Arts For Health also runs community outreach programmes, including art therapy classes in schools and rest homes, and at Waikato Hospital.
However Covid-19 posed a challenge for the community.
So they ran weekly “Zui” (Zoom meetings) during the lockdowns. Perhaps not surprisingly, the artists were more interested in talking to each other, than to staff.
That’s something Cass Hendry is perfectly happy with.
“That speaks to what we are really trying to do – build meaningful relationships and connect people.”
Arts For Health also sent out art packs filled with materials such as paint, paper, pastels, pens and pencils. These were funded with support from the Ministry of Social Development.Cass Hendry says that for some who attend the sessions it is their only outing each week.
“It’s rewarding to see the progress they make. In some cases, clients reach a point where they feel ready to return to paid employment or participate in volunteer work in their local community.”
“Probably our biggest strength is the people, the artists who grow personally and creatively, a team of caring art professionals, and a group of committed volunteers who give their time to make us successful” says Cass Hendry. “Without them we are nothing.”
“The team are lovely” says Kirsty Irwin. “Since I’ve started here I’ve made lots of friends and some good long term relationships.”
“It’s a place that makes me happy and has allowed me to express myself.”
You can read more about Arts for Health here.
Since its inception in 2000, the ANZ New Zealand Staff Foundation has distributed over $8 million in community grants to more than 920 charities and community projects nationwide.