Artistic granddaughter to help those with dementia

Sam Walker, who is going into art therapy after her grandad was diagnosed with dementia
Sam Walker, who is going into art therapy after her grandad was diagnosed with dementia

An inspirational teenager from Chorley is hoping to use her artistic skills as a way of helping dementia sufferers.

Last year Sam Walker, 17, was contemplating the idea of embarking on an art therapy course.

But after hearing that her own grandad had been diagnosed with dementia, and with the help of voluntary youth sector organisation, Rathbone, Sam decided it was time to pursue her career further.

Sam, who is now getting ready to start a Level Three Art and Design course at Preston College, said: “I got a phone call from my cousin to tell me about my grandad, who lives in Newcastle.

“It is quite hard to get to see him.

“I was looking at art therapy last year, but with my grandad getting dementia it has made me realise that is what I want to do.

“I want to help people with dementia by drawing with them.

“It will give them something to do, and I want to give something back.

“In Year Ten, I started a Btech and found out that I was quite good at art, and that I wanted to go further with it.

“Rathbone has helped to build my confidence back up, and they have been very supportive.”

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as a form of communication.

It is usually used to help people who are dealing with difficulties, disabilities or diagnoses.

Rathbone spokesman, Peter Gibson, said: “Sam told me that she is going into art therapy, and that she wants to look after older people.

“She is very creative and artistic, and is using her talents to do something positive.

“When Sam came to Rathbone it was about confidence building, and now it seems to have really fallen into place for her.

“Her grandad’s diagnosis has had an influence on her.”

•Rathbone is a UK-wide voluntary youth sector organisation providing opportunities for young people to transform their life-circumstances.

They help people to re-engage with learning and discovertheir ability to succeed and achieve progression to further education, training and employment.