Grant to support nature-inspired art classes will help combat isolation

October 11, 2016

A much-loved Fulham charity that supports older people in the community is about to start a new arts group thanks to a grant from the Care UK wellbeing foundation.

Fulham Good Neighbours has been supporting older people and those living with disabilities, by teaming volunteers with individuals who need help with DIY and odd jobs, errands, shopping and escorting people to appointments.

The grant will support a year of weekly activities.

The grant will support a year of weekly activities.

Chris Mikata, the group’s director, said: “As well as supporting people with things as diverse as changing lightbulbs to providing respite relief, our volunteers tackle social isolation. Many older people can go for days, if not weeks, without talking to anyone, and this has a debilitating effect on their health, wellbeing and confidence.

“We wanted to create a new group that combined art activities with art appreciation and trips to major and local galleries. People will be able to chat, exchange new ideas and explore their creativity; keeping their minds, imaginations and coordination active.”

The £2,000 grant from the Care UK wellbeing foundation will support a year of weekly activities.

Chris said: “We’ve an experienced local artist to facilitate the group. Each week the session will begin by looking at how an artist has portrayed nature. The group will share ideas as well as hear about how and why the artist created the image. The second part of the session will see the participant create their own interpretation of the artist’s work. We hope the group will promote friendships that stretch beyond the sessions as well as building confidence and happiness.”

Rosemary Harvey, secretary to the Care UK wellbeing foundation board, said: “The board was delighted to support this new project. In our 117 care homes, our activities coordinators work hard to find new and interesting ways to help residents maintain their hobbies as well as find new interests and friendships. The idea of nature-themed events is excellent, as we know from our own bird-watching projects and country park walks the inspiration many people find in nature.”