Residents of the Rand Aid treatment centre worked alongside occupational therapist Kendra Neethling to design and construct shelves for the pottery room. They used old wooden cupboards to make the shelves and in so doing, both shared and developed woodwork skills.
“The project has helped develop initiative and pride within the gentlemen involved. It also presented an opportunity for the transfer of skills that can be utilised outside of Wedge Gardens in future leisure or work pursuits,” says Kendra.
The pottery room itself has created much excitement as the therapeutic value of working with one’s hands, developing creativity and achieving a state of flow is exceptional, she says.
A state of flow, also called being ‘in the zone’, refers to an optimal state of engagement that heightens positive emotions and feelings of intrinsic reward.
“The hope is that the pottery room can be utilised as a space where the gentlemen at Wedge can be exposed to numerous skills whilst working towards a market day planned for later on in the year. Thus the aim is to provide the residents at Wedge an opportunity to learn not only task concept and prevocational skills, but also delve into the field of entrepreneurship and learn higher order survival skills such as financial management and budgeting.
“This will help them live productive, goal-directed and meaningful lives,” she says.