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Trust project in line to win £50,000 in People's Projects

Published 16/03/2017

A creative project which has provided a lifeline to patients recovering from brain injuries in Derby is in with a chance of winning £50,000 from the Big Lottery Fund – and it needs your help to do it.  

Belper-based arts group Whiffle Pig works with Air Arts, part of Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, to deliver creative projects at London Road Community Hospital, using patients’ interests to support individualised activities. The weekly sessions give patients chance to socialise, explore ideas and improve motor skills which may have been affected by their injury. 

The project, named Whiffle While you Workshop, has now been selected as a finalist in the ITV People’s Projects. It is one of 10 shortlisted projects across the Midlands. The three with the highest number of votes will receive a grant of up to £50,000. 

Annie Fielder, who runs Whiffle Pig, said: “These sessions provide patients with an opportunity to explore their creativity in a friendly and relaxed setting, allowing them some time away from treatment and the monotony of being in hospital. Patients say they provide a lifeline, as it helps them to rediscover and reconnect with who they are. This is incredibly important after the life-changing experience which comes with brain injury, and could help many more people with other conditions. It can give people their lives back. 

“We need the help of everybody in Derby to make sure we are able to support more people in this way, so please vote for Whiffle While you Workshop in the People’s Projects.”

Occupational Therapist Karl Dickerson, who works with patients on the unit, said: “It benefits our patients greatly on a practical, emotional and social level. It really improves their moods, and can take their minds away from their worries. It stimulates our patients and helps with their recovery.”

One of the patients who has been helped by the service is Vicky Bower, who fell down the stairs and suffered a brain injury in April 2015. She spent almost 10 months on Kings Lodge while she recovered, and took part in these sessions regularly. They gave her the chance to spend time with other patients, focus on a creative task and work on her communication.

Another patient, Geoff Barrow, said: “I like the friendliness and light-heartedness of meeting new people like me.”

Whiffle Pig works in conjunction with Air Arts, which uses arts and creative activities to improve the hospital experience for patients, staff and visitors. 

A short campaign film will be shown on ITV Central News on Friday, 24 March, and will be available to view at www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk from 9am on Monday, 20 March, when voting will also open. Voting closes at noon on Monday, 3 April. 

Whiffle While You Workshop
Last Modified 16/03/2017