"'My Never Ending Story' Story 2"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

Patients in a secure hospital have been involved in a new project called 'My Never Ending Story'. This is a tale of recovery. It’s written by the patients together in the style of a fairy tale – but it encompasses many aspects of their or their peer’s lives. The difficulties may have been observed in others or felt by themselves. It is humorous and over the top at times, it was written in that way. What started as a task grew into an enthusiasm and the characters took on a life of their own. As you are drawn into this tale listen to the journey that the characters are taking. All of them are learning to cope with difficulties. All of them have some difficulty with prejudices and communication – whether through understanding a different language, paranoia concerning others opinions of them or just because they are different in appearance.

This tale could be written and re written because it is not the story of just one community……………..it could be any community and is happening in different ways all the time hence the never-ending story. As one recovers and accepts a new life another’s journey begins…………………….

Patients spent nearly two years putting together this fantasy story based on the recovery model. The story is fun but with a serious message. The stage the backdrops and all the puppets have been created by a group of four (sometimes five) patients and staff. They are very proud of their work and are looking forward to the forthcoming performances.

This is a piece by one of the patients:

For the past 14 months, I have been involved in making the models, backdrops and props for the Never Ending Story. I began making Nippimuki the frog and the judge. We made them using papier mache with a plastic milk bottle inside for support, which I found a bit messy and shaky. I was glad once they were dry and I could paint them. I enjoyed seeing the characters emerge. It was funny seeing the words turn into characters. We all got very involved in the story and wanted a positive outcome. Everyone was very ‘hands on’ and enthusiastic, we all enjoyed the moment when the story came to life.

I also got involved in deciding where and what backdrops we needed. I painted two backdrops—the smashed up pumpkin one and the Hard Rock Café. The café backdrop was very detailed and involved some collage work, as well painting.

After all the backdrops and props were completed, I was involved n the performance. It was exciting to see the backdrops, figures and performance all come together. My part in the performance was to help move the backdrops into position and add sound effects for the characters (not dogs though). We eventually filmed our performance and are now waiting for the Recovery Day—Grass is Greener Where it’s Watered, for our last performance.

Towards the end of rehearsals it was suggested performers might like black T Shirts to present a uniform appearance. These were duly ordered, but when they arrived were found to be a tad on the small side. The Art Department added a few feet of fabric and the fitted much better.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Mary Lilley, Modern Matron, The Peaks Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

I would like to congratulate all our patients for all their hard work in the production of the 'Never ending Story'. I am sure you can appreciate that Recovery plays a major part in all our patients care and treatment within a High Secure Setting. It can be quite frustating at times for our patients, as all their requests for any items including materials for any such productions have to be approved by both the Clinical Team and the Security Department, to ensure that they adhere with the Trust Policies and Procedures.

The patients gain a real sense of satisfaction and it plays a positive part in their self esteem when they participate in these kind of activities. Although it can be quite hard work, they can actually see a result at the end of it. To hear others acknowledging their hard work by appauding after any given performance and providing postive feedback makes them feel that they have something to aspire to in terms of their goals and vision for their future. In a High Secure Setting the progress that patients often make, may only seem like small steps at the time. However most of the time they try to remain motivated, but there again at times it may feel quite difficult for them, as they often feel isolated from their family, friends and the world. I feel very proud of our patients work, and it often brings a tear to my eye to see their great efforts in balancing life with their treatment in a High Secure Setting. A massive 'well done' to both the patients and our staff team for all their hard work and committment during these times.

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