“For some, the activities rekindled a previous interest they had in art. Others, who thought they were not artistic, discovered hidden talent as it gave them a chance to do something different.” Tracy Alexander, Suffolk Family Carers
“Thank you so much for opening our eyes to the benefits of art. We would never in a million years have visited an art class. It was such fun, even though we are far from artists. We both found it thoroughly relaxing and being part of a group was uplifting.” Mary & Bryan
What is Creative Company:
Creative Company was a two-year programme of art workshops for adult family carers and the adults for whom they cared.
“Thank you so much for opening our eyes to the benefits of art. We would never in a million years have visited an art class.” Mary and Bryan, Hadleigh
The relaxed, informal sessions gave individuals the opportunity to explore their own creativity whilst enjoying the mutually supportive company of other carers.
“It makes me feel very calm, and he enjoys coming, which is the main thing – but for me, it’s the company and the people who are here and we all talk to each other, which is great. When I go home I am actually very calm, from being here.” Margaret, Lowestoft
Originally devised in partnership with Sue Ryder, the project worked closely with Suffolk Family Carers, Dementia Action Alliances and other organisations supporting carers and the cared for, to provide a countywide programme: from Felixstowe to Newmarket and Lowestoft to Hadleigh, the programme delivered more than 70 creative sessions across the county and reached over 300 participants.
“The carers … thoroughly enjoyed the sessions they attended, it gave them the opportunity to chat in a relaxed way whilst being able to put aside their caring responsibilities for a while.” Primary Care Family Carer Adviser, Suffolk Family Carers
The sessions were led by professional artists and covered art forms including printmaking, painting, collage and creative writing. The professional artists also provided specialist training sessions for volunteers to develop their skills, experience and confidence in running creative workshops.
“I’ve found the sessions really interesting, and I’ve used lots of the techniques with other family carer groups I support. For example, using images to prompt ideas and get people going is great. I didn’t do it before – I’d use blank paper – but now we’ve even got our own art bag of images – it’s really helpful.” Sue Ryder Synergy Café facilitator
Who was Creative Company for:
Creative Company was for adult family carers, who care for an adult family member, across Suffolk and the adults for whom they cared.
When & Where Creative Company happened:
The Creative Company project finished in March 2018, but not before it had supported the creation of an independent group – Creative Process – that meets twice a month at Hillside Community Centre in Stowmarket, and helped groups in Hadleigh and Lowestoft to develop their own creative activities.
It has also informed the development of another Suffolk Artlink project for adult family carers – Around the Table – which is currently running in Lowestoft. For details of Around the Table, please click here.
Candida Wingate on 01986 873 955 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Creative Company has been made possible by generous funding from Suffolk County Council Family Carer Innovation Fund