Head4Arts Helps 1000 Households Get Creative

This week community arts organisation Head4Arts celebrated the delivery of its 1,000th free craft pack to Rebecca Jones and her family in Fochriw.

Whilst Welsh communities have been getting to grips with Covid-19 Lockdown, Head4Arts has been busy working alongside a variety of service providers, trying to bring a bit of sunshine into the lives of those struggling most with the current restrictions by providing creative activity packs to support the wellbeing of households currently under stress. 

The Doorstep Craft programme packs have been designed by professional artists and contain all materials and instructions required to make something special to help raise low spirits. They have included  rainbow butterfly suncatchers that throw colour into a room, quirky monsters and bears sending out virtual hugs, sock pets and pom-pom creatures to brighten up lives and simply-constructed rainbow-themed items conveying messages of hope. Recipients have had the opportunity to learn new skills or perhaps revive an interest that they have forgotten. 

In order to safely distribute the craft packs, Head4Arts has been working with an extensive network of voluntary organisations, community groups and social housing associations who have added the packs to their regular doorstep deliveries of food, medical supplies and other essentials to households in isolation or under other pressures.  

Creative Director, Kate Strudwick, explained: 

“Creativity helps to promote positive mental wellbeing and has been vital in helping families stay healthy, keep connected and feel productive during lockdown.  Working with our partners has helped us to target households that are most at need.  There are some fantastic online arts initiatives available at the moment, but not everyone is able to access them so we felt it was important to develop a creative offer that could be enjoyed remotely without the need for internet access.”

The Doorstep Crafts Programme, made possible through funding from Arts Council of Wales,  has also provided a welcome lifeline to freelance community artists, many of whom have been unable to earn any money since the announcement of lockdown. This scheme has put their creative talents to good use, supporting the well-being of local people, as well as providing work for artists.

The Jones family were thrilled to be the recipients of the 1000th craft pack, in this instance delivered by Parent Network volunteer, Cheryl Smith 

“It was so lovely to see how excited the children were – they reacted as if we had given them a really special gift”

The programme has been welcomed by voluntary groups from across the area. Parent Network representative Leanne Chapman said:

“It’s such a positive project. Staying in touch is so important at the moment  – plus we get an excellent excuse to have a doorstep chat with the families, so everyone benefits”

To find out more about the Doorstep Crafts project or any of the other activities that Head4Arts is currently offering, visit www.head4arts.org.uk or contact info@head4arts.org.uk

It’s About Time

Head4Arts will be holding free family friendly events to celebrate Earth Hour on Saturday 28th March 2020 at four fantastic locations throughout the eastern Heads of the Valleys area.  Each event will offer a creative exploration of climate change using storytelling, lanterns and butterfly-themed crafts.

These free events which are suitable for all ages will be taking place at Bryn Bach Park, Tredegar, Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenavon World Heritage Centre and Library and Penallta Park. 

Earth Hour is a WWF global campaign during which millions of people turn off their lights to raise awareness of climate change.  Earth Hour 2020 will take place between 8.30-9.30pm on 28th March 2020.

Head4Arts activities taking place throughout the day are designed to connect families with Earth Hour and encourage them to switch their lights off for one hour later in the evening to show their shared concern for the planet.  Participants also be invited to pledge one thing they can change to slow down climate change.  

The day’s activities will culminate in a grand finale taking place at Penallta Park.  This evening event will be a unique, time-travelling, interactive experience with spectacular lanterns featuring animals from around the world. 

The theme for this year’s events is It’s About Time, highlighting how climate change is threatening the health of our planet and the wildlife (and humans) that depend on it.  Butterflies have been chosen as the symbol for the events to represent the decline of biodiversity on a local and global scale.  Since 1976, butterflies and moths are among the species that have suffered greatest falls in abundance, with a 52% decline in the average species’ abundance of butterflies being reported in Wales. 

This is the fifth year that Head4Arts has organised events for Earth Hour, Creative Director, Kate Strudwick says

“We are living in a changing world and we hope that our events for Earth Hour 2020 will give families an opportunity to explore climate change in a creative way, and inspire them to embrace the lifestyle changes we will all have to make in future.  Ultimately, addressing climate change and protecting the environment is everyone’s responsibility.”

Listings information for each event

Earth Hour – Parc Bryn Bach Merthyr Rd, Tredegar, NP22 3AY
Saturday 28th March 2020
10am – 12.30pm

Earth Hour – Blaenavon World Heritage Centre & Library
Church Rd, Blaenavon, NP4 9AS
Saturday 28th March 2020
1 – 3pm

Earth Hour – Cyfarthfa Park Brecon Rd, Merthyr Tydfil, CF47 8RE
Saturday 28th March 2020
3pm – 5pm

Earth Hour – Parc Penallta, Penallta Rd, Ystrad Mynach, CF82 7GN
Saturday 28th March 2020
6.45pm – 8.30pm

Keep an eye out for additional information via the website and social media