Please note: all social activities and interactions mentioned in this piece took place prior to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All staff are ensuring that the people we support are safe during this difficult time whilst helping them to understand and cope with the restrictions set by the Government.
The manager of Langley House, David Wright, took the time to talk to us about their art hub, which is enjoyed by autistic people at the service.
So, what is the art hub?
The hub offers people the chance to do arts and crafts in a safe, comfortable environment. This started just over a year ago and is led by Claire, a professional painter who also used to work at Voyage Care.
There is a plan for each art class with a variety of activities available to suit the people we support. There are varying levels of ability, so the tasks reflect this. However, group projects are encouraged, which is great!
Initially, the sessions were only for Langley House residents. However, David told us that it was then offered to other services because it is a great way to encourage interaction in a fun environment.
It is clear that a real effort has been made to include everyone.
What do people make in the sessions?
Cards and salt dough models are the most popular activities but there is a wide range of other art interests like finger painting, biscuit decoration, collages and much more.
David said: “As Claire has a creative mind, she’s always coming up with ideas of what we could do differently and how we could think differently. It’s not just a ‘using felt tips’ kind of attitude.”
Claire has made the art sessions so fun and in a way that suits everyone.
The creativity doesn’t end there, though. People we support have also created posters to promote Langley House! This includes handmade leaflets and even ‘The Langley House Times’.
Autistic people are full of creativity and ability.
What impact do the art sessions have?
David said “it’s very therapeutic and very creative for autistic people. There is a misconception that autism presents limitations. That is not the case and these art sessions demonstrate that!”
He added: “The way that Claire sets it up, she has nice gentle music playing in the background, so it creates a nice aura and that helps bring people down if they’ve been anxious.”
Autistic people have so much to offer and Langley House is showing this through their art hub.