Models for Heroes and the well-being aspects of Hobbies

I have been busy casting a few more scout figures for my Wide Games project this weekend. Nothing like molten hot lead for focusing the attention on what you are doing.

After watching the short videos for Models For Heroes, I thought again whilst hot metal casting about some of the things  the veterans said regarding the therapeutic benefits of modelling:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/30/models-for-heroes-film-trailer/

What is said of modelling here is applicable probably to many hobbies. I’m sure many of the veterans would find home casting as therapeutic.

Text below is taken / transcribed by me from this BFBS YouTube video https://youtu.be/3gsyyJ5AOhc

Malcolm Child, Models for Heroes: “It brings you away from the problems of the day. It brings you away from thinking about problems in the past and perhaps stresses the future, so yeah it keeps you in the now.”

Karl, Model Maker: “As a long term sufferer of PTSD I spend a lot of my time looking in my peripheral vision for threats … Coming here into a safe environment,  the concentration on the model takes away the need to look for those threats and I can concentrate on the model and actually the byproduct of that, it gives my brain a time to rest, so it’s not absorbing all its energy on threats and what’s going on around me.”

Barrie, one of the other interviewees who was struggling with his concentration after a major operation, talked about the benefits of modelling:  “the sitting peaceful, the quietness and the ability to work at your own pace and do things in your own time and actually to get something from the end result …”

Ceri Lawrence Occupational Therapy Assistant: “It gives people a meaningful occupation … [for] people who’ve lost the ability to do the things they used to enjoy … giving people a new chance, a new hobby and it’s an occupation they can do here as a group or elsewhere as a group or solo.”

These are all interesting points which I think are true of my own hobby enjoyment of making and painting figures for tabletop gaming. I have no mental health issues (so far) nor the black dog or PTSD but I have friends and acquaintances who have and I can see how modelling or other hobbies would help.

This concentration aspect sounds much like the well-being and mindfulness focus etc from the “colouring book” craze a year or two back.

In some ways, it’s nothing new, as in the past and today, gardening for example has been used as therapy – horticultural therapy  – such as the UK charity Gardening Leave (2007-2015) https://www.thirdsector.co.uk/armed-forces-charity-gardening-leave-close-13-jobs-lost/management/article/1375807. Walled gardens worked well for many veterans as  the  garden walls provided  a place of safety for veterans – many of whom suffered from hyper-vigilance and found open spaces difficult.

This form of “Social prescribing” for depression, isolation and anxiety such as joining a walking or sports group is now increasingly practised in the NHS.

Toy making using carpentry seem to have fulfilled this role during and after WW1 such as the Lord Roberts workshops and also this discharged veteran here:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/toys-from-the-scrapheap/

I probably still have (somewhere) in my varied collection at home a WW2 era needlework pattern used with convalescent Troops in  WW2. Similarly an altar piece for St Paul’s made in WW1 by recovering veterans has recently been restored and displayed as part of the 1914-18  Centenary.

https://www.stpauls.co.uk/history-collections/history/ww1

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/01/first-world-war-altar-frontal-st-pauls-cathedral

Whatever your hobby or hobby blog,  I hope it brings you peace, relaxation,  focus and satisfaction at whatever time scheme you set out. No rush …

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 2nd of June 2019.

See also my previous post https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/27/uk-mens-sheds-association/

4 thoughts on “Models for Heroes and the well-being aspects of Hobbies”

  1. Think of all the subjects covered in our hobby. We have history, geography, literature, art, craft, and so on. Add model railways or boats and we have electronicsas well. Learning without realisation.

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    1. I agree Ian – What is true of the therapeutic side of Model making is true of railways and boats and probably needlecraft, dolls house making, wood turning etc. The range of subjects and skills involved hopefully makes it fun. My Hobby learning or learning without realising has taught me a lot and continues to teach me so much. If only I could remember lots more of it …

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    1. Therapeutic but not always relaxing. It’s all that concentration, focussing the world down to the end of your fine brush and fine detail … then making a one false move and the face / expression etc is jiggered. Aaaah!

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