9 Sep

Star Wards Newsletter – September 2015



September 2015


Hello Lovely Members!


Welcome to the first edition of Imagine, the Star Wards Newsletter dedicated to our members!

In this edition of Imagine you will find: Seasonal Activity Ideas, Ward News & Ideas, Guest Blogs, Our new feature ‘Ask Buddy’ & News from Star Wards HQ.

Do you have an inspirational idea you would like to share with our community of Star Wards members? Please get in touch! We’d love to showcase your great practice on our website Wardipedia so that thousands of other people can be inspired by and benefit from these.

Marion Janner and Buddy

Marion Janner and Buddy

A Few Words from Marion

What do you think of our newsletter? I guess the emphasis is on NEW as this is a new format and we hope you like it. Massive thanks to SAM who is our newsletter editor. Sam also works on inpatient wards, which is yet another example of how multi-talented and flexible ward staff are. We’ve been very aware of the, er, rather erratic frequency of our newsletters and are thrilled that with Sam in charge we can now produce them 3 or 4 times a year. The new name, IMAGINE, comes from Wardipedia’s organising structure, and the contents reflect the energetic imagination and therapeutic empathy that ward staff exercise each and every day.

What’s also ‘new’ is that Star Wards is expanding. Well, with the whole world going austerity crazy we thought we would go wild and just get even more excellent people involved. So we now have the amazing Geoff Brennan helping out. Many of you will know Geoff, from Safewards and other high-impact work. But the chancellor can rest easy in that we are expanding what we offer while still providing free resources! Some trick eh?

So a new newsletter for an old message – that staff on wards do exceptional work in increasingly difficult circumstances and we are here to help. Always.

Love Marion

Pointless National Days

Did you know there was a
World Smile Day?

This Autumn you can use Pointless National Holidays, as conversation starters, dedicate a whole ward day or theme one of your therapeutic on-ward activity sessions, as a bit of fun?

Read more on Wardipeida

Have you created your own National Day on the ward? Please share them with us! Get in touch with Sam - [email protected]

28th September,
Ask A Stupid Question Day,

1st October,
World Vegetarian Day,

6th October,
International Frugal Fun Day,

8th November,
Cook Something Bold Day,

16th November,
Button Day

Word From The Wards!


Everyday wards are full of great practice, our members have been brilliant in providing us with examples of these that we can share with other wards. At this time of the year the change in the season can be a great influence on your wards’ therapeutic art groups.

Here is a ‘Word From The Ward’ which got Buddy’s tail wagging!

"The artwork done achieves numerous objectives, ranging from an opportunity for a non-intrusive, relaxed O.T assessment to producing truly high quality products which are used on wards or can be taken to patients homes or given to friends and family."

- Wotton Lawn Hospital, Gloucester

Read more on Wardipedia: Idea 21 - ART

Autumn Activities


Your ward will be a hive of activity, at a time when wards can be busy places to be, finding time for therapeutic activities can seem like a big task. No need to be daunted! Here are a few examples of activities that you can try that are easy to start and fun to do!


Wardipedia Idea 17 & 31: Music & Dance

An on ward music and dance group can increase confidence and self-esteem, improve feelings of relaxation and can even lower blood pressure! Don’t worry you don’t need to have a music degree to have a go.

Simple ideas such as a member of staff bringing in their guitar for a sing a long, or a CD and ‘Boombox’ can become a ward dance off! Read more: idea 17   idea 31

Wardipedia Idea 30: Indoor Sports

Having a go at Sport does not have to involve having the fitness of an athlete, and your ward won’t need a sports hall to get everyone involved in an active activity.

How about trying low cost activities such as; Blow Football, Wastepaper Basketball, or Skittles with filled water bottles. Read more: idea 30


autumn side

Pets on Wards


Buddy 3


Pets as Therapy, companions, joy-bringers, motivators, exercisers, soothers.

In terms of low-cost, low key and effective therapeutic activities go, bringing a Pets As Therapy (PAT) animal on to a ward is one of the most effective. Being with animals is one of the best, and simplest ways of improving hospital experiences for patients, staff and visitors.

If you would like to find out handy tips to overcoming obstacles to animals visiting your ward (read more on Wardipedia).


News From Star Wards HQ


New Star Wards Website!
If you haven’t seen the newly spruced up Star Wards website, what are you waiting for? Our new website brings together all the information you may need for your Star Wards project. We hope you’ll find it easier to discover the amazing resources and inspiration on the site.

Lifetime Achievement Award for our Marion
In June this year, Marion was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing (@JPMHNursing) for introducing Star Wards (see more).

Star Wards Tweets: @wardipedianews
"Has your pet had a positive impact on your wellbeing? Tweet your pet pics & share some #animalmagic’"

Guest Blog - Small Changes, Big Difference



Our editor Sam has just posted a blog about the challenges of working on an  Acute Mental Health Ward - ‘Small Changes, Big Differences’ - you can read it here



We're All Ears!


As part of our Community Newsletter,
we would like to connect with you!

Please do get in touch, you can even write to us with a Guest Blog of your experiences of mental health wards or Star Wards.

Click here to contact us

Ask Buddy!


Here at Star Wards we love to share your brilliant ideas, we like to know about all  the amazing things that happen on mental health wards everyday.

Our brand new feature for our wonderful current (or potential!) members allows you to ask ‘Buddy’ a question!

Buddy’s paws are ready to tap away and provide you with an answer to those questions you have about Star Wards on your ward. If we cannot find an answer  for you we may be able to find you a fellow Star Wards community member (there’s over 600 of you!) that may well have an answer.

Please submit your questions to [email protected] (being a bit of a celeb, Buddy doesn't always get a lot of time to check her email so Sam lends a hand).

We also have a FAQ section, so be sure to check that out as well - click here.


We’re thrilled that you’re a Star Wards member and we want you to know how deeply impressed we are by all the creative, therapeutic work you do. We hope you’ve found ideas in this newsletter which you’ll want to introduce today!