Our application to Comic Relief Local Communities Fund administered by Heart of England Community Foundation has been successful and we are preparing to begin a pilot project that will help more people to reduce social isolation and get connected in their local community.
With this grant we will employ Sharon Gardner, who will be at Gateway workshops Wednesdays 12.30-2.30 to assist our members to
• explore new hobbies and recreational/educational activities in the community
• establish a healthy weekly routine with meaningful activities including volunteering
• receive targeted and timely support for issues affecting their lives
Sharon is not a stranger to Arty-Folks; she started attending Arty-Folks January 2014, gradually improved her mental health, and she is now a member of Making Way group. She worked for over 30 years for the NHS and she knows very well herself how hard it is to get yourself out of a rut when you’re feeling low.
“Until recently people with mental ill health have felt managed by the medical profession, and written off by society. But with budget cuts, people are now expected to reduce dependence on NHS and Council services and do more for themselves. However, with many charities, community clubs and activities closing it has become much harder for people to reduce loneliness and find opportunities to engage safely and meaningfully with others. And this is where I am hoping to make a difference at least to the lives of people who come to Arty-Folks. I will be at Gateway workshops at the Artspace to offer information, advice and support about what is available in Coventry that could be helpful to them and we have a team of Peer Volunteers who will help to access new opportunities.”