Creative Transitions – Creativity helps wellbeing for vulnerable young people in Torbay

Young carers, young parents, and young disabled people in Torbay are receiving creative packs in the post as part of a project to improve wellbeing.

As part of Creative Transitions, artists are using creativity to benefit vulnerable young people who face challenges as they go into adulthood. The project, which is organised by Torbay Culture, aims to help the young people gain confidence, build resilience and improve their communication skills.

The three groups of young people taking part are facing transition to adulthood in different ways.

Participate Arts  have been working with a group of young carers, sending them regular parcels during lockdown, with all the things they need for a creative project, including a snack to make the experience even more enjoyable. Activities have included creating a mandala, making a matchbox keepsake, clay modelling and writing journals. Meetings happen online, and will continue digitally.

Becci Eriksson from Participate Arts said:
“These young people are caring for relatives who are vulnerable, which often has meant the whole family has been shielding during lockdown. The young carers are more isolated than usual, so the idea behind our project is to send out weekly art packs and then follow up with the participants. Each pack’s task is connected to a Creative Journal they are making, giving them some time out to enjoy something for themselves. It’s an opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings, express themselves creatively and be heard.”

Visual artist Anna Bowland has been meeting online with a group of disabled young people from PHAB. Everyone in the group receives a box of materials to create artwork which they then share and discuss.

Musician Laura Forster is working with a group of young parents from South Devon College. She has created a pack of simple musical instruments for each family and held zoom singing sessions. The group is creating a series of songs which they plan to make into a CD to share. When college starts again, they plan to meet together as a group to continue their activities.

The project is part of Torbay’s Great Place Scheme which helps residents lead healthier, happier lives through creativity. The Scheme is delivered by Torbay Culture which aims to improve the quality of life for people in the Bay through participation in culture, as outlined in Enjoy, Talk, Do, Be, Torbay’s ten year cultural strategy. Creative Transitions builds on the knowledge gathered through a series of ‘test and learn’ projects over the last four years.

Torbay Culture Director Martin Thomas said:
“One of the objectives of Torbay’s ten-year cultural strategy is to harness the health and wellbeing benefits of culture. An increasing amount of academic research shows the beneficial outcomes that culture can provide. With this project, we’re creating the opportunity for groups of vulnerable young people to take part in a creative project focussed on building resilience and supporting the transition into adulthood.

“Each of the projects has responded to the needs and desires of the young people taking part, and we hope that this project will catalyse the creation of ongoing groups, led by the young people, to create safe spaces and sustainable activities.”

The projects run to the end of October; some groups will continue digitally, while others hope to meet in person.

Creative Transitions is a Torbay Culture project delivered in partnership with Public Health Torbay and Imagine This…

Published by Gillian Taylor PR

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