Art and wellbeing in Thetford

04 September 2018

"I can feel my confidence building. I can speak up and make suggestions that others will listen to and value."

In this piece, Julie from the Local People project in Thetford tells us why the project is so important to her wellbeing and why Mondays are a good day for her since she joined.

“I’ve been coming to the Arts and Wellbeing Group for around a year now. We meet every Monday and I really look forward to it, the group is so friendly. Every week you are greeted by smiling faces and are made to feel so welcome.

“It’s so much more than an art group; we natter, laugh and chat about anything and everything. You name it, we’ve done it! From collage to colouring, glass painting to Christmas decoration making. I have taken some of my projects home with me and I get a real sense of pride and ownership from the work I’m doing.

“I am thrilled that my son has seen some of my work. He knows how much I am loving my crafting. He has even asked me to design and make cards for his wedding!

“I am currently enjoying working on my journal, which is all about my life. I am finding it really interesting to research where I was born and the area I came from. Others in the group have inspired me to delve into my roots; this is something I’d never considered doing before but I find truly fascinating. It keeps my mind active and awakens memories that have been asleep for years.

“The group has made a real difference to my life. Some weekends, I don’t get to see anybody at all and it does get very lonely. But then I remember I have arts group on Monday morning and I get so excited and pack my bag to get ready. I really look forward to seeing everyone. I’ve made new friends and connections through the group. I am quite a reserved person but within the group, I can feel my confidence building. I can speak up and make suggestions that others will listen to and value.

“I also find myself thinking of others in the group and ways to help them. I save magazine cuttings and photos that I find for my classmates, knowing that they will appreciate and use them. I feel that they have been pleased with my thoughtfulness and that makes me happy.”

 

Thanks to funding from People's Health Trust with money raised through The Health Lottery, Royal Voluntary Service is supporting Local People Projects in six communities in England and Scotland. 

Residents in these communities are working together to create a shared vision. They set up and lead activities, organise events and influence what goes on locally to make life better for older people.

 
 

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