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With music and play we’ll blow your house down!

Noah’s Ark’s therapists have launched a weekly play group for younger children, bringing together music and sensory play – and the first session was all about the Three Little Pigs.

Noah’s Ark’s therapists have launched a weekly play group for younger children, bringing together music and sensory play – and the first session was all about the Three Little Pigs.

The group is aimed at non-mobile children under four, and their parents and carers. It is led by Specialist Play Worker, Vikki Kempster and Music Therapist, Kirsty Ormston.

The sessions include 45 minutes of play and 45 minutes of music, during which the children are taken on an explorative journey based on a popular book or story.

This week’s piggy-themed adventure helped the children experience the story through touch, with hay, sticks, bubbles and a sensory house. This was followed by creative music-making and well-known songs, plus the opportunity to create personalised art to take home.

As Kirsty explained, the idea for the group came from parents whose children have enjoyed the one-to-one therapy sessions provided by Noah’s Ark. “Combining play and music in a lovely, sensory, explorative environment is great for supporting children’s emotional and physical development,” she said.

“Often after receiving one-to-one sessions the next step is to develop social interaction and relationships with others. The group is the perfect opportunity to do this in a safe way, plus it’s a chance for families to meet each other, get support and gain ideas to try at home.”

The group is currently running for an eight-week pilot period. If successful it will continue to run weekly during term time.

Noah’s Ark’s Specialist Play and Therapies team supports children with child-led sessions that help them communicate their emotions, manage anxiety and gain a sense of autonomy.

Ten families are currently enrolled in the group, however, other children, supported by Noah’s Ark, are welcome to join following an assessment. Families can attend each week or drop in to as many sessions as they like.

To find out more email Kirsty at kormston@noahsarkhospice.org.uk or call the Therapies Team on 020 8449 8877.

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Joanne’s Journey

“I needed a lifeline”,”

Hagley resident, Joanne, was diagnosed with multiple Myeloma in October 2013.

Joanne said, “At the beginning of my journey, I wondered how I was going to face the prospect of chemotherapy and losing my hair. How would I feel emotionally? Was I going to be able to cope with it all? The period before starting chemotherapy, I began to get very tired, my joints ached and I found that the one hundred and ten per cent I normally put into my job as a Teaching Assistant was reducing very fast.  I needed a life line.

I spoke to my GP and I can’t thank him enough because it opened a door to KEMP Hospice.  The word ‘hospice’ had always conjured up in my mind, elderly men and women lying silently in hospital beds or sitting asleep in old high back chairs waiting for their next meal. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality KEMP Hospice was my lifeline – it is a vibrant, warm friendly place that provides a great many services to people with life limiting illness in the Wyre Forest.”

The support from the Hospice included help through counselling to enable Joanne to deal with the emotional strain of her treatments.  Joanne, like many people, found this service enormously helpful.  She also benefitted from complementary therapy in the early stages of her chemotherapy, she said, “There is nothing better than a shoulder and neck massage when you’re feeling wound up!”

Joanne has now completed her course of chemotherapy and she is still being supported by the Hospice, mainly from their physiotherapist, Jackie Godfrey who is helping Joanne to regain some of her physical strength and improve muscle tone, which will enable her to walk up and down the stairs independently.  She is looking to the future and has returned to work part time is helping at her local amateur theatre group on some weekends.

She commented, “I am so grateful to everyone at KEMP, without them, I think I would have reached rock bottom. I know that the money to provide the services comes mainly from voluntary donations, so I’ve started raising money.  I want other people who are going through tough times either with a life limiting illness or experiencing bereavement to be able to have a lifeline just like me.   I know what an amazing difference the Hospice services make and I want others to benefit.”