Gower photography course helping brain injury patients recover


Patients recovering from brain injuries are taking part in a Gower based photography course as part of their therapy.

Local photographer and artist Melanie Ezra is taking the group of patients around parts of Gower as part of a project called ‘Bringing Gower Home’.

All the participants have been receiving treatment through Morriston Hospital’s Traumatic Brain Injury Service and as part of their recovery have joined the course to help them improve their brain function.

Gill Swain, 59, from Gowerton has attended her second of ten classes and says it’s enabling her to become more confident. She said: “I had a blackout in December 2014 and possibly bumped my head. Since then, my brain hasn’t worked in the same way as it used to.

“This course has helped me with my confidence and meeting new people.

“Lots of things I wasn’t able to do before are now becoming the norm.”

Course organiser Melanie Ezra, said: “The therapeutic value of photography is enormous in showing participants what they can achieve because it allows them to instantly express how they’re feeling through pictures.

“The benefit of seeing Gower through fresh eyes after a life changing event is a powerful experience.

“Learning a new skill out on Gower means people become tourists in their own back yards.”

Helen Hughes, an Occupational Therapist with the Traumatic Brain Injury Service in Swansea said: “We’ve developed a number of projects that are task based which help integrate people back into the community. They help give people the skills they need and help them gain confidence in social settings.”

The Bringing Gower Home course is part of a £2million initiative called the Gower Landscape Partnership.

Other projects have included preserving historic dry stone walls in Rhossili and the creation of a ‘This is Gower’ smartphone app.

Chris Linley, Swansea Council’s Gower AONB Team Leader, said: “Gower is well known for its famous beaches and spectacular views. This is part of its unique appeal to thousands of visitors each year.

“The Gower Landscape Partnership and all the various projects that are being completed are also helping to preserve the less obvious features and characteristics of the region that make it so special.

“We’re lucky to have such a wonderful destination as Gower on our doorstep. Through ‘Bringing Gower Home’ we’re encouraging more and more local people to enjoy and connect with this special and distinctive part of the British Isles, which this year celebrates the 60th anniversary of its designation as Britain’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

The Gower Landscape Partnership is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund through their Landscape Partnership programme, Natural Resources Wales, Swansea Council and the National Trust.

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