Mosaic work

Mosaic work. This is a popular activity. At present Upstream is creating a mosaic pyramid which will be installed at our allotment in Crediton. Watch this space !

Jewellry Making
Jewellry Making. Many Upstream participants enjoy the art of jewellery making, and are suprised at their own dexterity and creative ideas. (This lady found the pin in her skirt !)


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individual activities

The social aspect of activities is just as important as the creative, leisure and learning aspects. Mentors make great efforts to help people join small friendly groups to share experience and skills and support each other in maintaining the group in the long-term.

Some participants are housebound. In these circumstances, mentors encourage activities that people can pursue individually at home. Sometimes, arrangements may be made for an external artist or ‘provider’ to visit the person for a while. Wherever possible, the participant is introduced to others who might share their interests, by phone or letter or visiting. Some people prefer to pursue interests on their own.

Here are a few examples of individual activities prompted by mentors: 

  • A lady who had lived an active life but had become isolated in her home started recording her autobiography on tape, with the mentor’s encouragement. She was hesitant at first but developed such confidence that she started using the tape to provoke memories from visiting friends and family, developing lively discussions.
  • A lady who had withdrawn to her room in a residential home, and had very poor memory, started a ‘Day Book’ where visitors jotted down what they talked about so the next visitor could pick up the conversation. The lady became more confident in ‘joining in’ and visitors were encouraged and had more to talk about.
  • A participant with severe hearing loss wanted to learn new crafts, including quilling (the craftsperson introduced by the mentor had first to learn quilling herself). The mentor linked the lady with the local church, and she now makes crafts for the church to sell for charity; this provides regular contact outside her home.
  • A man aged 90 living in sheltered accommodation had never learned to cook and asked for lessons after his wife died. Within several sessions, he was preparing 3-course meals for his visiting son and was delighted with his new skills.
  • A participant in Moretonhampstead with rapidly failing eyesight, who used to write poetry and do some painting, wanted to revive her skills despite her changed circumstances. She experimented with using textures (sand, etc.) instead of paint and collected old and new poems and pictures into a small book that she has distributed with great pride to many friends and family.
  • A professional writer has worked with a former poacher and gamekeeper to help him produce a book of lively poaching stories and to give him tips on how to market his work through magazines and articles.
  • A participant who had begun to feel very isolated as a result of being restricted to a wheelchair was visited several times by a mentor and introduced to the South West Lakes organisation that he was able to help by trialling access along their routes around Roadford Resevoir. His self-confidence grew greatly.



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