About Louise Pendry

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Louise Pendry has created 4 blog entries.

Our Health Your Hands

Our Health Your Hands marks the 70th year of the NHS and Kingston Hospital.

It is an innovative creative learning project, involving 300 children and young people across Kingston in a year of learning. Led by Anstee Bridge and Bounce Theatre with Its Not Your Birthday and Chocolate Films also providing workshops.

Our Health Your Hands will be led by Anstee Bridge students, who will guide the research, curate the stories and share the material across schools in the borough.

The project will shine a spotlight on some of the people who work, volunteer and support their local hospital. The wider community will also be invited to contribute memories/stories to say thank you for the care they have received.

Alongside this, the young people will undertake research at Kingston Local History Room and the National Archives to tell the story of the NHS on a local level.

They will translate their learning into a range of events including

  • Original spoken word poetry and music produced by young people.
  • A pop up tardis. Both an exhibition and performance space curated by Anstee Bridge to tour to schools across the borough.
  • Our Health Your Hands – Stories from the NHS by Chessington Community College.
  • #ThankyouNHS letter writing campaign from INYBB
  • Mosaic for Kingston Hospital celebrating 70 years of care.
Support their journey! 
Anstee Bridge champions personalised learning for young people as part of their confidence through creativity programme. This supports young people to reengage with education. Personal stories and people in their community are key to inspiring them. If you have a story about working in the NHS, volunteering or being a patient that you would be willing to share via email or in person, we’d love to hear from you.
 
Please email with a story/memory or contact Katherine Greening for more details on how to be involved.

Bounce and our wellness work

This Autumn, I am proud to launch a whole new stream of work for Bounce, dedicated to health and wellness.

The decision was born out of learning from our 2017 programme Creativity Matters. We were able to see first hand the intrinsic value of creativity on children and young people’s wellness. 

Take for instance, our Creative Club.

It began  it’s life as 2 seperate classes that were merged together by chance to offer creative drama and dance classes. It was during these classes that I began to notice the impact that prescribed creative mediums can have upon children within a group. Putting on a performance can be wonderful and very rewarding. It can also be hard and stressful work for both participants and practitioners and it was during one of these times that I began to question the purpose of these ‘creative’ activities.

Please do not misunderstand me, I can see happy faces taking drama, dance, music etc classes all over the land and am by not means suggesting that they do not have tremendous value for those who have passion for them. I suppose what I’m talking about is the purpose for ‘Joe Public’ the child who loves today’s painting experience but doesn’t want to do art every week, or laps up the confidence earned playing drama games but has no desire to stand on stage and perform. Those who don’t fit in a creative category per say but have so much to gain from varied participation, those who enjoy the feeling of just being there and taking part than the outcome… those, like me.

And so perhaps it was fulfilling a selfish need when we began to expand our range of activities at the Creative Clubs and noticed that it was not ‘drama’ or ‘dance’ that provoked positive energy in participants but in fact the action of taking part. We started to look at creativity as a feeling rather than an action and quite frankly haven’t looked back.

Today our Creative Club sessions are almost entirely process driven with outcomes being measured in ‘well being’. Our activities range from singing, to sewing, random acts of cupcake kindness to community murals and clean ups. We’ve noticed the difference that  regular relaxation, creativity and social interactions make on the individual and do our best to implement these simple routines throughout our Well-being work. Differences such as raised self esteem, positive thoughts, community engagement, communication and self care to name but a few.

Granted, it’s become more more difficult to package our work but I’m ok with this. Just like I’m ok with kids jokes that make no sense and pipe cleaners being space ninja robots,  because it’s experimenting, learning, building kindness, strength and knowledge in a safe environment which to my mind is a recipe for some very good memory making.

So, our wellness projects will focus on not putting a label on creativity, or trying to box it up. Instead, participants will have an opportunity to do whatever feels good for them. They follow principals central to wellness such as exercise, humour, love and diet. Participants are given an opportunity to explore the themes in a range of crafts, celebrations, events and activities.

I believe painting, drawing and crafting with music on is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. It is important that we ask people how they are and really listen to the answers. By being creative together, we are building networks, new relationships and communities. Spending time in our creative mind helps lighten some of the heavy feelings that can become all to normal to carry around.” A sentiment echoed by one of our summer holiday participants “It feels like it fills my heart when I’m creative.”

Rachel

 

As part of our Comfort Season we are excited to be running the following wellness projects.  

Happy To Chat

Inspired by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, this project is bringing people together to chat and eat cake.

