At Sheffield Hallam University we weave together our research, consultancy and teaching activities so they build on each other. Some of our most creative outputs come from our work with students and service users in practice or teaching when we can be spontaneous. The challenge for us is to develop these activities into proper funded research - and still keep the spontaneity. We welcome ideas and case stories on how to do this. Our current and recent projects include formal research that includes artistic and creative activities, and freeform explorations within teaching and practice that are a precursor to formal research or evaluations. For example:
Julie Coleman is writing up her qualitative study on 'Activity and culture in social housing' which highlights the creative problem solving and navigation of loss and barriers as we age. See Julie's article on digital media below.
Sarah Cook and colleagues have designed an OT intervention 'GetREAL' to train and motivate staff in psychiatric rehabilitation units to better engage residents in creative and chosen activities. OTs and activity workers will start piloting this in February, prior to the multi-site RCT. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/REAL-Study/
Julie Coleman Sarah Cook
Nick Pollard is writing about the politics and underlying social dynamics that need to be recognised when we facilitate groups to come together to carry out creative activities such as writing, gardening, knitting etc. See Nick's article below.
Joan Healey recently captured the narratives of older people in care, and made a digital book with pictures, poems and recording of older people telling their stories. The 'Creative accounts of care' project was a joint venture with nursing staff, a local poet and occupational therapy students. It involved running a creative writing group over 10 weeks in a local care home for older people. The aims were to capture their experiences of being cared for and hear the voices of people who rarely have a chance to tell their stories to a wider public. The creative writing enabled individual expression in a supportive environment and resulted in a digital book of people's writing and poems. This digital book is used in multi-disciplinary teaching in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing at Sheffield Hallam University.
Nick Pollard Joan Healey
Claire Craig - is working in creative design within the research team for 'Lab4Living' http://www.lab4living.org.uk/phd-claire-craig and completing her PhD using photography as a medium for collecting and analysing data.