“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 was part of our programme of work for older people in rural areas of Mid Suffolk and Babergh.
It provided 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.
During 2020 and early 2021, it was not so easy to bring people together physically, and that made it even more important that we found ways to stay connected – which we done by producing the Make, Do & Friends blog site, offering three distinct ways of taking part.
Create offered regular creative activities, specially devised by our team of artists, that ranged 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 was a series of mini ‘events’, in which an artist visited a particular location and, together with a local resident, planed and delivered a brief creative activity. We have created jesmonite plaques in Laxfield, personalised footpath maps in Clare and bonded images in Risby and more during Connect ‘events’.
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 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 provided 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 ran until March 2021. It has took place in village halls and community markets, around duck ponds and echoing barns and in county parks and along footpaths.
Our work delivered via the Make, Do & Friends blog site and can be accessed at any time.
Carrie Phoenix on 01986 873 955 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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)