New project to tackle isolation through art in Parkhead


Impact Arts launched the Creative Ways project with Parkhead Housing Association on the 5th of February 2013.  Katie Smith, Impact Arts Communications Coordinator, explains what’s on offer.

Elvis and Priscilla

Elvis and Priscilla

Based on Craft Café, Impact Arts’ creative solution to reducing isolation and loneliness amongst older people, Creative Ways will offer people aged 50+ in Parkhead a safe, social and creative environment where they can learn new skills and renew social networks.

The service is completely free and participants are encouraged to take the lead on their own learning, supported by a professional artist. The workshops will provide a therapeutic approach to improved health and well-being and will allow those isolated by age to become active members of their communities once more.

Fiona Crawford, Impact Arts Regional Manager for Glasgow said: “We are so excited to get these workshops up and running – the Creative Ways project is unique in the East of the city will be a real boost for older people in the area. Anyone aged over 50 in the Parkhead area is welcome to pop in, have a cup of tea and a biscuit, and unleash their creative talents in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.”

Individuals from the local are welcome to attend the sessions, and the ethos is on popping in, so participants are welcome to come along any time between 10am-4pm to try their hand at a range of fun and fulfilling arts and crafts activities.

Andy Duffus, Business Development Coordinator, Parkhead Housing Association said:
“Parkhead Housing Association are delighted to be working in partnership with Impact Arts to deliver Creative Ways. The 20 week programme will allow increase contact with our older tenants and residents of Parkhead. The activities on offer are really varied, allowing participants to enjoy creating art whilst improving their health and well-being.”

The first week saw eight people aged between 51-89 joining, with many of the tenants who attended on the Tuesday returning on the Thursday with friends and neighbours in tow.
Tutor Alwyn Main said: “We have been working on drawing techniques using pens, charcoal, pencil, and small watercolour paintings. These have allowed the members to gain confidence and develop, even in the space of two days! One of the members wasn’t comfortable with drawing so she started working on some crochet – Creative Ways is about coming along and letting your creativity flourish in any form and feeling free to take part in whatever activities take your fancy.”

Feedback from week one has been really positive, with one member saying “I even turned off my TV last night and did some drawing!”

To join Creative Ways or refer someone please contact Adele Swinfen on 0141 475 3001 or email  Creative Ways takes place at: Parkhead Housing Association Ltd, 40 Helenvale Street, Glasgow, G31 4TF.  Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am-4pm from 5th February 2013 until 12 June 2013.

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