Rebecca Seymour, Creative Producer for Celebrating Age Wiltshire shares highlights from the Spring Summer programme
Throughout the last year we have been supporting older people all round Wiltshire with creative activity whilst they’ve been shielding at home. Many have coped with incredible hardship, loneliness, sadness and bereavement and have been referred to us from Community Services and Connectors working in their area. These Connectors have expressed huge relief at having our creative services to refer people to, when local activity hasn’t been able to go ahead.
Our Creative Conversations on the phone have offered over 40 extremely vulnerable people the opportunity to engage in creative activity and conversation over the phone with a creative artist, supported by a volunteer every week for 10 weeks. Participants have been achieving amazing outcomes from these phone calls including writing songs about their lives, creating an illustration pack for creative reminiscence, recording their own Desert Island Discs over the phone and writing journals about their garden activity.
Four Musician duos have been very busy playing to Wiltshire residents on their doorsteps as part of our Outdoor Concert Series, all round the county since May. Over 1,200 isolated people have been brought the joy of live music, many of whom haven’t been out for months and rarely receive visitors.
Our latest project, Noticing Nature, was launched in May and sees visual artist, James Aldridge visiting people in their own gardens, where they chat and discuss the local nature, birds and plants and then have the opportunity to respond to the nature through art, mark making, water-colours, journaling and creating a postal art card to send to friends or family. This project is a very gentle re-introduction to venturing outside and is proving very popular.
Meanwhile, our Online Concert Series has continued and the latest performance from our good friend, Wiltshire-based singer song writer, Nick Harper, has just been released and is available to watch here.