The word Occupation refers to practical and purposeful activities that allow us to live independently and give us a sense of identity and self worth.  This could be anything from essential day to day tasks, such as dressing or cooking, to the things that make us who we are – our jobs, interests, hobbies and relationships. 

Occupational Therapists are trained health professionals that provide practical support to enable people to overcome any barriers that prevent them from doing the activities that matter to them, helping them to live as independently and fully as possible.

Adele Bailey, St Helena’s Senior Occupational Therapist, based at the Community Care Complex (CCC) in Half Tree Hollow, said:

‘These barriers may be due to a physical or mental illness, an accident, a disability or general deterioration due to simply getting older.  Participation in meaningful activities promotes positive health and well-being because it keeps us physically and mentally engaged.’ 

St Helena’s Occupational Therapy (OT) Service provides a free service to residents of the Island, both children and adults, with physical disabilities, mental health conditions or learning disabilities.  Occupational Therapists work in the Hospital, in the community, at residential homes, SHAPE and all of the schools.   Employers can also access the service for help in supporting their employees with disabilities, and for training, such as moving and handling.  The service is based at the CCC and runs from Monday to Friday 8.30-4.30pm.  Accessing the OT Service is easy, anybody can make a referral.  Adele commented:

‘You can refer yourself by giving us a ring at the CCC, on telephone 23090 extension 216,  and tell us what problems you are having.  You can ask a relative or friend to ring us if you like or you can ask your doctor or any other health professional, such as a nurse or the physiotherapist, to make a referral for you.  If you are having difficulties at work then either you or your employer can give us a ring.’

Employers can also contact the service if they are concerned about one of their employees – but you must have permission from them before you do this.   If you are unable to get hold of the service on the phone you can e-mail either ot1@helanta.co.sh or ot@helanta.co.sh

Other Activities Provided by OT

Craft Group – The OT service is currently providing a craft class at the CCC on Tuesday nights, 5-6pm.  Adele is looking for volunteers to help out, so if you are interested in arts and crafts please feel free to come along and be part of something worthwhile and fun.

Anxiety Management & Relaxation Classes – These will be starting on Wednesday 2 July 2014, from 5-6pm at the CCC, and if these classes prove to be popular they will be rolled out to all other areas.  If you would like any further information about the classes, then give Adele Bailey a ring on 23090, ext. 216.

Volunteer Programme

About volunteering, Adele added:

‘We would very much like to deliver more activities but unfortunately do not have the capacity to do this on our own.   If you have a little spare time – it could be as little as 1 hour per week that you would like to give to help provide meaningful activities for our elderly and disabled people – then please contact the OT team. 

‘You may have a hobby or interest you would like to share with other people or you may like to learn a new skill, and as a volunteer you would be a valued member of the Occupational Therapy team.  ‘You would gain experience of working in Occupational Therapy and access in-service training opportunities – but most of all you would be making a massive difference to individuals’ lives.’ 

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer within the Occupational Therapy team or finding out more about it, then please ring Adele on 23090, ext. 216.



20 June 2014 


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Email: communications@sainthelena.gov.sh