Creative service brings new friendships to older people on Tyneside
Are you looking to get out a bit more during the week?
Perhaps you know someone who could benefit from support to meet new people and explore new interests.
Our Creative Friends service is helping older men and women across Newcastle and Gateshead at risk of loneliness to reconnect with their communities.
Evelyn, 90, from Newcastle, joined Creative Friends in August. She said: “I found I was getting very sick of sitting in the house. I was getting very much inside myself. I knew I was reaching the age of 90 which was frightening and I thought well I have got to do something with my life.
“To think, it has taken me all this time to be out with friends. It is a marvellous sensation.”
Unlike traditional befriending schemes Creative Friends focuses on people’s shared creative interests to bring them together in small groups.
This year participants’ outings have included visits to the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, Baltic in Gateshead, taking part in creative activities, going on trips to the coast and bird watching in the Derwent Valley.
By empowering people through the arts we aim to support them as they discover new experiences and form friendships.
Alice Thwaite, Equal Arts co-director, said: “This project brings people together to enjoy creative activities, visiting galleries, developing old talents and discovering new ones.
“Working with older people for more than 30 years we have seen first-hand how a shared interest in the arts, whether this is painting, music or dance, can spark new friendships.
“Creative Friends will give people the opportunity to make new friends and get a little bit of support to get out there and try new things.”
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