Parents get creative with Craft Angels
19 February 2018
Evelina Craft Angels is an innovative project which supports parents and carers of children who are staying in hospital for long periods of time.
The regular arts and craft sessions aim to help parents cope with the stress of caring for a sick child and support their emotional wellbeing.
Having a child in hospital can be a stressful time for the whole family and can have a profound impact on a parent or carer’s anxiety levels.
Projects such as Craft Angels operate alongside professional support services to offer parents and carers an opportunity to take some time for themselves, and relieve their stress in an informal and creative environment. It also enables them to share their experiences with other parents.
One parent observes, ‘It’s a time to relax and unwind. You can talk to other parents so you don’t feel alone in the hospital. It also helps me to feel supported. I like to hear how other parents who have been through the same thing have coped.
‘The benefits extend beyond your time in the group as I take the crafts back to the ward and other parents ask where they're from, so it is a good conversation starter. I also get to take craft activities away with me, which is nice.’
Craft group offers a lifeline
Another parent says, ‘When my son’s on the ventilator and he’s not really responsive, there’s a lot for you to think about. And I can’t read a book because I just can’t get into it. But Jane’s craft group has been a bit of a lifeline really. It’s something else for me to focus on.’
Craft Angels also connects parents with the wider Evelina London community, such as making ‘feely octopuses’ for infants and creating decorations for the wards, including Christmas decorations for theatres and PICU.
One parent remembers, ‘The Christmas crafts were nice as it didn’t feel like I had missed out on Christmas.’
Another parent adds: ‘My son loves all the things I’ve made. They’re probably his favourite toys!’
The project launched in April 2017 and is funded by the hospital charity. It also benefits from the enthusiastic support – and the additional artistic skills – of the trust’s superstar volunteers.
Join us in the Atrium on Mondays and Tuesdays
Any parent of an Evelina London child is welcome at these weekly drop-in arts and crafts sessions. They take place every Monday afternoon in the Evelina London Atrium. Additional weekly groups are held for parents of children in paediatric intensive care on Tuesday afternoons. Join us for glass painting, sock monkeys and more!
Craft Angels couldn’t run without donations from our wonderful supporters.