A special Family Day for those supported by Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice, held at the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, has been hailed as a great success.
The event, called Animalia, was run in conjunction with London’s Wild Life Drawing. It was a day of artistic activities linked around exhibitions at the gallery. It gave families the opportunity to think about what they had seen, experienced and to co-create their own super-sized animal art work to take home.
Four special spaces (Sound, Performance, Quiet and Making) were created for the day, along with projection, music and lights to create an animal atmosphere for families to enjoy.
Animalia is part of the Start Hospices programme created by national charity Children and the Arts.
The charity’s project manager, Cicely Taylor says the programme is designed to enable children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions, and their families, to have therapeutic arts activities and fun together as a family, creating happy memories.
“Children receiving hospice care, their siblings and their parents rarely get to go out together as a family and enjoy activities many families would be doing over the Easter holidays,” she said.
“This is because it can be perceived difficult to get wheelchairs into a gallery, museum or theatre when the place is busy. Start Hospices’ purpose is to create a bespoke environment in which parents and children with complex needs and life limiting illnesses and their siblings can enjoy creative activities as a family, with no anxiety about the building or general public.
“Children and the Arts believes that every child should have the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by the arts.
“The time devoted to symptom control, care and support for a serious illness very often means that children, siblings and parents miss out on the enjoyment of shared, everyday family activities and experiences that most of us take for granted.
“Our Start Hospices programme at the Jerwood Gallery provided families coping with this most difficult time a rare respite from the illness, allowing them to spend valuable time together in a new relaxed but adapted and supported setting enjoying arts activities and experiences that will stay with them forever.
“Start Hospices programme enables arts venues to partner with local children’s hospices for the first time. Children and the Arts provides the funding and programme support to create long term partnerships.
“It’s about bringing respite, release and joy into families lives.”
For further information on the charity visit: https://www.childrenandarts.org.uk
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