From our Creative Engagement residency at Great Ormond Street Hospital:
During a hovering session in the reception area we met a four-year-old girl with multiple disabilities. There was a long wait until her appointment and she was getting restless. We engaged with her in a simple game of scattering and collecting ping-pong balls. She ended up laughing hysterically, while repeatedly throwing the balls up in the air and trying to pick them up under the seating and behind the reception desk as quickly as possible. She managed to recruit everyone present in assisting her and her character along with the ping-pong game were incorporated in the show unfiltered.
For our very first workshop the children who were to participate came to the Activity Centre straight out of treatment. They were considerably out of energy, with fatigue evident in their bodies. We introduced ourselves and told them we were going to play and mess around. The session ended up with one boy shouting “Are you ready to party?!” and practically leading the rest of workshop, singing and tapping full of energy.
One-on-one activities by the bed
On the day we were delivering personalised sessions in Oncology ICU. We saw a girl returning form chemotherapy treatment, completely exhausted. Once back in her room she perched into her mother’s arms and started crying. To our surprise she said that she wanted to play with us. And to our bigger surprise she launched herself in the most vivid participation. Obviously distracted from pain and anxiety, she was laughing throughout the session –that lasted twice as long as scheduled- and was happily trying quite extreme physical exercises with us at the edge of her bed.
Impact for families
A mother, whose son participated in a movement workshop during his hospitalisation, came to see the Tidy Up months later in Bath. She was overwhelmed to recognise movements her son had suggested in the workshop included as part of the choreography.