Paper cranes wing way to Japan in peace

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Last Thursday 1,000 colourful origami paper cranes started winging their way to Japan with a group of Explorer scouts from North Yorkshire and Cleveland.

Made by patients, carers and staff from Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust’s (TEWV) North Yorkshire mental health services for older people (MHSOP), and scouts from North Yorkshire and Cleveland, they will eventually form part of a display at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in recognition of the 70th anniversary of the bombing.

MHSOP services run by TEWV Trust that took part in the project include Ward 14 at The Friarage Hospital and TEWV’s memory service in Northallerton; community mental services in Harrogate and Ripon, along with Springwood in Malton.

The cranes which contain personalised messages for peace and recovery were handed over to the 36 scouts and their four scout leaders at Wensleydale Railway, Leeming Bar Station, by Mrs Margaret Robson, a carer, and Clare Jones, occupational therapist.

Mrs Robson who made some of the paper cranes along with occupational therapist, Clare said: “It has been lovely to take part in this therapeutic activity and see the paper cranes starting their journey with the scouts. Making the paper cranes gave me the opportunity to meet other carers who are in a similar position to me”.

Clare Jones, occupational therapist with Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust said: “The opportunity to help our local scouts by making paper cranes has been an extremely rewarding and positive experience for all involved.

“Occupational therapists strive to engage others in meaningful activities and through group sessions our staff, patients and their families were able to master the art of origami.

“The activity was a great leveller and gave everyone a sense of purpose and satisfaction in helping others.”

Scouts selected to represent North Yorkshire and Cleveland at the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in Japan are taking the cranes, on their seven day journey travelling by train, coach, plane and the Shinkansen (Bullet) train.

Their journey will take them through North Yorkshire, Manchester, Abu Dhabi and Japan calling at Narita near Tokyo, Yamaguchi City and finally arriving at Hiroshima Peace Park on 30 July.

Cath Wright, scout lead/lecturer of occupational therapy at University of Teesside said: “Sharing the story of Sadako with my occupational therapy colleagues opened the door to this wonderful use of a story of hope. I’m delighted that our scouts can take these cranes and their messages of hope with us to Hiroshima. Scouts from across the Counties have also made hundreds of cranes, so we now have 1000 to display”.

The papers cranes made by Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundations Trust’s mental health services for older people have also featured as part of the #TEWVArts annual display at Ripon Cathedral during Mental Health Awareness Week in May (11-17). #TEWV Arts celebrates the talented users and staff.