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P-38  The ‘art bag’ project – enabling hospice communities to ‘connect, contemplate and create’
  1. Annalie Ashwell1,2,3
  1. 1Peace Hospice, Watford
  2. 2Hospice of St. Francis, Berkhamsted
  3. 3Macmillan Cancer Support (funders)



  • To provide an accessible creative activity for hospices and the wider communities

  • To raise awareness of the benefits of therapeutic arts

  • To reduce stigma attached to hospices

  • To provide an opportunity for participants to ‘leave a mark’ and to feel connected to others.

Method The project is a large collaborative initiative uniting two hospices together, through one activity. Since the launch, in October 2015, over 500 bags have been distributed. Each bag is filled with the same simple, creative activity, 2015/6 weaving. The bag may be completed at the hospice or taken away. Each bag provides the opportunity to ‘connect, contemplate and create’, fostering enjoyment and relaxation and promoting wellbeing. Participants are offered the opportunity to contribute completed artworks to an end of project exhibition.

The project 2015/16 culminated in an exhibition in Space2gallery, (in a local museum). Over 210 artworks were in the exhibition. Group ‘tasters’ were then held at the gallery to raise awareness and increase understanding of hospice services.

Impact Each bag included a feedback card. Over 50 were returned and were displayed in the exhibition. 100% were positive and demonstrated the range of people accessing the project.

‘By making this circle of life I call it. I think I turned a corner and I now realise my daughter is happy now, and I feel she is at peace’

‘Participating in the art bag project re-connected me with how calming + satisfying it is to sit quietly + create something with my hands’

‘Very good way of bringing you into the here and now. Very soothing’

Future relevance The project evolves on an annual basis with a different activity inside. There is a potential for future collaborative developments but these will be dependent on funding. Post is currently funded by Macmillan Cancer Support.

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