Creative Connections took place in 2016. It was a five-month programme of creative activity to reduce social isolation in older people. The programme comprised of 16 sessions and was delivered across two Brighton & Hove City Council Seniors Housing sites. Sessions were led by Helen Goodwin, an experienced artist facilitator, who also took residents out over five social visits to cultural city locations.
The sessions focused on improving mental health outcomes for participants through an emphasis on social and creative processes. The group steered away from focusing on an aesthetic outcome, and instead adopted an innovative outlook on different activities.
"The weekly sessions have been really helpful to create some focus and structure to my week."
As part of this project:
one to one sessions
5 month programme
16 workshop sessions were held
5 social visits - cultural and social outings
13 adults participated
The sessions comprised of paper folding, card making, plaster casting, monoprinting, coil pots, decorations, bingo, music, drawing, singing, food, personal photographs discussions, social. From the beginning of the programme participants' ideas were encouraged in order to give them ownership over the sessions. Two of them led two different sessions, and in the end they were able to continue them even after the end of the project with Helen's practical advice and support.
"I think I will try to visit the cafes and bookshops by myself and the Museum too."
Creative Connections allowed Fabrica to build on existing knowledge of working with older people, but specifically supported us in reaching individuals identified as socially isolated. Through being able to develop a more informed and experienced way of working with artist facilitators and volunteers, we have grown in expertise and understanding to the barriers and benefits that come with working in cross-sector partnerships.
Creative Connections was delivered as part of the CCG Innovations Fund.