We have taken part on an annual art project with St Christopher’s Hospice for over five years now. The projects aims were to link the pupils with patients at the hospice, so that they can share their experiences and create some art or music that could be shared with the wider community. Our Year 5 pupils visit the hospice during the summer term spend three sessions working with the patients at St Christopher’s. Our visiting pupils are always amazed at how positive the patients are and this project does much to teach our children about how to deal with bereavement.
The St Christopher’s project is often based around some of the core values at St John’s, such as love, peace, happiness and joy. The aim of the project is to get the children and patients talking about what these words mean to each other. Over the years the project has been particularly successful because the patients and children have very different perceptions of what the words meant to them. The patients were able to educate the children and give them a broader perspective of the values.
The artwork usually begins in week two of the project and is finished during the following weeks. The final session hosted a celebration event, at which the children sing to the patients and their families, and share some of their experiences from the project.
This year the pupils and patients worked together to create these beautiful chairs. Here are some pictures of the children’s final session which ended in a celebration.
Here are some quotes from our pupils:
‘My idea of what the hospice does has changed now. I didn’t realise that people had so much fun there’. Shaquan Y6
‘I really enjoyed finding out about how the patients had lived their lives. I was really proud to be part of the hospice project’ Elisha Y6
The project also touched the hearts of two of our families that have seriously ill family members. Both parents felt that seeing their children at the hospice, learning and sharing experiences had helped them deal with their grief.