East Lancashire Hospice

Luke McCormack - Creative Therapy Support Volunteer

Name: Luke McCormack

Job Title: Creative therapy support volunteer

What does your role involve?

I help with the Creative and Support Therapies (CAST) sessions that take place weekly. Patients come in and work on a different project each time and I’m there to offer my help or get involved in the artwork if they want me to. It’s not about them showing off their skills, it’s an outlet for them to express themselves through their art, giving them a can-do attitude and helping them grow in confidence. Some people do show their completed work in exhibitions and they feel really proud at what they’ve achieved. Others give it to their husband or wife, grand­children or friends.

How did you get the experience to do the role you do now?

I’m a creative person naturally and I’ve always enjoyed painting and drawing in my spare time. Towards the end of 2017 I heard about the opportunity and thought it sounded like something I’d enjoy. My grandad used to work in a hospice and then volunteered there when he retired and my grandma on the other side is an artist, so I guess that’s what’s inspired me. I’m 27 and I work part-time as a shop worker now but my life goal is to become an art therapist. With this experience and some quali­fica­tions in the future, hopefully I can get there.

What time do you start and finish work each day typically?

I come into the hospice at 10am every Thursday and our session lasts until between 2pm and 3pm.

What’s the best thing about working for the hospice?

The positive emotional impact it has on people is the best thing. I’ve had patients telling me they feel a lot better during the sessions and that what they get from creating art is better than having medicine, which leaves me feeling really humbled. When they’re there they forget about their daily worries and stresses and it’s really rewarding to think I’m making a difference to someone’s day. That’s the outcome I want to achieve as well as using my skillset. It’s made me sure that art therapy is what I want to do in my career.

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