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Woodturning & pottery workshops to assist with rehabilitation
Simon and I are keen supporters and fundraisers for the Mind charity and the past few years have seen us move more and more into the area of providing rehabilitation and therapy for people of all ages who are suffering with brain trauma, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
We are also increasingly seeing students who are coping with poor mental health (depression, anxiety, PTSD …) often resulting from stressful jobs which take their toll physically & psychologically.
The regular practice of any art or craft is incredibly beneficial in the treatment of those with poor mental health or who are rehabilitating after a brain trauma. We’ve seen amazing results in some of our students who come to us regularly to create with wood & clay. We work together with care associations, council departments & individuals to tailor our half- or full-day workshops to suit the individual needs of the student. We really enjoy sharing our woodturning and ceramics expertise and our lovely environment to contribute towards the rehabilitation and therapies of people in need.
The setting also plays a key role. Our studios are situated in the quiet, pretty and extensive gardens of our home & help to provide a calm & safe environment for our students. We only allow a maximum of 2 people in a workshop (quite often this will be the student and their carer), so those suffering with anxiety do not have to face large groups of people.
When the weather is good, we invite our students to have their lunch in the gardens and to enjoy the beautiful established beds, ponds and vistas that were created by the lady who lived here before us. The ceramics workshop includes the pressing of flowers/grasses from our gardens into clay to create beautiful vases and wall hangings, so it’s lovely for our students to choose their own botanicals from our garden.
For more information about how creative therapy can help our physical and mental wellbeing, please refer to our article under the Creative Therapy menu.
Wisbech, Cambs - suffered a stroke in 2014
Been coming to us every 2 weeks since July 2021
It’s a pleasure working with Bruce who suffered a stroke 8 years ago. It affected the righthand side of his body, his speech, movement and vision.
Bruce has been coming to us for 1-2-1 woodturning & pottery classes every 2 weeks since last summer and we love helping him with his therapy. His wife gave us this heart-warming review:
“Well, what can we say but a big thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Simon and Louise have given my husband so much pleasure in being able to do some of his favourite hobbies. As he had a TBI eight years ago due to an accident at work which dissected his carotid artery, and we were told he would never walk or talk again. But with people who give their time and patience as Simon and Louise do, he is learning every day. So once again, thank you Simon and Louise. May it long continue xxxx”
Norfolk - support worker
Attends regularly with her client
"Simon and Louise provide such a calm and peaceful setting for my client who attends both woodturning and pottery workshops on a fortnightly basis. This has impacted on my client’s recovery in such a positive way after suffering a stroke nearly 8 years ago. The key element being that both sessions are on a 1-2-1 basis rather than in a group.
All the time and effort from these guys is clearly shown in what they set to achieve for the individual.
It’s very rewarding to see my client improving so much with his recovery both mentally and physically over the past 9 months since we have attended Blended Monkey.
Such a laidback setup, with two very polite people.
We look forward to attending each fortnight, with different tasks/goals set."
Ely, Cambs - early-onset Alzheimer's disease
Pottery workshop - February 2022
It was lovely to have Chris in the pottery studio for a half-day ceramics workshop. Our pottery experiences are relaxing and creative. The studio itself is located in a peaceful, pretty setting and students get the chance to explore the gardens when the weather permits.
Chris gave us this wonderful review:
“I really enjoyed the half-day pottery session with Louise. She was an excellent tutor and good company throughout.
I have early Alzheimer’s and sometimes I find it difficult to concentrate for long but the time flew by and I was completely at ease and would recommend these sessions to anyone who has similar problems.
I did feel very comfortable in the studio and was easily absorbed in the practical work we carried out.
Knowing you still have the ability to carry out practical tasks in a quite absorbed way is great for increasing your self belief in your own capabilities.
At no time did I feel pressure to perform. I went away with the confidence to carry out similar projects in the future.
I even managed to produce some interesting results!”
Lincolnshire - suffers with PTSD
Pottery workshop - January 2022
"Having struggled with PTSD and other mental health issues since secondary school, I was encouraged by my care coordinator to find an activity I enjoyed that calmed me rather than raised my heart rate. So, I decided to give pottery a go.
At first, I wasn't so sure. The setting was new to me and I was anxious. However, Louise was very understanding and after half an hour, I was so absorbed by the clay and the making that nothing else really mattered.
Everything else I've tried to calm myself and work towards healing hasn't had the same positive effects as coming to the Blended Monkey studios. I'm very much looking forward to booking my regular monthly slot and I'm interested in staying at their peaceful Crafter's Retreat too!"
Norfolk - physical & mental disabilities
Pottery workshop - September 2020
“I booked the 1/2 day pottery workshop as a birthday present for my 19 year old, recently disabled daughter.
From the very first email, Louise has been attentive, generous and caring, trying to ensure Chloe's needs were catered for.
The morning was a huge success playing with and then working on pinch and slab pots and then finally throwing on the wheel.
Everything was so relaxed with continual refreshments provided by Simon. As soon as we left Chloe stated that she wanted to come back and learn more from Louise...no greater compliment I would say!” – Katherine (Chloe's mum)
LITTLE MIRACLES CHARITY
FENLAND GROUP IN WISBECH
Visiting the Members & Providing a Woodturning Experience
It was really lovely to meet the members of the Fenland Little Miracles charity group in Wisbech last night - such a creative and inquisitive bunch of young people.
Simon gave a brief demonstration on how to use the tools, and then anyone who wanted to have a go at woodturning got the chance to do so, with Simon assisting where required.
The group enjoyed the session so much they've asked us to return - we're really looking forward to meeting the guys again in the future.
We offer woodturning & pottery as creative therapy experiences in our Blended Monkey Crafts studios in Upwell; we're also happy to visit charities, care homes and schools when time allows so we can demonstrate our crafts and give others a chance to have a go too
The Little Miracles Charity was founded in 2010.
Its childcare teams, family support workers and counsellors provide activities, training, advice and safe spaces to families who have children with additional needs, disabilities and life-limiting conditions.