Our Elderflowers are a team of carefully selected professional arts practitioners who are specifically trained to work in healthcare environments with vulnerable people. It takes a person with special skills, sensitivity and empathy to become an Elderflower. They need to be able to improvise, sing and play, but also have the experience and maturity to judge the mood and engagement level of each patient and to tailor each visit appropriately. Respecting the dignity of participants is a central principle of the Elderflowers programme.
The Elderflowers present themselves as an extended family of brothers, sisters and cousins. They wear clothes that hark back to a previous generation – colourful tea-dresses, tweed blazers and bow ties and they carry props such as ukuleles, hats, maps and photographs that encourage discussion and interaction. They also wear a red nose – as an international symbol of fun it provides an immediate visual mark that the Elderflowers are non-medical staff.