Creativity helps wellbeing for vulnerable young people in Torbay

Artists are using creativity to benefit vulnerable young people

Artists are using creativity to benefit vulnerable young people - Credit: Archant

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, 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.”

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.

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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.

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.”

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