A person's hands shown painting with watercolours

Home from Hospital service helps keen painter regain his confidence


We recently received a wonderful good news story from the British Red Cross, a key delivery partner of the Home from Hospital service.

BRS Lead Community Officer, Stephen Johnson, shared the steps taken by his team to support an elderly gentleman in East Ayrshire following his discharge from Crosshouse Hospital.

The gentleman, “Mr C”, suffered with poor mental health and, over recent years, had spent time in Woodland View psychiatric hospital. Stephen told us more:

“Mr C lives alone and gets very lonely and isolated. At times he feels he has no purpose in life, which is affecting his mood and wellbeing.

Upon our initial Safe and Well call with him, I could hear his mood improving as the call progressed. We discovered he is an artist and a painter and that [this pastime] had been missing from his life since Covid.”

Following Stephen’s first call with Mr C, they discussed ways to improve his confidence and empower him to take up painting again. Together they created a support plan to bring this “much-needed distraction and focus” back to his daily life.

To tackle Mr C’s feelings of loneliness and isolation, Stephen then arranged for him to receive up to 12 weeks of regular befriending calls with their follow-on service and is looking into similar services which can continue this indefinitely.

Mr C also mentioned an art group he once attended and enjoyed. To help him return to this group and rebuild his confidence in getting out and about, Stephen made him aware of the BRS volunteer outreach support service, which would visit his home and transport him to and from the art group, as well as provide support while he was there. Mr C was delighted by this idea and happy for this support to go ahead.

With Mr C’s consent, Stephen also contacted social work staff and the local mental health team who have been supporting him, making them aware of the BRS’s involvement and to safeguard outreach volunteers who will be working with him. It was also agreed that outreach volunteers will help Mr C to clear out a room in his flat to convert it into an art studio.

Stephen shared some of the fantastic outcomes which have been achieved since the BRS’s involvement:

“Since joining the follow-on support service, Mr C has taken part in four art classes, three of which we supported him to attend. We are pleased to say that our initial involvement gave him the confidence to attend the fourth class alone, organising his own taxi to get there without our support.

We also made the organiser of the art group aware of Mr C’s situation, meaning they were on-hand to support him once there. This reassured him that he would be safe and looked after if he experienced any problems with his anxiety while there. 

Mr C said that, without the support of the Home from Hospital team, their communication with the group organiser and a follow-up Safe and Well call with the BRS service, he would never have found the confidence to return to his beloved art group.

He added that the group has given him purpose and passion again and that he will be forever grateful to the British Red Cross for their support at such a difficult time in his life. Finally, he stated that his mood had greatly improved and that he is now looking forward to the year ahead.”

Mr C also provided some comments, expressing his gratitude for the life-changing support he had received:

“I would not be where I am now without the support of the British Red Cross. [They were] so friendly and gave me faith in believing that someone would genuinely help me. This helped me trust them more and open up to them.”

What a fantastic outcome for this gentleman! Many thanks to Stephen and all at the British Red Cross for their kindness and care and for providing The Tea Break with such a wonderfully uplifting success story.

To find out more about the British Red Cross Home from Hospital service, head to their website.