Lizzie is a Creative Therapist and has worked at the hospice for over ten years after being inspired to change her career.
“I never thought I’d have a career in the hospice sector. I was working in the fashion industry after getting my art degree when a family member was receiving creative therapy at Havens Hospices. Hearing what they did and how much they enjoyed it inspired me to have a career in creative therapy and use my skill set to help people.
“Creative therapy helps people to express their emotions through art-based activities whilst learning new skills. It gives them something else to focus on, not just their illness. It empowers them, and you can really see their self-esteem grow and the benefits it provides the patients and their families.
“My role is very varied, no day is the same. I predominately work one-to-one with adults at Fair Havens, children at Little Havens, and Hospice at Home. We create special legacies for families, such as hand casts, decorating memory boxes, and more personal items like letters. All priceless things that can be kept and treasured by the patient’s family, which is so important.
“I also organise and deliver ongoing creative therapy sessions for outpatients within The Hub at Fair Havens, such as watercolour painting and floristry, as well as running workshops. We also have therapy groups, including ‘Headspace’ at Little Havens, a bereavement group for young people whose loved one is poorly or has died.
“The patients I work with in The Hub form these fantastic friendships and support networks, which is lovely to see. They don’t seem like patients when they are here, they talk about living their life and have hilarious conversations – it’s certainly not miserable.
“I have so many wonderful memories of working at Havens Hospices. A recent one would be a session from our ‘Headspace’ therapy group at Little Havens. This particular session was about expressing their emotions of grief. The children were loving it and were full of giggles as they squirted paint everywhere. It was such a lovely thing to do, and it bought them all together talking about their special person – it’s a really powerful group.
“Havens Hospices is a wonderful place to work for all ages, there are so many personal and career progression opportunities. Next year I’ll be studying for an Art Psychotherapy Masters degree at Goldsmiths University of London, which I’m really looking forward to.
“Hospices may seem scary and sad, all doom and gloom, but they’re really not – it’s the happiest place I’ve ever worked in. Our hospice isn’t just for people at the end of their life – it’s so much more. We also help make every day count for the patients that come here for support and symptom control.
“Creative Therapy is very rewarding. I feel privileged and honoured to work in an environment that helps patients at the most difficult time of their life. It can be tough sometimes, but I love it. I love helping people.”
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Published on 4th October 2022