Creative Volunteers helping us connect and celebrate our towns
- The first team of creative volunteers have made a great impact at Age UK Herne Bay and Whitstable last week, offering the first of regular ceramic painting sessions with members at the day centre, in the mornings, and the ‘Cogs’ group, for those who live with dementia, organised by Carole Thompson, in the afternoons.
- Local volunteers who fancy ‘having a go’ at doing something different, being creative, are taking a leading part alongside a professional artist, Catherine Arnell, in an exciting ceramic mug painting and mural-making project, called ‘Our Work of Art’ – Helping Older People Engage (HOPE) through Art. Vice Chairman and Trustee of Age UK Herne Bay and Whitstable, Ron Woodward, MBE, said:
“This is exactly what we need and want, something that empowers everyone to feel they can have a go and enjoy. It’s great to recruit new volunteers and offer quality creative experiences that everyone appreciates, irrespective of their artistic ability. We hope more new people will join in the creative fun in September”.
- All volunteers have completed the first part of a special bespoke training course designed and delivered by the not-for-profits, Kent Arts & Wellbeing with Espression Arts CIC. Catherine has already inspired people with samples of her craft and knows how to craftily draw people in. She explained: “No previous experience is necessary just willingness to ‘have a go’. We build volunteers’ confidence, through the training, so they can engage effectively with small groups of older people. Then volunteers and Age UK members have a great time at the Age UK Centres, sharing people’s life stories and making new friends. Volunteers support them to paint their own mug and later everyone contributes to painting the tiles for the big group mural, inspired by their local town/locality.”
- The next series of (free) creative volunteer training is on Wed 12th, 19th, and 26thSeptember (4-7pm) . The day centres sessions, 2-hourly sessions, will run fortnightly, from now to next Spring. All sessions are free, fun and accessible. The resulting murals, due to be completed by next spring, will go on display in a special exhibition.
- ‘Our Work of Art’ builds the highly successful LAPWING project led by AgeUK Canterbury who is involved too at the Canterbury Centre. The project is funded by awards from Canterbury City Council, the Big Lottery ‘Awards for All’, Kent Community Foundation, Lawson Endowment for Kent and Pargiter Trust – and Arts Council England.