Working in health care settings brings an acute awareness of one’s surroundings and how they impact experiences and well-being. Being confined in a bed space can be a daunting experience, therefore a reminder of the exterior space outside of that setting, to my mind helps in facilitating a feeling of connection to the outside world, nature, one’s peer group, family and friends and of wellness as much as possible. I will always endeavour to bring nature into my place of work whether hospital ward or in the residential care setting. As an artist and activity coordinator and my role is to feed the senses with whatever keeps the connection with the patients and residents past lives and present ones, enlivening their day to day living. In one care home the green space of the garden, which the lounge and dining area looks out onto, is an important tool for keeping focused on the life a garden encapsulates. It gives an ever-evolving scene as the seasons change and evolve the layout of the space. The green space is also home to many birds, local cats who walk through and Perez, the feline that lives at the residential home who is firmly seen as one of the gang by staff and residents.
I spend as much time as possible walking in my local green spaces as a form of relaxation and personal well-being. It helps enormously to take away the stresses of daily life. The wild plants are a source of inspiration in their unruliness - nature that is not tamed - which I find expressive and fills my senses to the brim. It is a reminder of being present at that moment, and every walk brings a new confirmation of the beauty that is on my door step, and how it makes me joyous to be amongst it.