Activity group aids patient recovery | Latest news

Activity group aids patient recovery

A weekly activity group at a local hospital is providing patients with more than just the opportunity to get creative.

art@pinders is run from Pinderfields Hospital by the charity SPINE - the voice of the Pinderfields Spinal Cord Injured population – and gives current and ex-patients of the Regional Spinal Unit the chance to take part in a range of activities from drawing and sketching to painting and flower arranging with expert tutors who have also been former patients of the spinal unit.

Dave Wilders is one of the art tutors, he said: “I enjoy my Monday afternoons here. Being able to help people with their art is something I have a passion for – I’ve been doing it for 20 years.

“It’s not just about the art and crafts though, being part of the group means patients with this type of injury can interact with each other and share their experiences. This is such an important part of the recovery process for anyone with a life changing injury.”

Being able to talk to other patients is indeed something the participants place a lot of value on. Cheryl Scarth was a patient at the spinal unit five years ago and has been coming to the group for the past year.

“I love coming here. If I didn’t come I wouldn’t draw,” she said. “It really makes me feel like part of a family and being able to talk to people who have gone through a similar experience and have a similar injury is extremely beneficial.

“It also makes you aware of what else is on offer. I’ve started playing wheelchair basketball in the last year and that’s as a result of the peer support and encouragement I’ve had from the group.”

The group is sponsored by Coloplast who provided the initial funding but now art@pinders funds itself through the sale of Christmas cards designed by its members.

Kevan Baker, the Chief Executive of SPINE, who set up the group, has been really pleased with how well it has been received, he said: “Before we started art@pinders there was no opportunity for old and new patients in the spinal unit to interact, other than through sport which isn’t for everyone.

“It’s brilliant we are able to offer them something more and the fact that the sale of our self-designed Christmas cards is the thing which keeps us going is testament to the success.”

In a few months a new digital photography class will be introduced, which has been made possible by the generosity of the family of a former patient who have donated two new Nikon cameras and a laptop, complete with Photoshop.

art@pinders runs in the spinal injury centre dining room at Pinderfields Hospital every Monday, from 2 - 4pm, for those with a spinal injury and is free to participants.