Go on, give yourself a medal! That’s what artist Helle Helsner expressed to the women in the Tuesday group in Clonakilty day care centre who over the last eight weeks have been designing, sculpting and shining up a series of hand crafted bronze medals inspired by the centenary celebrations. Helle who has her studio in Kilbrittain explained, “The medals were to be a celebration of the women’s lives rather than the rising, as so often we go through life without being celebrated even though we all could do with some recognition once in a while. It is often the little things which make a true hero or heroine.”

Bernadette Edmead, Day Care Coordinator at Clonakilty Hospital, expressed the many ways in which the participants of the project flourished, “It was a really beneficial project, beginning with asking each other about their achievements and drawing their ideas. Not only was the project really fun, it was creative and therapeutic with such a great surprise at the end,’ when the artist planned a ceremony to award the women their medals of achievement.”

The project is part of the Arts for Health partnership programme managed by West Cork Arts Centre and delivered in eleven health care setting across West Cork, since 2005, including Community Hospitals; Skibbereen, Schull, Dunmanway, Clonakilty and Castletownbere Community Hospitals; five west Cork Day Care Centres; Skibbereen, Dunmanway, Clonakilty, Castletownbere and Bantry, and Bantry General Hospital’s Care of the Elderly Unit. Described by the Programme Manger Justine Foster as, ‘a strategic and sustainable response to an ageing population, which enables choice, social inclusion and equitable access to arts for older people in West Cork.

Unsung Heros is part of Arts for Health Partnership programme

Arts for Health partnership programme is based in West Cork and provides a managed and integrated arts programme for older people in healthcare settings. Managed by West Cork Arts Centre, Arts for Health runs all year round and is delivered by team of professional artists from different disciplines. It takes place in five Community Hospitals, Bantry General Hospital Care of the Elderly Unit and five Day Care. The partners comprise West Cork Arts Centre, Cork County Council, Cork Education & Training Board and the HSE. The HSE is represented through the Cork Arts + Health Programme, the Communications Department, Health Promotion Department, the Nursing Directors of Community Hospitals and the Day Care Centres, West Cork.

The Arts for Health partnership gratefully acknowledges the local support towards the programme with special thanks to West Cork Older Peoples Network and Friends of the Day Care Centres.

CONTACT: justine@westcorkartscentre.com www.westcorkartscentre.com


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