Edinburgh care home residents take part in worldwide art festival

Residents at Care UK’s Murrayside on South Beechwood picked up their pencils and went back to the drawing board for The Big Draw Festival 2020.

Edinburgh care home residents take part in worldwide art festival

Article Source: Care UK
First Published: 28 November 2020 15:52
Updated: 28 November 2020 15:53

Ready, set, draw – Edinburgh care home residents take part in worldwide art festival

Residents at a care home in Edinburgh picked up their pencils and went back to the drawing board for The Big Draw Festival 2020.

Care UK’s Murrayside on South Beechwood, celebrated all things nature by creating works of art around this year’s theme, ‘a Climate of Change’.

As part of their event, residents and team members joined illustrator and author Gary Andrews for an exclusive live drawing workshop centred around endangered animals, organised virtually in partnership with The Big Draw.

As part of the session, residents and team members drew along with Gary, Ambassador for The Big Draw and a former Disney illustrator, and were shown how to draw a variety of endangered animals, including koalas, polar bears, puffins and sea turtles, while he explained various techniques, such as shading and under-drawings. At the end of the session, residents were invited to ask questions and submit requests.

Launched in 2000 as part of the ‘Campaign for Drawing’, the month-long Big Draw Festival promotes drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention, and has encouraged over four million people to get arty since its inception. ‘A Climate of Change’, this year’s theme, focuses on the relationship between people and their environment, and offers a great opportunity for older people to reminisce about their favourite nature spots, as well as trips to the great outdoors in their younger years, and how our focus on looking after our planet has changed in recent years.

Gary Andrews, who is also an ambassador The Big Draw, said: “Hosting a live drawing session via Zoom was a unique and incredibly moving experience, and it was a pleasure to meet residents and team members at Murrayside. Everyone can draw, all it takes is to pick up a pencil – it’s not about perfection, it’s about doing something enjoyable, and I think this session perfectly illustrated that.”

Fran Long, Home Manager at Murrayside, said: “The Big Draw was a huge success, and residents were thrilled to be able to benefit from Gary’s knowledge and enthusiasm.

“Creative activities play a big part of life here at Murrayside, and we actively encourage residents to continue lifelong arty hobbies and try new expressive pastimes. Drawing has a variety of benefits for older people, especially those living with dementia, as it provides an alternative way to communicate and express emotions, and an opportunity to relive happy memories.

“Gary was a fantastic host and always made sure to explain the techniques he was using, often adding even more examples to illustrate, and sharing his top tips with residents. It was a fantastic drawing session, and everyone left with a smile on their face – we’re all looking forward to getting our pencils out again very soon!”


After a successful participation in the Big Draw Festival last year, Care UK renewed its partnership in 2020, becoming the main health and social care partner and leading the way in changing perceptions of life in a care home by promoting activity-based care and encouraging other care homes to follow suit. Across the country, more than 70 homes have been getting arty and working with their local communities virtually to create works of art around the theme ‘A Climate of Change’.

Murrayside care home has been specially designed to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence. The care home incorporates space for hobby and leisure activities, and has its own cinema, hair salon and café.

To find out more about Murrayside, please contact Customer Relations Manager, Gillian Gray, on 0131 516 8767, or email gillian.gray@careuk.com

To find out more about Care UK’s partnership with the Big Draw, and for more top tips on how you and your loved ones can get involved at home, visit careuk.com/care-homes/bigdraw

To find out more about the Big Draw festival, please go to thebigdraw.org

Image: L-R Kathleen and Irene

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