Coventry University's Occupational Therapy students will be providing mindfulness sessions during Fusion 21 this Sunday, 15 Aug.
This Sunday, 15 Aug, we host Fusion 21 in Belgrade Square from 12pm – 3pm. During the event, Coventry University’s Occupational Therapy students Laura, Nana and Karina are joining us to provide mindfulness sessions in the Belgrade Foyer.
Their aim is to help guide people who are struggling with returning to normal life after the pandemic. They will provide guidance on mindfulness and anxiety coping strategies to inform and educate people on how safe it is to return to the Belgrade.
We recently chatted to the three students to find out more about their journey with us.
(L-R) Laura, Nana, Karina
We are second year BSc Occupational Therapy (OT) students at Coventry University. Over the last 10 weeks, we’ve been fortunate enough to spend time at the Belgrade Theatre on a contemporary placement.
Occupational Therapy enables and empowers people to participate in meaningful occupation. This isn’t just the jobs that people do, but also the activities that we all need and want to do.
The Belgrade’s occupations include putting on events shows, and drama workshops for Coventry’s communities. The drama workshops we worked with were Arts Gymnasium – drama workshops for over 50s, and Underground Lights – drama workshops for those experiencing or have experienced homelessness and/or mental illness.
Our time within these groups was fun, inspiring and informative. It was wonderful to see the effect these sessions and their use of drama and group work had on the members’ health and well-being.
We really wanted to understand the impact Covid had on the Belgrade and its participants. Covid has severely impacted occupational participation for millions of people worldwide, whether physically, financially or mentally. These workshops had been forced to shut down at the start of the pandemic and during the first lockdown. However, knowing how important occupational participation was to their members, they took their sessions online.
We joined them at a time when society was beginning to open back up. The theatre was open again and shows were once again being performed, albeit socially distanced. Arts Gym was still being run online via Zoom, but Underground Lights were back face to face in the Patrick Suite.
However, some members remained hesitant about coming back into the theatre as they were anxious about being face to face with others or travelling on public transport. We worked with some of these members individually to provide anxiety coping and mindfulness techniques and graded activities to encourage them to come back into the theatre. One participant we worked with went from being apprehensive about leaving her house, to attending the theatre every day for three weeks and being playing of the main roles in a piece of Forum theatre as part of Cardboard Camps, which took place in B2 in July.
Following discussions with Arts Gym, Underground Lights and the Belgrade, we developed a web page providing facts and figures about Covid, the safety measures the Belgrade has in place and guidance on mindfulness and anxiety coping strategies. We hope to inform and educate people on how safe it is to return to the Belgrade, and to empower them in overcoming any anxiety.
We also invite everyone to attend Fusion 21 on Sun 15 Aug, where we will be offering short mindfulness body scan sessions in the Belgrade Foyer.
We’ll also be producing a community legacy art piece. People can create and add leaves to our Cofa’s Tree piece, through the use of mindfulness colouring and journaling – sharing hopes and aspirations as we venture out of lockdown and re-enter society and events.
We hope to see you there!