Away with pain donates £2,000

Thanks to Mr David Kelly and the “Away with Pain” charity who donated £2,000 towards an Arts project at the Royal Derby Hospital.  The project exploring how creativity can help patients cope with chronic pain. The charity was founded by Mr Kelly’s daughter Julia to help others battling the condition to realise they are not alone.

The project at the hospital looks at embedding creative activities (writing, visual art, masks and drama) into the existing Pain Management Programme (PMP) with 3 main aims:

1.  To empower people experiencing chronic pain to be able to better communicate about the pain to themselves and others.

2.  To develop processes and opportunities for patients to develop their own creativity by offering a variety of experiences that patients find engaging or meditative enough to provide alleviation from their experience of pain.

3.  To use creativity as a catalyst for patients to make their own ‘self-help manual’, one that becomes an on-going resource for patients beyond the life of the PMP course.

The arts teams, staff and patients worked together at all stages of the development.  Staff have agreed that they ‘wouldn’t be without this now’ as part of the PMP and patients have universally valued the creative addition to the main programme and have benefited from its inclusion.

Some patient quotes:

•From doing the artworks, drama and writing I was able to express how I was feeling inside which I would not have been able to do with words, very powerful stuff. All the artists on the course, I owe a lot to and thank them.

•I believe it has helped me to move on with my life.

•IT is not in control of my life, I AM

•My relationship with pain has been there a long time and eventually even though you don’t like it, its staying. The PMP gives you the tools to manage the pain.

  •  The course showed me different ideas on communicating and the confidence to say it exactly how it is. I now realise how important it is, for those around us to know how we are feeling and stop giving confusing messages.

The donation from Away with Pain will enable the programme to take place with another group of patients later in the year.  Other future developments being explored are the setting up of  follow-on creative support group, incorporate the programme into staff training and to conduct some research into the clinical benefits of including creative activities in a PMP. However, these are long-term goals which will require large scale funding bids so we are now looking for funds to enable this to happen.


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