Dementia patients are benefiting from students’ artwork thanks to a Jersey Alzheimer’s Association initiative, funded by the Barclays Wealth Community Awards.

The association received £3,200 to fund its art and photography scheme – a collaborative project in which the association works with students from Greenfields, the young peoples’ secure unit – and those on the Alternative Curriculum. The artwork and photography produced is displayed on the Beech Ward at Clinique Pinel, St Saviour’s Hospital and at Rosewood House.

Richard Corrigan, director, Barclays Wealth Intermediaries and International, Jersey, said the success of the project was down to its wide reach in the community.

‘It is not only the patients on the Beech Ward and the residents at Rosewood House, but also the Alternative Curriculum and Greenfields students that benefit from the art and photography scheme. It is thanks to the fantastic work of the Jersey Alzheimer’s Association in conjunction with the Health & Social Services Department that the project has been such a success and we are extremely proud to support them for another year through our Community Awards,’ he said.

Beech Ward provides assessment and respite for dementia patients or accommodation until a suitable place is found in a permanent care home. Rosewood House is a Health & Social Services permanent care facility, where dementia patients who are no longer able to remain at home are accommodated.

Sister Helen Cowham at Clinique Pinel said the ward was working hard to create a therapeutic and stimulating environment for all patients.

‘The art and photography project has been a fantastic contribution in helping towards achieving this. It has created a good opportunity for students on the Alternative Curriculum and at Greenfields to develop or discover new talents, and in doing so giving something back to the community. We are even encouraging patients to create their own artwork,’ she said.

The vibrant artwork and local photographs help to stimulate the memories and emotions of people who have dementia. The pictures provide focal points in the patients’ rooms and communal areas, encourage discussion and social interaction and generally brighten the environment for patients, visitors and staff.

Jersey Alzheimer’s Association manager Jo Cummins, said the art and photography project has made a difference in the students’ lives.

‘I am really impressed at how these young people in our community have taken the scheme to their hearts. They have shown an empathy and understanding towards the needs of people with dementia that does them credit,’ she said.

Alternative Curriculum head-teacher Kevin Mansell said the project has helped to develop the students’ confidence and self-esteem.

‘The students were very excited to have their work recognised by Barclays Wealth and a number of them have visited Beech Ward so they can see the artwork in situ. Their visits to the ward have proved to be a very powerful experience and has encouraged them to remain involved in the project,’ he said.

Thanks to the donation by Barclays Wealth, as part of its annual Community Awards, the art and photography project will continue for another year, enabling the Jersey Alzheimer’s Association to provide canvases, art materials and pay for the mounting and framing of photographs.