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Patients of all ages at Ellern Mede made the most of having extra free time during the Ellern Mede School half term with the assistance of our expert ‘Blue Peter style Activity Teams. Arts and Crafts, Outings, Movies, Yoga, and even rock climbing has featured in the third week of February.

If you had not heard of Blue Peter – a famous BBC programme for children which aired from 1958 to 1962, click here for a reminder video. One young adult said of the week long activities: “It’s been a nice distraction. It’s always good to get out and do something. It helps not to be stuck in the hospital with a lot of time because that’s when you can over-think and get upset. I really enjoyed the Abstract Art work and the Ceramics we did at a studio.”

A discharge party – something that always happens on the happy occasion that a person has recovered enough to go home – also took place in this week and was an opportunity for everyone to get together with staff and celebrate the achievement of goals.

Day 1: Tie Dye, Party, Yoga

Day 2: Baking, Pottery Café, Journalling Group

Day 3: Abstract Painting, Social Lunch at Nandos, Escape Room activity, Community Meeting

Day 4: Yoga, Quiz, Cinema outing

Day 5: Rock climbing, Card games, Process Group, Movie night

Day 6: Hobby craft, theatre trip

As an administrative staff member, I personally had not heard before of ‘Bullet Journalling’ but on hearing the patients say they love it, I chatted to Sienna Bommen, Therapeutic Assistant who runs the group. The point of the journal is that it is entirely customised by the owner, so it is as unique as the individual and encourages maximum creativity and expression. The journals are blank except for tiny dots which aid the journal owner in whatever type of content they are creating – linear, art, graphics or words. At Ellern Mede Barnet, the activity takes place at 7.30 to 8.30 on a Tuesday evening.

bullet journal examplefinger painting

At Ellern Mede Ridgeway, John Wolverson, Activity Co-ordinator is described by a patient this way:

“Every day John has a different activity for us and even though I sometimes don’t want to join in at first, I do enjoy it a lot.  He invites everyone to participate and its the highlight of our day at 12.00 when he arrives with his big activity box full of surprises.

“There was one time on Friday at 5 o’clock I realised I had run out of wool and immediately John went all the way to Hobby Craft to get me some which was so nice it made my weekend.”

At Ellern Mede Barnet, Sura Fawzi is Activity Co-ordinator and she too received praise nominating her for a staff award: “Because she is amazing. She is always staying overtime to help our patients and coming on weekends as well. Her determination to succeed is amazing and more than that, she is still doing some HCA tasks even though she does not need to.”