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creativity in rehabilitation & recovery

We work with RDaSH NHS Trust to deliver creative activity in Doncaster's rehabilitation & recovery units

someone playing silver bells with beaters - a darts in Doncaster project

darts has a longstanding partnership with Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) and has delivered creative sessions in a wide range of settings in the Doncaster borough.

RDaSH operates a number of rehabilitation and recovery units in Doncaster with residents at different stages in their recovery journey. Our artists have used a range of artforms to engage with residents in small groups or one to one, with positive results.

A group of residents explored a variety of music making and film-making techniques with professional artists. The music work was a combination of percussion and music technology based exercises, tasks and teaching. Musician, DJ and Producer, Rob Pearson, responded to the interests of individuals and taught people to use Garage Band on the iPads as well as using some other music-making apps, a drum machine, Ableton and hand percussion. Rob also faciliated residents to create soundscapes using the voice. People talked about their own musical interests and tastes and Rob responded to this, incorporating these styles into the sessions, as well as introducing new sounds and techniques. The work was mainly individual, with people working on iPads or taking turns to work in ‘the hotseat’ with Rob on more complex technology. There was also group-produced music. This combination of individual and group work, new devices, techniques and technology rooted and adapted to individual participant’s musical tastes was very successful.

As sensitivity and anonymity was crucial to the process, the film-making focussed on creating visual arts based film pieces as an accompaniment to the music made, rather than filming people or action.

Our approach is person-led and artists find ways in each session for participants to experience success. Content is designed to enable participants to gain the skills and strategies required to become motivated, communicate effectively, work alongside others to achieve an outcome and make positive choices to move forward in their lives.

It can be challenging to engage residents as attendance is not obligatory. There can be a multitude of factors such as health, an argument with another resident or an issue with a family member that affects people’s approach. Where possible, artists will design activity focusing on building relationships, communication and teamwork, raising confidence and self-esteem, making positive choices, achieving a tangible output, managing emotions and focus, motivation and developing independence and coping strategies.


adults   creative   darts   doncaster   mental health   music

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