Combating isolation and loneliness through creative activities

I had the pleasure of joining the Arts & Crafts group in Lawrence Weston, which is run by Tracy from Tazbar Crafts at The Rock Community Centre. Here I heard of the many benefits that the weekly Arts & Crafts class brings to attendees. This included how the sessions provide an opportunity to learn new skills, get to know that person you see in the street, but never to properly talk to and also to relax, to have some fun and laughter and to keep your brain and hands active!

The class is open to individuals of all abilities. For some, the class is about learning about the various arts and crafts from scratch but for others it’s about reconnecting with an interest and sharing it with others…

"I’ve never done anything like this before, it’s learning a new skills all together"

"It brings out something you didn’t realise you had"

"I love doing all the different things, it keeps me occupied. Although I do my knitting at home and I do crossword, this is something different, it keep my hands occupied.

"It keeps your mind active"

The class really does provide an opportunity for attendees to meet new people,  reconnect and develop friendships with others that you recognise in the street, but haven’t had the chance to speak to and get to know…

"I’m talking to people I’ve never met before."

"I know these ladies… I don’t know them always to speak too, but I’ve seen them about over the years."

"Tracy [tutor] is very good…very patient…very understanding."

Arts & Crafts attendees fed back how much they valued the weekly classes. Particularly, how important they felt it was to get out and meet people and the impact it can have…

"It’s an important thing to come out and meet people, otherwise my son goes off to work and I’m there hours on my own."

"We have some laughs and some fun."

"It gets me out for a start because of my bad knee I can’t get out much now… Yeah, I love coming. I love the class."

I do like the coming along and [I like] the company, otherwise I don’t see anybody."

"I think it makes your brain move, otherwise you can sit up, indoors on your own, think oh nobody loves me and I’m all on my own. No, I think it helps."

The class only started in September and it is brilliant to see how much of an impact it is having on local people in so many ways. Promoting the wellbeing of older people and reducing social isolation were recognised as points of action for the Ambition Lawrence Weston Community Plan and we are pleased that with support from the Older Persons Fund we were able to do this at LinkAge.

Arts & Crafts takes places every Wednesday at The Rock, Lawrence Weston from 10.30am – 12.30pm costing £3.50. Call CDW Laura Burchett at LinkAge on 0117 353 3042 for more information.