Care home resident, Audrey Coward, has had work from her life drawing classes selected to adorn bus shelters in Hastings.

Audrey, 82, who lives at Hastings Court Care Home on The Ridge, is one of a number of local artists given the chance to display their works as part of Lovehastings.com’s Artshelter project. Her figure of a man drawn in charcoal is on display at the bus stop in Queens Road.

“I can’t believe my work has been chosen!” said Audrey, who’s been a resident at Hastings Court for three years. “This is one time I hope the buses are late so people get more time to look at it!”

Audrey with carer Martine

Prior to lockdown, Audrey took part in regular life drawing classes run by Judy Parkinson from Drawing Life. The classes used real life models and allowed residents, many of whom have dementia, the opportunity to express themselves, to reminisce and to communicate in a different way.

Hastings Court has also been running in-house art classes during lockdown, led by Lifestyles Assistant, Martine Dupuy.

“Art is something that’s really enjoyed by many of our residents,” she said. “It’s such a positive activity that gives them a sense of pride and achievement at the end of the session. It can also be a great tool for communication. We talk about what they’ve created and it can stimulate memories we’ve not heard from them before.

“Although Audrey drew her figure many months ago, it’s still a strong memory for her. Now it’s been chosen for the bus shelter, she’s been telling us how she used to take the bus a lot when she was younger. It was her main method of transport to get around where she grew up in Bromley in Kent. It’s wonderful to see her delight at her drawing being selected.”

Audrey’s daughter, Lesley Cordier, is equally thrilled.

“I am so proud of my mum! Queens Road isn’t somewhere I normally need to go, but I make a detour now just so I can see Mum’s drawing! The staff at Hastings Court have given her so much support and encourage her to do things she hasn’t done before.”


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