Thriving Communities Project helps people’s wellbeing through art

Pictured above: Andrea Sparrow from Art Beyond Belief, Kinder Bassi and Asma Aziz from Slough CVS and Dulcie Alexander from National Academy for Social Prescribing

Vulnerable adults have been taught how to deal with the effect of a pandemic and lockdowns through the medium of art. Slough CVS has been delivering the Thriving Communities Project with the help of funding from the Thriving Communities Fund and work by various groups including Art Beyond Belief. The project has been designed to help the people of Slough to recover from COVID-19 and the various lockdowns, through social prescribing.

The Charity uses the funding to organise initiatives throughout Slough that help clients with low to moderate levels of depression, anxiety, stress, isolation and loneliness, to focus their energy on a positive activity.   Clients are either referred by their GPs via the Social Prescribers at their doctor’s surgery, or they can self-refer if they have the confidence to do so.

Activities include Arts & Crafts and on Tuesday was held in the Art Club in the Observatory Shopping Centre in Slough Town Centre where art teacher, Marinella Caldarus, was very impressed with her artists and the fact that she has learned a lot about coping with a pandemic as a teacher herself.

She said “It is amazing the stories we hear from people how this course has changed their lives and changed my life as a teacher too. It is a joint programme where everyone involved is benefitting from it. Many people have been referred by GPs or self-referred and some have said that we have literally saved their lives.”

Dulcie Alexander, Thriving Communities Fund Manager, seconded to The National Academy for Social Prescribing from Arts Council England visited this week. She said, “It has been an incredible visit, hearing participants reflect how the social prescribing offer has enabled them to feel they are living again, rather than existing. Finding new found confidence and talents through creative activities that have been prescribed through the support of a link worker or through self-referral through community relations across Slough.”

Read about the project