There are approximately half a million children and young people in the UK living with neurological conditions. It can be hard for many of these youngsters to move freely, make basic hand movements or take part in everyday activities.
However, our earliest years are arguably the most important - the developing brain is constantly changing and growing. A number of artistic activities can therefore have a real positive effect on cognitive function.
Thanks to generous funding from BBC Children in Need, The Brain Charity is thrilled to announce our Brain Changer Arts Project. Over the next three years we will be delivering innovative workshops that harness the power of the arts to bring therapeutic benefits to hundreds of young people.
One group of sessions will pair the skills of a neuro-physiotherapist and a professional dancer to design and deliver dance routines. The other will feature a dedicated arts and crafts leader working with an occupational therapist to lead crafts sessions.
There is a growing body of research that shows how these activities stimulate multiple parts of the brain. Dancing improves motor control and balance; as physical exercise it can reduce stress and increase serotonin levels. Crafting activities assist with dexterity, hand-eye co-ordination and memory.
What’s more, these workshops will offer engaging social opportunities for all participants - this includes parents and carers, who are more than welcome to get involved!
Nanette Mellor, Chief Executive Officer at The Brain Charity, says: “We are so excited to have been awarded this funding by BBC Children in Need. Access to physiotherapy and occupational therapy for our young people is so limited these days, and we are sure these workshops will improve their wellbeing and set them up for as healthy and active a life as possible.”
Sessions will be therapeutic, creative and above all, fun! Please get in touch to find out more information or to suggest someone who might benefit from participating in the project.