Detail from quilt

Detail from the Upstream Quilt This sample design also inspired our Christmas card 2004

The Upstream Quilt
Upstream Participants Pottery is one of the many creative activities offered to groups.


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Why Upstream?

A personal view by Dr. Peter Twomey, Upstream founder

"Through my work with patients as a GP and as a member of an integrated, multi-professional Primary Health Care and Reablement Team, I have become increasingly aware of the multi-factorial nature of illness.

Historically, health and social care has concentrated on the avoidance and treatment of physical and mental ill-health, whilst attending to an individual's most basic personal needs. This is a very reactive approach and, sadly, there is often much debate between health and social services as to who is both professionally and financially responsible for fishing the individual "out of the water" after they have fallen in. This approach has failed to contain demand.

Little has been done to address those factors which contribute to a person's quality of life. Age, isolation, loneliness, bereavement, infirmity, when combined with environmental, educational and economic pressures, can all add up to make a person feel unwell and unhealthy.

So many of the problems patients encounter can be predicted. With minimal low level intervention at an earlier time, much pain and suffering to the individual, and cost and effort to the state, I'm sure, could be avoided.

Taking an interest in someone, giving them time, is in my experience every bit as therapeutic as any amount of medicine or psychotherapy. People, when they are happy, feel better both mentally and physically. As families and communities fragment, the traditional support networks fall apart. I firmly believe in using a self-determined programme of stimulating creative, leisure and social activities and learning opportunities as a vehicle for rekindling a person's love of life and rebuilding community spirit.

Health Prevention and Health Promotion are the only ways of tackling those avoidable causes of ill-health that highlight the inequalities that exist for the most disadvantaged and excluded members of our society. That is why I conceived the concept of Upstream - an additional service designed to pull people back from the water's edge."

Dr. Peter Twomey, GP, Crediton, Devon


© 2018 Upstream. Upstream HLC is a registered charity no. 1087185 Company limited by guarantee no. 4114401
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