Look what we made! – Completing our Donnington intergenerational project

On Tuesday we completed our Donnington le Heath based intergenerational project, working with participatory artist Rikke Digerud and film maker Trevor Cobbe.

There were hugs and kisses and once again I felt a little bit sad at our work coming to a close – until I spent some time looking back over the photos and film and now I’m just happy we were there, sharing five fantastic weeks with some real characters, old and young and we’re already planning something new!

During our final session together Trevor and I filmed some evaluation interviews with the adults and children who had taken part, while Rikke supported buddies making thank-you cards for each other.

Below are a few photos of some cards and above are the finished pieces of artwork held by me (left) and Rikke (right). I usually hate having my photo taken, but this one made me smile – we were only messing about with this pose, but I quite like it (let’s hope Rikke does too 😉

Agar Nook community centre in Coalville will take one piece away with them and our older residents will have the other for their communal lounge area.

Just to remind you how we did it, Rikke and I worked with our group on a WW1 theme, looking at poetry, animals and words that derived from the conflict. Rikke prepared the wood with maps depicting WW1 locations and together we all made wire WW1’s covered with yarn, sewed WW1 words onto mini cushions, which then had the Union Jack added on by Rikke and created papier mache pigeons and poppies.

I really love the end result and once again, all those ladies who told us they “couldn’t do art” … really? 🙂

Two new intergenerational projects for 2014

Intergenerational work is something I really love setting up and getting involved in. You never quite know how a project is going to run or what kind of responses you’ll get from those participating.

Last year Beauty and Utility Arts were successful with two applications for intergenerational funding and since January we’ve been happy and busy with workshops.

The first set of four workshops ran in Ashby de la Zouch between Lewis Charlton School, for secondary-aged students who have experienced difficulties within mainstream and possibly other special education provision and EMH Homes Prior Park site, which provides sheltered and retirement housing for older people.

Workshops were co-facilitated by Katherine Brown (Beauty and Utility Arts) and participatory artist Lisa Pidgeon (Little Bird School of Stitchcraft) and filmed by Trevor Cobbe. The project was funded by the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Partnership for LeicesterShire and Rutland’s Wellbeing Hi 5 programme.

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The second series of workshops are currently underway between children from Agar Nook Community Centre in Coalville and older residents from St. Mary’s Court in Donnington le Heath.

This time Katherine has co-facititated with participatory artist Rikke Digerud and film maker Trevor Cobbe. Funding came from the North West Leicestershire Staying Healthy Community Grant.

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In both sets of workshops our theme has been WW1, linking in with the 100 year anniversary of the conflict and in the weeks to come we’ll be releasing a DVD for our funders showing the benefits of intergenerational Arts and Health activities in more detail.