Using new and established art therapy spaces

CALAIS UPDATE, WEEK 6

This Thursday and Friday Anna Kälin, Jess Linton and Sarah Robinson continued to hold an open art therapy space which is gathering a sizeable group of regular attendees within Medecins du Monde’s treatment area, and is becoming established as a reliable safe space. Also, for the first time, Jess and Anna provided an outreach service to the women and children who live as a minority in the sprawling camp, making art and art therapy accessible to those who might otherwise find it challenging within a predominantly male environment.

The population has grown to unrecognisable proportions since our reckie back in August (including three newborns this past week) and so too has the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of many people living there. Amongst this however is a daily struggle to carry out simple tasks, maintain health, good spirits and to keep safe and warm.

This week we saw art making from those as young as three up to the age of fifty five, around tables full of art materials and growing piles of images. Our folders are full to bursting, added to by the drawings created in the women and children’s session, which provided a safe outlet for what must be a disturbing period in their little lives.

We have two weeks left of our pilot art therapy project within an over-subscribed psychology department in Medecins du Monde and there is a very evident, ongoing need for our input. To this end we welcome approaches from individuals and organisations who can help Art Refuge UK achieve a sustainable programme for the men, women and children in Calais.

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