Rainbow art is symbol of hope at care home

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Locked down care home residents have been painting colourful rainbows to keep their spirits up during the coronavirus crisis.

The fruits of their artistic labour are now adorning the walls and the entrance of Pendine Park’s Bryn Seiont Newydd care home on the outskirts of Caernarfon.

With rainbows now established as a popular public symbol of hope during the ongoing pandemic, idea was the brainchild of enrichment and activities co-ordinator Carys Phillip-Jones, working closely with Pendine’s musician-in-residence, Nia Davies Williams.

As a result, many residents have rainbow pictures on display in their own rooms and communal lounges while there is a huge rainbow painting on show in the large glass window of the home’s dedicated music room.

Carys said: “The one in the music room can be seen by everyone. It’s a real beacon of hope for a better future once we have dealt with coronavirus. Making rainbow pictures has proved a great way of keeping residents occupied and their spirits up at this difficult.

“It’s about saying that once the rainbow has faded things will be better, it’s that idea that we are trying to get across.

“Residents really enjoyed working on them and they are now on display in communal lounges and in bedrooms throughout the home. We have also made Easter ducks, bonnets and baskets which residents also really enjoyed designing and making.”

She added: “I’ve worked here for six years now initially as a care practitioner. I became an enrichment co-ordinator just a few months ago. I really enjoy what we do and I’m particularly keen on arts and crafts.

“I’ve worked in the care sector for many years but I’ve never worked in a home that takes enrichment so seriously.

“The level of activities, including music and the arts, is amazing and anyone can see the positive effect that has when it comes to the well-being of residents.

“As well as running arts and craft workshops I’m also spending a lot of time helping residents call their families and loved ones on-line so they can enjoy video calls.

“The home has lots of iPads so it means residents can see and talk to their families. It makes a big difference. They talk to family members regularly which is all we can do as we can’t accept visitors to the home. That is so important.

“It’s difficult for us all, residents and staff, at this time but we have to keep smiling. My own partner has just become a grandfather a month ago and so far, we have only seen the baby once.

Bryn Seiont Newydd manager Sandra Evans, says she had no choice but to prevent families and loved ones from visiting the home while the Coronavirus pandemic continues.

She said: “Our staff have responded really well to the crisis and have worked together as a team to protect residents and look after their well-being during what is proving a very difficult time.

“It isn’t easy though and we are under pressure. There is a lot of attention on the NHS at this time, and rightly so, but I feel care workers aren’t always getting the support and help they need.”

She added: “Enrichment through music and the arts has always been a hugely important part of our daily life and keeping residents busy and engaged is vitally important.

“The rainbow drawings and paintings on show all around the home are really colourful and a beautiful way of looking to the future when this horrible pandemic has subsided so we can return to some normality.”