Joint project sees Christmas tree “decorated with a difference”

The Guernsey Arts Commission and the Adult Disability Day Service have got together to help local people with disabilities and raise awareness of different cancers, cancer prevention and early diagnosis by decorating a Christmas Trees in an unusual way.

The project has grown from our Community Arts Programme and its outreach to work with other Guernsey organisations to take the arts to those who don’t otherwise have access to them.

The Adult Disability Day Service is based at St Martin’s Community Centre and between the people who take part in their programme, the Guernsey Arts Commission and the Health Promotion Unit it was decided to decorate a tree to raise awareness of prostate and breast cancer – and so a tree is being decorated with specially made boxer shorts and bras!

The tree will be on display in the main hall of the Guernsey Airport from Tuesday 13th December.

Anne Blondel is the Day Service Manager, she says: “We were delighted to be approached by the Guernsey Arts Commission to share projects with them and this will be a definite community participation project. We met up with Brett (Klement, Community Arts Development Manager) to put ideas forward of what could be achieved and the rest is history!

“The project we unanimously decided to work on was a Christmas Tree project with a difference, something to bring a smile, but with a message for the community. The project will allow integration and communication with many people; starting with the practical side of painting and producing the materials ready for the tree that will be on public display at the airport.

“We are working closely with the Health Promotion Unit to support us in making sure the message we send is accurate and along the way we will learn too.

“We are very excited by this project and hope the public will be too.”

Di Matthews, the Health Promotion Officer for Cancer Prevention, says: “Research suggests that the more comfortable people are talking about cancer the more likely they are to recognise changes in their body and go and see a doctor early.  Raising awareness in this way, particularly when working in partnership with different agencies is a very effective means of reminding people of how cancer can be prevented (through diet and lifestyle) and how important early diagnosis is for treatment and survival.  This kind of project is ideal – because it is positive and light hearted.”

This project represents another step in the development of the Guernsey Arts Commission’s Community Arts Programme, working in conjunction with other local agencies to take the arts to people who may not normally have access to them and give them the opportunity to engage across a range of creative projects.

You will be able to see the tree in the main hall of the Guernsey Airport from Tuesday 13th December.

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