Updated: May 12, 2022
We recently wrapped up our first 6-week programme since the beginning of the pandemic, at Medaille Trust.
Throughout the programme we explored a wide range of integrated art forms with the participants — from singing to collaging, movement to clay work, using paint, poetry, images, and a variety of materials throughout. All our activities were built progressively and designed to promote confidence building, group cohesion and togetherness — whilst respecting and celebrating the uniqueness of each individual.
We worked to build a safe space in which the women could paint, draw, share and bond; each week seeing a gradual shift in the trust and engagement with both the team and with the therapeutic activities we provided. By mid-way through the programme women who initially preferred to watch or pass on some of the activities began to join in, to smile and relax in our presence, and to engage with the group.
By the end of the 6 weeks, there was a noticeable shift and lightness to the room. The women were sharing their hope and determination for the future. One participant shared with us how she had learnt so much and found a new confidence in herself. Another, who was previously quite distant from the group, shared that coming along to Talitha workshops felt like a family, a community.
The above quote is from Florence Beaney, Modern Slavery Caseworker at Medaille Trust. The feedback is from one woman who took part in the 6-week workshop programme.
The words really speak for themselves about the power of creative expression and the power of play. By engaging the whole body and mind we can help to engage participants in the here and now — giving them the space to then find focus individually and within the group they are with.
As adults we aren’t often allowed the space to play and express ourselves creatively. Talitha programmes make this a priority by helping release potential and letting the value of the individual to shine. In just 6 weeks the participants were able to find confidence, lightness, and a sense of community. We hope this will provide for them a sense of empowerment, ownership, and a more hopeful outlook for the future.
Words and images by our Therapeutic Arts Director, Becky Gibbs