Within Charlie House there will be a dedicated Arts & Craft room. In this space our services team will run small therapeutic creative art groups and one-to-one sessions. One example of this would be sensory ‘messy’ activities which allow the children we support to experience different textures and stimulation- e.g. bubbles, foam and paint- which will create varying sensations of fun, excitement and/or relaxation. The room also has the capacity to spill out into the open plan lounge area for larger group sessions, for example a combined music and art therapy session.
These sessions would not only be for the children with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions but also, the parents, carers and importantly, the siblings. The arts activities and play can act as a distraction and enable children to open up more freely in a non-clinical environment. These meetings provide an opportunity for our services team to observe family interactions and assist further in supporting their needs, feelings and emotions.
Crucially, this room will allow the families time to create precious keepsakes including handprint cards, paintings, hand casts and much more. The memento can create a link between Charlie House and home and the positive experiences within the facility and hopefully act as a prompt to open up potentially difficult but important conversations. Perhaps most importantly these priceless keepsakes would also be treasured by families when the child is sadly no longer with them.