This art competition represents my first steps into diversional therapy and working with those who have dementia. I visited the home on a weekly basis before the manager and I thought about how we could involve all the other homes across Otago and Central.
I designed an art competition; after all I had done this before. Homes across the region were offered two templates from which they could choose. I worked with each home and their staff over a period of a couple of months – all the while having faith that I/we were doing something special.
On the day of the competition, all the homes’ staff, residents, and families had converged on Ripponburn for our art competition.
I remember walking into a huge lounge area and seeing it full; hearing it full of chatter and of excitement. Then I knew we had done something special – one lady spoke to me and said “all this, all this would not have happened if you had not done it”. The real beauty of all my work is how it strengthens the social fabric of where we live and our communities.