Festival hits all the right notes with patients @BDCFT

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust has staged a festival of music and arts for in-patients experiencing mental health conditions and their families at Lynfield Mount Hospital.

LYNFEST, held  (Wednesday 28 June), showcased live musical performances from patients, staff, local performers and community based arts providers including HIVE and Bradford School of Rock and Media. Patients also took part in interactive jams, making musical instruments, drumming and singing workshops.

Chris Weston, Head of Occupational Therapy for the Care Trust’s Specialist In-Patient Services, said: “This is the second festival we have hosted. It’s becoming a focal point in the year for patients, staff and others involved in the care of people with mental health conditions in Bradford. Individuals become motivated to rally together around LYNFEST. It is an opportunity to have fun whilst engaging in activities which ultimately support recovery.”

“Through involving a range of community groups and performers, the festival is also helping to break down barriers and stigma surrounding mental health conditions.”

All patients had the opportunity to showcase their talents from performing live on the main stage, displaying art and poetry, to recording original music to be played on the day and helping to plan and deliver the festival.

LYNFEST has formed part of the ‘Recovery College’ for Moorlands View, the Trust’s low secure unit. Everyone involved contributed in their own ways including baking cakes for people to enjoy on the day and helping with the staging. People could be involved as little or as much as they wanted, learning new skills and enjoying themselves at the festival.

A patient said: “It’s great. I enjoy it. I have served tea and coffee for people to enjoy at LYNFEST.”

LYNFEST recently received a national accolade for Breaking Down Barriers/Tackling Stigma. The festival won the National Service User award which recognises remarkable achievements and innovations led by service users in secure mental health services nationwide. LYNFEST has also been short-listed for one of the Care Trust’s You’re a Star Award’s in the Working Together category. Winners will be revealed on Friday 7 July.

Bev Knaggs, Specialist Inpatient Services Manager at the Care Trust, said: “Again this year, LYNFEST was an amazing and extraordinary day which demonstrated the positive effects music and art can have on recovery and mental well-being for all.”

Comments from people who attended included: “It’s great to see so much energy in the room at LYNFEST. Happy, smiley faces – wellbeing and recovery.”