Organised by Made By Mortals, Armchair Adventures is a project for older people, isolated by the Covid-19 pandemic, to get together to make a podcast for schoolchildren.
This project supports people over 65 living in Ashton-under-Lyne who were feeling isolated during the pandemic and who may be experiencing mental or physical health needs. The project is run by the not-for-profit participatory arts company, Made by Mortals.
Weekly creative workshops, virtually and in-person, where members work together to create a podcast series for children.
Ashton-under-Lyme, Tameside, Greater Manchester
Armchair Adventures was born during Covid-19 for people over 65 who were affected by the isolation of lockdown, to help rebuild social connections.
They get together each week to make original music theatre and podcasts for children. Through fun, music theatre activities, members have opportunities to make new friends, build confidence, learn new skills and improve mental health and wellbeing.
The group, alongside skilled drama facilitators, writers and musicians, is supported to create and record a series of high-quality, entertaining interactive podcasts that is shared digitally and through live ‘listening parties’ for local families, strengthening bonds between generations and neighbours.
When the lockdown restrictions were in place, the workshops were hosted virtually using Zoom, with around 40 members regularly meeting up this way. They also purchased a freephone number so that everyone, even those without access to the internet, were able to take part fully.
Once the restrictions began to ease, not everyone felt comfortable returning to face-to-face sessions immediately so, for a while, the sessions ran as a blend of some people meeting in person and some people joining in online.
The group now tour local schools, sharing their skills and creativity with school children.
“With Armchair Adventures, I get so much out of it. We’re sharing messages to so many children on important matters."