Recently we have been chatting to David Lackenby, Service Lead of Briarwood Meadows, about the service’s very own resident artist.
Cecily has been a resident at Briarwood, one of our 24-hour nursing services for older adults, since early 2021. During this time, our team have noticed an amazing transformation in her both wellbeing and social engagement.
Before Cecily moved into Briarwood, she had been a resident of a different care home for five years. She had very negative beliefs about herself and the impact that she had on other people, so she increasingly isolated herself until she rarely left her bedroom.
Cecily needed assistance staff team to remain nearby throughout the night, so she felt reassured that no harm would come to her. Cecily had constant one-to-one supervision, and she was taking a variety of medications to help to manage her mood.
When Cecily moved into Briarwood, our team wanted to focus on getting to know her and understand how her beliefs about herself were impacting her behaviour.
Initially, Cecily did not leave her room and continued to isolate herself from the other residents. But over time, as our team got to know her more deeply, Cecily flourished and her wellbeing improved dramatically. David credits this in part to the team’s discovery that Cecily is a keen artist.
The discovery of Cecily’s artistic talent has been groundbreaking, as Cecily is now able to express herself through her artwork and takes a lot of joy from being creative!
Cecily has been kind enough to create some artwork for this article, around the themes of our values and nature.
Cecily loves to create colourful pieces and bold signs for around Briarwood, as well as for our head office. By creating artwork to decorate our buildings, Cecily is able to share her talent, passion, and creativity, and thereby use her art to bring joy to others.
Cecily has created so much beautiful artwork that David thinks Briarwood may soon run out of wall space to display it all!
David also notes that Cecily’s artwork has undergone a noticeable change. Historically Cecily used dark colours in her work, which David believes represented how she viewed her mental wellbeing at the time, whereas now Cecily uses bright and cheerful colours.
David believes that ‘This is a small change but a great outcome in the bigger picture of her recovery’.
Cecily now also enjoys socialising with other residents and the team at Briarwood in social spaces outside of her room. She even bakes delicious homemade treats for her fellow residents!
Not only does Cecily bring people happiness through her artwork and baking, but she also cares a great deal about looking after our planet. In fact, Cecily has taken the initiative to establish a ‘green group’ at Briarwood, which has already improved Briarwood’s environmental impact by setting up a fantastic recycling system.
The team at Briarwood have been supporting Cecily’s environmental work, but David explains that ‘the spark came from her’.
Cecily’s wellbeing has improved so much that she is no longer prescribed her previous medication, she does not need constant one-to-one supervision, and she now plays a key role in life at Briarwood.
We would like to thank Cecily for being such a caring person who brings happiness to others and recognise her amazing work!
Cecily’s story demonstrates the value of individualised, person-centered support and how powerfully it can help people to flourish.