needs to maintain their independent lifestyles that may have been altered due to a physical or psychological reason. My aim is to provide person centred creative intervention and support to people in their own homes who may be at risk of social isolation due to changes in their lifestyle.This support could range from creating a piece of artwork to attending art galleries and local events in a positive way to managing their own physical and psychological recovery.
I decided to relinquish my HCPC registration as an Occupational Therapist after 23 years of practice to provide an independent service in the social domain focusing on lower intensity support to improve peoples health and wellbeing by creative intervention.Stimulating people in alternative ways may lead to the development of new skills and the opportunity to improve their lifestyle.