Each year artists and healthcare professionals working on the programme can avail of professional development workshops. The type and content of the sessions varies each year and responds directly with the ambition of the artists in their delivery of the programme, so if the artist or participant has an idea outside of their skill set, we can build in the learning to help realise project ideas. Delivered by peers or invited specialists, the sessions vary widely and where possible, they are open to arts and health practitioners outside of the team.
Below is a selection of sessions from 2016-22 programme. If you wish to hear about forthcoming sessions check out facebook or email with your interest.
Exploring Working with Cognitive Difference (Training session, part 1)
for all artists and arts workers with Sarah Cairns – at Uillinn
Learning the basics in Dementia types and symptoms, why we need to know, and of our communication techniques – what is helpful and what is not helpful. We will explore the needs of our participants through scenarios- which help to see the situation from the eyes of a person with dementia and therefore gives us valuable information on how best to communicate with that person and create a positive environment.
Exploring Working with Cognitive Difference (Training session, parts 1- 3)
for Learner Artists with Sarah Cairns – at Uillinn
Recap the basics in Dementia types and symptoms, why we need to know, and of our communication techniques – what is helpful and what is not helpful . We will explore the needs of our participants through scenarios- which help to see the situation from the eyes of a person with dementia and therefore gives us valuable information on how best to communicate with that person and create a positive environment.
Exploring Working with Cognitive Difference (Training session, part 4)
For artists with Sarah Cairns onsite – in healthcare setting
This professional development session seeks to further inform and boost confidence in our team when working with people who are experiencing memory loss and dementia online. Continuing the conversation from previous training, participants consider techniques in relation to working on skype/zoom and with staff on site. Responding to individual learning needs onsite to address specific challenges where artists can lead their learning.
Exploring Working with Cognitive Difference – online (Training session, part 5)
for Experienced Artists (who have completed part 1 to 3) with Sarah Cairns – online
This professional development session seeks to further inform and boost confidence in our team when working with people who are experiencing memory loss and dementia online. Continuing the conversation from previous training, participants consider techniques in relation to getting back to in person, the challenges presented by distanced working and mask wearing and also a look back on working remotely. The latter part of the session will serve to address specific challenges where artists can lead the session with anything they would like to tease out.
About the facilitator
Based in West Cork, Sarah has been working for many years in the field of Older Person Care. Sarah holds a certificate in Older People in Dance. She currently works as Activities Director in Bantry General Hospital since 2000. Sarah worked for Engaging Dementia as part of the training team, and has been lead tutor- training people in dementia care, communication skills and the Sonas programme from 2009 – 2022. Sarah has many qualifications in Dementia-care training including a diploma in Leadership in Dementia Care. Sarah sits on the Arts for Health steering group as dementia advisor and co-facilitator on Uillinn’s In the Picture programme which takes place in the galleries and invites people living with dementia, their professional and /or family carers to participate in bespoke facilitated discussions about a selection of artworks on exhibit. In 2019 Sarah was a performing member of the ‘Well-Field Company’ in St. Joseph’s unit for the project Stories from the Well-Field. She is currently doing a masters in UCC in Dementia Studies.
Making Connections from a Distance
This peer share session is intended to give us time to reflect as a team and explore new ways of working going forward in 2021. Three AfH artists who worked through the height of the restrictions will share how they found new pathways to establish a meaningful connection with residents on our programme. Exploring the practical methods they tried, the resources they leaned on such as staff on site and where their practice sits within this new way of working.
- Liz Clark will reflect on her digital learning and creative growth throughout this challenging time
- Sarah Ruttle will focus on making connections and her experiments in postal and multimedia approaches using striking aesthetic to draw attention
- Tess Leak will share the journey of transforming an in person project to postal and making mass reach genuinely meaningful for many
Dancing with Dementia
For AfH artists, physios and care staff working with people with dementia – at Uillinn
This practical dance workshop, led by Ríonach Ní Néill, shared some of the techniques she uses in weekly dance sessions for people living with dementia. The focus is on mental & physical stimulation and activation, engaging outwards with each other, stimulating the imagination and memory, providing opportunities for group recollection and reminiscence, and also jokes and laughter. ‘We approach the sessions as an artistic practice, providing time, space and support for the participants to engage with their own physical aesthetic impulses.’
Ukulele on the Wards
For all AfH artists, partners, staff and healthcare professionals – at Uillinn
(absolute beginners only)
Arts for Health musicians Liz Clark and Colm Rooney gave an introduction to the ukulele, a light hearted step by step guide to playing one or two old favourites to entertain and engage the patients, families and staff on the ward.
For Arts for Health Artists – at Uillinn
Explore the art of “D.I.Y” bookbinding and creating that professional finish with AfH artists Tess Leak and Sarah Ruttle. This session follows on from their collaboration with designer and book-maker Orlagh O’Brien from Haiku Island Press and will share how they made a limited edition of books using just a small printer, basic tools and a photocopier.
Art and End of Life
Facilitated by Breffni McGuinness, Irish Hospice Foundation – at Uillinn
This challenging session helped to give the artists confidence in how to interact with people who are dying or at end of life. The group explored what to say and what to do? and how you might communicate with someone who is dying or at end of life, and importantly what role the Arts and the artist might play to support someone who is dying or at end of life. The outcome was really afirming to the practices that were already taking place.
with Gráinne Hope /musicandhealthireland at Uillinn
The training day was an opportunity for the Arts for Health team to come together and explore methodology and approaches for working in healthcare settings with older people
The session focused on:
- Understanding the role of a healthcare musician and the appropriate placement of music in sensitive settings.
- Exploring the skill set and best practice methods necessary to deliver quality interactions in Hospitals and Nursing Homes.
- Programme content may include:
- The approach and methods required for successful musical interactions in hospital and care home environments
- Vocal and instrumental repertoire and improvisation
- Challenges of working in a team within a clinical space