Our next moment comes from the Noah’s A.R.T. They tell us about their moment…
“On 21st July 2016, we held our last Pet Power session and unveiled Guinea Pig Galaxy. From February 2016, we had been building the galaxy as well as our community. A Lottery funded project, we brought together people with mental health and learning disability issues. Our aim was to develop a supportive community with animal welfare at our core. Throughout the 6 month project we learning about caring for the animals, how animals can provide emotional support, energy, humour and help friendships develop. Initially the art work took a while to capture people’s imagination. But as the galaxy took shape, more people joined in. We ran small competitions; best planet, best space rocket, best monster. Flopsy our art monitor, hopped to her favourite piece of work to decide who the winner was! As she was a rather large rabbit no one argued with her choice!
Our aim was to support engagement. Often people feel lonely and isolated through various disabilities. Spending time with animals is calming, non-threatening and non-verbal. We hoped people would feel relaxed and calm and make friends with those who had similar interests.
We hoped the animals would act as a catalyst to support friendships and conversations. Many of our participants said they felt as if they belonged to something that was purposeful. Working with rescued animals and visiting elderly people in a supported housing all added to this sense of achievement and belonging.”
Quote from participants:
“Life changing – went from being a participant to volunteer”
“Helps me to stop self harming”
“Has helped me to feel more confident”
A big thank you to Noah’s A.R.T. for sending us their moment!