Co-production in action


Our Work of Art project volunteers co-deliver the 2020 new creative volunteer Training.

Buzzing with ideas and questions, 12 new creative recruits attended  the Our Work of Art 2020 Creative  Volunteer ‘arts for wellbeing’ training, hosted at Age UK Herne Bay & Whitstable.

On 29th January 2020 , in the third of four sessions, led by Catherine Arnell, Director, Espression Arts CIC with Fay Blair, Kent Arts and Wellbeing, several of the experienced 2018 creative volunteers – Rosie Strellis, Mary wills and Ailie Jonston-Sterry –  helped plan and deliver the training.

(1) Project volunteer trainers Ailie Jonston-Sterry (left) with Mary Wills (next) engaging with two new Our Work of Art volunteer recruits at the 29 January 2020 training session

Each one of the team delivered lively and interactive tasks that were very well-received, bringing their own personal project insights and wealth of other volunteering, caring and creative skill experiences to the session.

The team of recruits, this time, also included 5 younger people alongside more ‘active ageing’ volunteers (aged 50+) adding to the intergenerational quality of the programme.


(3) Creative Lead, Catherine Arnell, Espression Arts CIC, (standing) talking with Rosie Strellis, experienced volunteer, supporting the table of new, younger volunteer recruits.

The newly recruited volunteers, once trained, are shadowing and working alongside  the experienced project volunteers, to support older vulnerable people in group creative making activities. These creative workshops are taking place in a range of day centre and home care settings in Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay, through to April 2020, led and co-ordinated by Catherine.

(2) An array of the vibrant ceramic volunteer painted hangings, now fired and glazed following their creative practice work in Session 1 of the training.

Monthly, creative volunteer network meetings are held at Espression Arts interactive Art Café (29-30 Palace Street, Canterbury) facilitated by Catherine Arnell and Fay Blair. This venue is an important hub and focus for both experienced and new project volunteer recruits where they share insights, learn from each other and make new friendships, adding to their creative confidence and wellbeing.

The Our Work of Art partnership is championed by Age UK Canterbury with Age UK Herne Bay & Whitstable working with Espression Arts CIC with Catherine Arnell, who is the inspirational creative lead for the delivery, supported by Kent Arts and Wellbeing.

The Our Work of Art training programme  is an important strand in the Our Work of Art Rural Outreach partnership project 2019-2020 which is funded by Canterbury City Council, the National Lottery Community Fund and Kent Community Foundation.

This project builds on the success of  the ground-breaking Our Work of Art 2018 volunteer development project (work delivered 2018-2019) which has won several awards. (See our other news items!)

The Our Work of Art process and approach is now being considered by a Strategic Arts & Wellbeing Network for Kent (convened by Ken Scott, Co-director, Kent Arts & Wellbeing). This is to see how this model could be applied in other contexts, across a range of arts media, including singing/choirs,  in locations and communities of interest, in other  parts of  Kent.


The current programme: creative delivery of the Our Work of Art programme, the Volunteer Network and volunteering, gallery exhibition and other opportunities at the Espression Arts Interactive Art Café, 29-30 Palace Street, Canterbury CT1 2DZ:

Catherine Arnell, Director, Espression Arts CIC

Telephone: Wed-Saturday 01227 765665 to leave a message

Sponsorship opportunities for the 2020-2021 project next phase, new training, and public exhibition

And the development of the exciting intergenerational programme:

Fay Blair, Co-director, Kent Arts & Wellbeing

Mobile: 07786 307 664

The Strategic Arts & Wellbeing Programme for Kent:

Ken Scott, Co-director, Kent Arts & Wellbeing

Mobile:  07884 497478


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