Whoever said that ageing couldn’t be creative? Work Skills South West completely agree, but also think that it could help to eliminate rural isolation. Here’s how…
Inviting individuals living in the hard-to-reach areas of East Cornwall to come together and use their creative skills to produce art and craft products, Work Skills South West believe that their Creative Ageing project will help to reduce social isolation and promote mental stimulation. With a huge range of workshops on offer including felting, knitting, painting, carpentry, gardening and photography, the project offers a truly unique experience and supportive community for all that attend.
Hearing of their work, Work Skills South West were recently contacted by a concerned daughter living in Bristol. Her father David had just become a widower and, needing a stick to walk, was suffering from the effects of an altered local bus timetable which had changed to offer just one service a day to the nearest town. This meant that David wasn’t seeing anyone from one week to the next. However, through the Creative Ageing project, Work Skills South West were able to help David get out and about, bringing more joy and smiles back into day to day life.
With the aim of extending their work further afield and helping more individuals such as David, the group behind the Creative Ageing project had hopes of purchasing a unique wooden workshop space with full disabled access alongside a disabled-friendly bus service that could provide free transport; collecting anyone unable to access the project.
It soon became apparent that they needed the help of the crowd to make this dream a reality.
Before their Crowdfunder.co.uk project kicked off, Nikki from Creative Ageing said, “Work Skills South West hopes to raise enough funds through crowdfunding to purchase a dedicated creative workshop for the elderly living in rural isolation to come together and be inspired into joining a range of activities designed to promote mental stimulation and wellbeing through the arts. The workshop is a truly unique design and will be a wonderful place for people to meet and be creative.”
By the time their project came to a close, they had raised a staggering £23,000 in total, also claiming a well deserved spot as one of L&G’s Community Legends. As part of L&G’s campaign to find and fund amazing projects that are amplifying life for those aged 55 and over, the Creative Ageing project unlocked a total of £5,000 in extra funding on top of an incredible £18,000 from the crowd.
Chris Knight, Chief Executive Officer at Legal & General Retail Retirement, said, “We’re a company that is totally committed to improving the lives of older people, so were delighted to support Crowdfunder’s Community Legends project. All of the 10 organisations that we have selected to help have amazing stories to tell about how they help their communities.”