New creative outlet for stroke survivors

Lily Ivana Beardsell and Maree Parkin.

Two local artists are working together to bring their passion for art and their professional knowledge to help stroke survivors find a new creative outlet, create meaningful connections and define themselves outside of their stroke.

Artist and community stroke advisor Lily Ivana Beardsell and artist and occupational therapist Maree Parkin have joined forces, gained funding from the Creative Communities Scheme, and are now ready to run a pilot series of creative workshops for stroke survivors.

“You don’t have to have a background in art or be creative, it’s about having a willingness to give it a shot and maybe get a bit messy,” they say.

The six-week programme will take place every Friday from July 1 to August 5 from 1.30pm-3.30pm at an accessible venue in Greerton.

As the workshops are largely funded, the six-week sessions only cost $60. Maree says it’s not a “stroke rehab session, the focus is on an adventure in creativity” and participants are welcome to bring a support person with them. Lily says no two strokes are the same and the workshops are designed to cater to most people impacted by stroke.

Around 9500 individuals have a stroke in New Zealand each year – or one every 55 minutes – it can impact people all of ages, ethnicities and backgrounds, says Lily, who with Maree, is excited to be connecting with stroke survivors through art.

“It’s not about the final product,” says Lily, “the workshops are about the process of creating”.
For more information or to chat to Lily, email:


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