Camaraderie, Creation, Community at West Park

The 2010 parliament report on the ageing population  declared ‘By 2050 one in-four of the UK population will be aged 65 and over.’ Elders at West Park Community Centre led half term family fun – art activities and games with local families over two days.

Active Streets supported our partner organisations Friction Arts and the Church of God of Prophecy. The event is part of a wider project known as ‘Creative Reach’ where Community Elders organise and lead a range of activities at West Park Community Centre with support from Friction Arts and The Active Wellbeing Society to build a legacy to connect people locally across generations.

Sandra Hall from Friction Arts looks at Vanley Burke’s images of Handsworth with local residents.
Printing workshop with children and local artist, Hatty Sutton.

Young and the old share a common rhythm based on the power of being and living, not only doing. Older attendees led activities teaching younger members to crochet and knit, imparting these increasingly uncommon practical skills to an audience eager to learn. Society can sometimes feel increasing split along community lines with the young in schools and older people in retirement communities. The day showcased that giving space to share experiences and learning across the inter-generational divide can better community and improve the quality of life for all ages.

Alisha Nichols photographs families in Handsworth.

The world health organisation has defined good health as the complete state of physical, mental and social well-being – this definition recognises that the body, mind and community are all essential to good health. Art can positively impact both individual and community well-being. Other art activities included: badge, ribbon and printmaking workshops and lastly a photography station for dressing up or just to pose. These creative sessions allowed for both conscious and subconscious expression and relaxation, generating a buzz of chatter to fill the room as people’s minds drifted with their activities. Art keeps us well, supporting longer, more rich lives. It also led to a building of trust and more physical activity, for younger children, young people, adults – younger and older.

Archery at West Park Community Centre
Street Basketball outside the Centre

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Author: admin