A new soap carving activity is offering people affected by a life-limiting illness, and their loved ones, the opportunity to ‘carve out a space and time for themselves’ as part of an annual ‘art bag’ project.
This year, the art bag project contains a bar of soap and the materials needed for carving. The soap can be transformed into anything: flowers, faces, shapes or animals and offers a simple therapeutic activity which promotes wellbeing and relaxation.
Launched by The Hospice of St Francis in partnership with Peace Hospice Care and Macmillan Cancer Support, the project aims to ‘connect people through activity’ and offers a taste of the creative workshops on offer at the hospices.
The team are planning to distribute over 500 art bags. Participants are then invited to share their completed artwork so it can feature in an animated film exploring the themes of support, transformation and loss.
The film will preview at The Hospice of St Francis next summer to celebrate the second anniversary of the Macmillan Wellbeing and Therapeutic Service which developed the project.
Annalie Ashwell, Macmillan Wellbeing and Therapeutic Coordinator, describes how the activity promotes relaxation, “The simple act of taking some time to focus on a creative activity can help patients, and their families, build resilience when coping with a serious illness. It’s a way for people to express themselves, as well as giving carvers, and carers, personal artwork to cherish.
“Patients involved in last year’s project told us how ‘soothing’ they found the experience. The art bag activities bring people into the here and now and promote positivity.”
To find out more about the art bags, visit: www.stfrancis.org.uk/artbags