Lighting up the lives of those at risk of isolation

Our Outstanding Activities ‘Festival of Light’ box has been lighting up care settings across the country. Ladder to the Moon help place Wellbeing, Leadership and Creativity at the heart of services. Wellbeing is so much more than ‘happy’ – the positive emotions generated by Madalena recently at Rosemary Mount (Keychange) included gratitude, joy, interest, inspiration and a little awe…

Cultures all over the world have festivals of light. When the nights draw in people use light to create vibrant celebrations. From Diwali, to Halloween, to Guy Fawkes and Hanukah we all do it in our own way. Every month participants on Ladder to the Moon’s Outstanding Activities programme receive a box of inspiring resources and potential. The Festival of Light box is an opportunity to explore different ways of playing with light.

All our boxes are designed to provide offers of engagement for different group sizes, from one-to-one engagement to whole home events. I’ve been thrilled to hear recently about how this box has been used to access those who often miss out on activity provision.

Outstanding Activities participant Madalena requested staff to collect and bring in plastic bottles and, using the Festival of Light box, ran lantern making arts and crafts activities. Initially in the lounge in a group, then in a number of rooms with bed-bound residents. She found that a halved bottle would balance well on someone’s arm and they could decorate it using their other arm.

“I realised it was a simple thing to do, gluing the bottles, using the lights, and when I turned off the lights in the room and turned on the lights in the bottles - everyone loved them.”

Madelena reached out to the night staff to share the lanterns with the residents when dark. The night staff, who can often be unsure whether social engagement is part of their job description, were thrilled with the suggestion. They took took photos and this led to lantern lit sing-a-long.

“The night staff said they were happy to have something to do.”

Bedbound residents thoroughly appreciated having their environment changed by changing the light.

“One family member was moved to tears seeing how her mother responded.” 

Another resident, Maude Smith, never normally comes to the lounge but was inspired to by the beauty of the lanterns. Maude is seen her in the lounge, entranced. 

Maude Smith, Rosemary Mount (Keychange)