Creative Alternatives online will continue until early 2021* and we really want more local people access our virtual service until it is safe to resume our usual face to face activities in a town centre venue.
Research has shown that the arts can help improve a person’s wellbeing and reduce the symptoms of anxiety or depression and this is even more important during this recent pandemic where so many people have been isolated and left them feeling low and/or stressed. It’s for this reason that St.Helens Council’s Public Health Service continue to fund this initiative as part of their remit to help people in the borough stay well.
Feedback from the pilot phase of online programme to date has been overwhelmingly positive with participants saying that it has been a lifeline during a very stressful and uncertain time in their lives. Whilst many of them had initial reservations about taking part online, it has really helped to boost their confidence because they overcame a fear and preconception about what it might be like.
One participant said, ” I was quite nervous as to whether I could do it to begin with but with the help, support and understanding of the staff they made me realise I could! Not only have I learnt some new skills, I have really enjoyed and appreciated the regular contact with the other group members and being creative each week has really helped me cope and given me something to look forward to each week. I would say to anyone feeling low or anxious, please don’t be put off by being online, give it a chance and once you get used to it, you’ll love it!”
Creative Alternatives forms part of St.Helens Council’s Cultural Hubs, Arts in Libraries Programme, which is supported through funding from Arts Council England. The service is free to access and all the workshops are led by people trained in arts and health programmes.
So whether you or your patient/client is a complete beginner or someone who enjoys being creative but might have lost their confidence, it really doesn’t matter. The emphasis is on relaxing, enjoyment and trying out activities in the safety of your own home that can help focus their mind and make you feel more connected whilst social distancing restrictions are still in place.