About the Project

The main aim of the Handmade Wellbeing –project is to enhance and expand professional competences of arts & crafts professionals to design and carry out craft activities in elderly care. Arts and crafts professionals are employed increasingly in challenging community engagement areas which are areas outside their traditional core skills and abilities. They are often employed to work in cooperation with other experts in specialist fields, especially wellbeing and health-related services. Arts & crafts offer creative and empowering activities that should be provided in the future Wellbeing and Care Centres. This sector could offer new kinds of employment opportunities to craft culture experts and artists, but abilities to work in cooperation with experts of other fields are needed.

The project is carried out by four European partners from Finland, Great Britain, Austria and Estonia. Each partner will prepare arts & crafts workshops in elderly care and also short-term learning activities which the other partners will participate. One of the main ideas of this project is to study and share the best practices for learning. As an outcome, an education model to coach arts and crafts professionals and educators to work with elderly in care is developed in co-operation with all partners.

The main tasks

• expanding professional competences and internationalization of craft sector

• co-creation of novel educational models to learn cross-sectoral collaboration

• developing creative wellbeing services (in particular based on crafts and visual arts)

• changing good practices which encourage and promote co-creation of services

• researching links between creative activity and physical and mental wellbeing

• evaluation and investigations of impacts and effectiveness of creative wellbeing services

• distribution of educational models, working methods and research results

Background

Wellbeing and vitality are built on physical health, but also strongly on creative activities. In many interventions and studies, self-making has been shown to strengthen both physical and mental vitality.  To be successful in improving the wellbeing and self-management of a person, other approaches need to be integrated into and alongside the physical care, in order to address the whole person’s needs. Creative social engagement may be a means to reduce social isolation and to support patterns of movement as well as muscular stimulation in an enriched environment.

Creativity – fostered by artistic cooperation with elderly people – can be seen as a key quality, that is worth to be encouraged and developed in every stage of age.  It enhances life skills, it helps people to become more active in tailoring their own fate. Therefore, it must be seen as an important part of health promotion. This type of project aims to help people discover, rediscover and/or enhance their creative potential as well as to make it an essential part of their life. Various evaluations of former projects have proved that this kind of activity will have a positive impact on elderly people.