Care UK has joined prestigious organisations such as The Courtauld Institute of Art, The University of Lincoln and the City of Toronto Museum as key sponsors for the 2019 Big Draw Festival which is taking place across the whole of October.
Suzanne Mumford, Care UK’s dementia expert, said: “We are very proud to be sponsoring the 2019 Big Draw Festival. Arts are an essential part of life in our care homes and I’ve seen first-hand how, drawing and painting can bring satisfaction and pride to older people. Using art materials and being creative can also be a powerful reminiscence activity for people living with dementia – prompting long forgotten skills and bringing into focus memories of a person’s earlier life. I hope our involvement will encourage older people living in their own homes to also pick up a pencil.”
As well as helping to promote the importance of The Big Draw through its sponsorship, around half of Care UK’s 120 care homes are also taking part in a very practical way with a range of artistic activities. Many care home teams have embraced the concept of art being an accessible activity that people of all ages can enjoy together and have invited local schools and children’s groups to join residents in their creative ventures. As well as sharing tips and learning new skills together, it gives residents a route into happy memories that may have faded with time and, for those with more advanced dementia, an alternative way to communicate emotions and thoughts. Launched in 2000 as part of the ‘Campaign for Drawing’, The Big Draw promotes drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention, and has encouraged over four million people to get arty since its inception.
This year’s theme celebrates the benefits of creative activities, especially drawing, on health and wellbeing. 2019 also marks the bicentenary of John Ruskin’s birth, founder of the Guild of St George, the charitable education trust behind the initiative. Suzanne Mumford continued: “The Big Draw initiative really resonates with our activity-based approach to care and provides more fantastic opportunities for us to invite younger people into the home to showcase their artistic skills. Intergenerational relationships have proven to be enriching for both sides – many of our residents love meeting young people and the events we have planned will offer a chance for children and residents to learn from each other.”