Craft Therapy in Cancer works with Yeovil Hospital and aims to support patients socially and mentally following a course of cancer treatment with the use of creativity.

The programme was started by Craft Therapy in Cancer Coordinator, Rebecca Cracknell, (who at the time was a chemotherapy nurse) to reach out to patients at a particularly difficult time of their lives.

Rebecca said: “The team and I want to empower people in their recovery when they no longer need hospital care. By using craft therapy as a tool, we are helping to improve the patients’ mental wellbeing in a safe and social setting.”

The group hands out Craft Kits containing colouring equipment, paper quilling, embroidery and more to patients to enjoy while they are having treatment or once they are home to help occupy their minds. Rebecca also works outside of the hospital, running a community craft group for patients to attend once they have finished having treatment. The community group provides the opportunity for patients to gain new skills in various art forms and to make friendships with those that have experienced the same journey as them.

A more recent initiative Rebecca offers is the Yeovil Men’s Craft Therapy group, created in collaboration with the Men’s Shed Yeovil. The shed is open on Wednesdays to those that have cancer or care for someone with cancer and is interested in more robust crafts such as woodwork.

Craft Therapy is free for patients and funded by Yeovil Hospital Charity. Rebecca and her team have raised around £10,000 so far for the programme themselves, and recently the organisation has received a substantial donation from Yeovil Hospital’s League of Friends to further the work done outside in the community. Later in the year, Rebecca will be opening up a craft haven The Makers Place in Stoke-sub-Hamdon to allow more access for others in the community to be altogether creative.

Rebecca added: “It is hoped that in the future we will be able to collaborate with other areas of the hospital, and continue to improve the rehabilitation process in and outside the hospital.”

If you would like to find out more about Craft Therapy in Cancer, please talk to your cancer support worker or contact Rebecca at CraftTherapy@YDH.NHS.UK

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