At Coxhill Manor, it’s Activity Co-Ordinator Sarah’s job to ensure an engaging and stimulating programme is available for all residents to enjoy.

Art Without Walls, an arts-based outreach programme bringing resources to local care homes, has been coming to Coxhill Manor for years. The care home had previously brought residents to The Lightbox to participate in Art in Mind sessions, but this introduced its own set of staffing problems for Sarah’s team.

“The Lightbox bringing art to Coxhill Manor is perfect for us,” Sarah smiles. “It means more people can get involved if they want to, and we don’t have to worry about staffing.”

“In a care home, art can become quite childish or patronising, but Art Without Walls is not like that at all – it’s really professional,” Sarah continues. “The Lightbox brings a real calmness to the sessions, and the feeling pervades for the rest of the afternoon.”

Art Without Walls has a different focus to other activities that we do, so it gives some of our residents who don’t take part in anything else opportunities to socialise.”

“It’s not even necessarily about painting or producing anything. It could be art appreciation, or discussing the history of the artist. For some, just being in the environment, there’s a definite buzz. Talking about art, or just listening – it’s comforting.”

“We aren’t aiming to produce world-class artworks,” Sarah admits. “We aren’t even aiming to remember them. It’s about the feeling. That positive reinforcement, the encouragement – that’s what they remember, especially those whose self-esteem has reached rock-bottom.”

“The core of the session is art, but the ripple effect is much bigger.”

Your Membership, ticket purchases and donations help to fund our Art and Wellbeing programme, which includes Art without Walls, so every resident at Coxhill Manor and various local care homes and hospices can continue to discuss, participate in and enjoy the arts.