Suffolk Artlink- Awarded a grant of £1,700 towards the cost of running Forget Me Not sessions.

A grant from The Pargiter Fund has enabled Suffolk Artlink to programme a further five Forget-Me-Not sessions on the Constable Suite at Ipswich Hospital. The project worked with patients living with dementia and/or complex needs to improve their well-being through meaningful interactions and using a therapeutic play approach.

The Forget-Me-Not sessions have provided patients with comfort and reassurance. The one-to-one interaction with individuals on the ward have distracted, calmed, relaxed and cheered up patients. Through feedback and case studies the artists have responded to a variety of needs and situations, from scared, frightened, upset patients, to emotional end of life visits. In just the summer term 2016 there was a significant positive change to the level of anxiety for 97% of the patients the artists visited.

The Forget-Me-Not visitors enable patients and their families to reconnect with each other through the sensory activities they introduce, either through gentle hand massages, poetry or music. Music especially inspires communication between loved ones; patients would often join in a song at this time and a family member is able to forget the illness.

During the summer 2016 (including the five sessions funded by The Pargiter Fund) 93% of patients experienced a positive change to the level of engagement with family members and hospital staff.

Forget-Me-Not visitors offer distraction and comfort to those patients who are distressed, anxious, bored or presenting challenging behaviour; the project can take pressure off hospital staff, allowing their time to be better spent on medical tasks.

98% of patients participating in the Forget-Me-Not project experienced a positive change to their level of happiness and relaxation.

“We were working on the constable suite at Ipswich Hospital and engaging in some banter with a lovely lady and her daughter who was visiting. Milly was playing her Ukulele and Kitty the Kazoo to a fairly lively rendition of “Side by Side” which was having a positive effect as the lady in question was worried about having an MRI scan the next day and we reassured her it was painless but a bit noisy and that it would probably be more pleasurable than our singing! “

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