The Caladenia community project

 Staff, volunteers, clients and their carers and families all felt very isolated and disconnected from Caladenia and each other when lock down first started. Through innovative programs we have reconnected, culminating in this artwork.

In March of this year our worlds were all tipped upside down with the suspension of all face-to-face programs at Caladenia Dementia Care in Mooroolbark due to COVID-19. Team Caladenia has continued to support the Caladenia Community in many different and creative ways, from weekly activity packs to a “vanilla slice because you’re nice” delivery to our Members.

We believe that although we are all individuals, we have come together as one, supporting each other through the good and the bad. In June this year we embarked on our Community Project. Each stakeholder – including Caladenia members, volunteers, board members and staff – was given a kit consisting of a cardboard cut-out of a generic person, instructions and goodies to decorate their 'person'. The goodies included items specific to the stakeholder's personality, for example: glasses, a dog or a wine glass.

Everybody was encouraged to use artistic licence to complete the task however they wanted. A total of 140 kits were delivered. This project created much excitement for those involved. Calls to collect the completed person came quickly and as each person was collected our community grew. No two people were the same, many participants created a replica of themselves and used their creative talents in a way not seen before.

Once the 'people' were returned to Meadowbank House, they were photographed and put on our newly made Community Wall. This wall visually illustrates that we are connected through our involvement with Caladenia, that we are now, and into the future, a true Community.