Organisation extends creative therapy reach

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THE growth of CanInspire in Southland has seen the therapy agency partner with its 13th community group.

Initially providing free CanBead jewellery-making workshops as creative and distraction therapy for Cancer Society clients, in Southland CanInspire collaborates with a range of agencies supporting people with both physical and mental illness, trauma and loss including
the Stroke Foundation, Able Minds, the Invercargill Loss & Grief Centre and Southland Help.

Last Friday, the organisation held a first CanBead workshop (pictured) with the Alzheimer’s Society, which was a great start for new tutor Amy Lyford.

Under her tuition, the six attendees all enjoyed making a necklace and a pair of earrings, and were able to connect with others on the same journey of having a loved one with dementia.

At the end of the workshop, attendees received a CanBead kit bag with tools and materials, to enable them to make jewellery whenever they felt the need for some distraction.

Ms Lyford said she was drawn to the tutor role because of ‘‘the ability to connect with people, providing support in a creative fashion’’.

This affinity with connection through creativity followed on from her teenage years when she provided peer support at school, including arts and crafts with special needs pupils.

Southland CanBead co-ordinator Rachael Allan said: “In my first conversation with Amy, I knew she understood the benefits of being creative for one’s mental health.”

■ To find out more, go to www.caninspire.org.nz

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