“It made me think about my local community and what I value about it.” Participant
“It was good to keep in touch via Zoom during lockdown.” Participant
“[Taking part was like] … when you’ve been working in the garden, and you come back into the house and you feel kind of mentally at peace with yourself, you feel good, you feel you can cope with things and you’re not worried – it made me feel like that.” Participant
What is Make, Do & Friends?
Make, Do & Friends is part of our programme of work for older people in rural areas of Mid Suffolk and Babergh.
It provides a way of making and keeping connections; initially, it intended to deliver a programme of face-to-face events and creative sessions, along with our partners Rural Coffee Caravan and DanceEast, to bring people together.
Right now, it’s not so easy to bring people together physically, and that makes it even more important that we find ways to stay connected – which we’ve done by producing the Make, Do & Friends blog site, offering three distinct ways of taking part.
Create offers regular creative activities, specially devised by our team of artists, that range from photographing a daily journey on your mobile phone to writing poetry about your hands or printmaking using fruit and flowers from the garden. Each activity is published on the Make, Do & Friends blog site, where it can also be downloaded as a pdf. We also produce Create Activity Packs, which we will happily post out to people if they would prefer to take part that way.
Connect is a series of mini ‘events’, in which an artist visits a particular location and, together with a local resident, plans and delivers a brief creative activity. Thus far, we have created jesmonite plaques in Laxfield, personalised footpath maps in Clare and bonded images in Risby and have several more ‘events’ planned over the coming months.
Community We are all limited in how and where we can meet up – and Zoom definitely offers an alternative means to achieve this, even if we find the technology a little daunting. So, we have devised a series of informal, relaxed Zoom sessions that, whilst focusing on a creative activity such as creative writing or listening to a radio drama, also provides hints and tips on how to enjoy using Zoom.
To make the connection complete, we have shared images of work produced and people taking part on our blog site Gallery, for everyone to enjoy.
Who is Make, Do & Friends for?
Make, Do & Friends is for adults (55+) in rural villages and towns in Mid Suffolk and Babergh.
When & Where is Make, Do & Friends happening?
Make, Do & Friends is a two-year programme and runs until March 2021. Since it began, it has taken place in village halls and community markets, around duck ponds and echoing barns and in county parks and along footpaths.
Whilst much of our work is delivered via the Make, Do & Friends blog site and can be accessed at any time, we will continue to work hard to find ways of making and nurturing connections with rural communities.
We welcome feedback and suggestions – so if you would like your village to be part of a Connect event, or would like a Community zoom session with a particular artist, please do let us know.
Carrie Phoenix on 01986 873 955 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Candida Wingate on 07857 002974 or email@example.com
Make, Do & Friends has been supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and also generous funding from Baring Foundation and Suffolk Community Foundation (Suffolk Rural Fund, Realising Ambitions East Fund and Realising Ambitions West Fund)