6 – 10 October 2014
Keep active, sociable and creative is the take-home message from a five-day-long wellbeing festival at The Atkinson, being held to coincide with World Mental Health Day (Friday 10 October). Over five days there will be dozens of free activities and events for both the public and healthcare professionals.
11am-3pm Drop-in arts and crafts sessions will provide the opportunity to chat to others whilst you flex your creative muscles. Aimed at older people and those at risk of social isolation, these activities are tasters of classes available throughout the year. Artist-led informal sessions include ceramics and painting.
2pm A taster session for The Atkinson’s free Think Differently, Cope Differently course, based on the Five ways to Wellbeing, will also run on the first day of the festival.
10.30am-12pm The principles and techniques of Mindfulness are explored in a day aimed at both healthcare professionals and anyone with an interest in arts, health and complimentary therapies. A drop in practical session will introduce the basics of mindfulness, with opportunities for participation. Although intended for those working in healthcare, the session is open to the public.
In the afternoon, there will be a presentation and discussion on the principles and impact of creativity on health. A ‘show and tell’ networking opportunity will allow healthcare organisations to share good practise and promote their work. Contributions include speakers from Merseycare’s Recovery College, Creative Alternatives, SAFE Productions and Collective Encounters.
Zumba, Tai Chi, chair-based exercise, cycling and walking are all in the mix for Wednesday, a day dedicated to the importance of physical activity. There’s plenty to keep you on your toes, with a guided walk from The Atkinson to Queens Gardens in the morning, Tai Chi at 11am and a Zumba class at 1pm.
11am-3pm Good Food Good Mood healthy eating promotions and free samples will be available in the Bakery Café all week and a cycle parade display featuring old bicycles, film and photography will also be on show.
Thursday’s focus is on dementia. Eight-hundred thousand people in the UK have dementia and the figure is set to top a million by 2021. Rates of diagnosis are rising each year and it is widely acknowledged to be one of the UK’s greatest health challenges.
Amongst the activities are a pop up 1950s living room, which is designed to encourage positive reminiscences in older people with dementia. Backed by Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones from Dragons Den, Rem Pods are becoming an increasingly common fixture in care homes and NHS gerontology services around the UK.
Learn how you can help people with the condition at two Dementia Friends training sessions (11am-12noon and 2.30-3.30pm) and find out more about what’s going on for a person with dementia from Dr Lisa Williams, a consultant in gerontology and psychiatry (1-2pm). Take time out for 10 minutes relaxation with mini-massage and reflexology sessions available 1-3pm and enjoy a rousing performance from the Southport Alzheimers Society’s Singing for the Brain group.
The Atkinson, Lord Street, Southport / theatkinson.co.uk / Box Office 01704 533333