Residents at Earls Lodge care home were looking for ways to tackle social isolation, as a number of tenants kept to themselves in their flats – not only at Earls Lodge but at other local care homes like Barons Court.
An AfA volunteer recounted a story about Earls Lodge resident Pat winning a colouring competition, and the happiness colouring had brought her, and the idea to hold classes for residents was born.
We met with Pat to talk the idea through. It became obvious that other residents were also interested in colouring, and in no time Colourful Creations was set up with the help of an AfA investment.
Around 17 people now attend the weekly classes, which take place at Earls Lodge on Tuesdays at 2–4pm. Participants are aged 60-80yrs and come from Earls Lodge, Baron’s Court and the wider community.
Pat brought examples of her colouring to the first sessions, to show people how interesting and rewarding the hobby can be.
The classes have created a real sense of community, and made a big difference in the lives of participants. They take pride in their colouring, and have become good friends. There is a strong feeling of wellbeing and camaraderie.
“Apart from the colouring, we all chat, laugh and really enjoy each other’s company for two hours a week. Our members look forward to Tuesday afternoons, and everything stops for refreshments at 3pm.”
“The community spirit the art class has generated is absolutely fantastic, bringing people together from Earls Lodge and the surrounding areas. Laughing, chatting, sharing our experiences makes it a very enjoyable afternoon.”
- Rose Ball, participant.
The classes proved so popular the group feared they would have to turn people away, but by shopping around the team were able to purchase materials and supplies at a slightly better rate, which allowed them to accommodate a greater number of participants. A small charge for consumables was also introduced which means the project will be sustainable.
An activity like colouring can be the catalyst for bringing people together and the difference it makes of being part of group who neet can have lasting positive effects on the people taking part.
The project is ongoing, and Colourful Creations hope to become self-sustaining due to the small financial contributions made by each participant.
Ambition for Ageing Oldham Officer
T: 0161 339 2345