Creative Clubs 

Our creative clubs provide children with a time and a space to understand the potential of their own creativity.

Clubs will run in Heston & Kingston 

Big Holiday Projects

After three glorious years, we are proud to expand our Big Holiday projects throughout the year. Filling holidays with memory making, trips and adventures into different creative practices.

Mum Plus +

A unique project for mums and children. Combining storytelling with wellness coaching to empower new mums to build their confidence & define what their future holds. 

Starting in Kingston, Mum Plus+ will spread its wings to Heston!

 

Find out more. 

Comfort – About our new work for winter 2018

… Comfort blanket

… Comfort and joy …

Comfort Food …

This autumn, all of our work is themed around the idea of Comfort. We’re paying homage to the tiny acts of kindness that light up the dark. These range from celebrating small actions of self care through to the national treasure that is the NHS. 

The conversation started after our Creativity Matters projects began to come to an end. We knew after a year what we knew at the start – Creativity Matters. During the year, we were drawn more to the impact access to creativity has on hearts and minds than anything else. 

Due to the nature of the work we were making we had multiple conversations with children, young people and sometimes parents about mental health. Things that cropped up included coping with emotions after years of witnessing violence, the pressures of being a young carer, the impact of benefits, bereavement or generally feeling unsure if they could cope with G.C.S.E’s.

Increasingly for us, our role in making work is about understanding the broader benefits of creativity. It means making work with people that isn’t about theatre. Theatre has and will always be at our roots but each year we move further away from focusing on inviting people to come and make performance with us. Even more so this year, where we have programmed a strand of work solely about the benefits of feeling well through creativity.

As the world changes, technology evolves and politics divides us it’s impact can be felt in the non traditional spaces we work in. It seems even more crucial to make time for creativity. To not invite people to create with us to make theatre but to share their ideas – for themselves and for their communities. Excitingly, this approach has led to our first project created with a former participant. 

Mum Plus+ has emerged from working with Natalie, who was part of our work with Anstee Bridge. Together we have created a brand new project for young mums. It combines storytelling for children and parents with wellness coaching, in a partnership with Silver Linings Coaching and Consulting.  It’s aim is to give young mums a chance to meet in a space where they don’t feel intimidated. Also, an opportunity to consider the possibilities in balancing motherhood with ambitions to work, or study or travel still in the future. 

Alongside this we have Happy to Chat, creating a network of people in a community that come together to craft. We deliver our biggest ever creative learning project looking at 70 years of the NHS. We’ll make new theatre tackling loneliness from a young persons perspective and stories of comfort that get us through the hard times. 

It’s broad and its varied as each strand is personal to the people we are making stuff with. Yet they all celebrate the principals of comfort. It’s the comfort of meeting someone new, striking up a friendship, celebrating the people who have been there for you and being able to share feelings, ideas or opinions. Or its simply the comfort of good cake and conversation. 

Louise

#CreativityMatters

“You can be yourself.”

In September 2017, we set out a year of work that would allow us to discover why creativity matters to the people we work with. Our programme highlights included

  • Urban Stories
  • Emoji
  • Transforming Tales
  • Creative Clubs
  • Creative Spaces
  • Cranford Residency

We produced

  • One new piece of original theatre – Emoji
  • Mounted an exhibition around Loneliness in urban living at the Saatchi Gallery
  • Put an installation inspired by mental health and Hans Christian Anderson  into a local library
  • Regenerated a run down military welfare community room into a pop up cafe for creative arts
  • Hosted numerous sharings of work and joined community events across Hounslow.

We worked with 1674 people. A happy mix of children, young people and families. We created 73,000 opportunities for them to participate in sessions, projects and workshops. Over 30,000 people would have seen their work.

100% of participants asked said they felt more creative through the projects. 94.6 from one project alone identified had learnt something new from joining in.

Consistently, there was a theme that the benefits of creativity included interacting with others. The interactions ranged from the benefits of getting out of the house to the building of new friendships. An increased sense of well-being and happiness ran across many of our projects, in particular the Big Holiday project. Notably, in young people there was an increased sense of confidence. This was born out of trying something new or being in a different environment.

Creativity Matters to them because

  • they learnt how to work in a group
  • mix ideas
  • respect
  • design
  • write
  • make closer friends
  • how more than older people experience loneliness
  • to be more open
  • being around people isn’t something I should be afraid of
  • singing
  • drama
  • that my ideas have actually been heard
  • putting ideas into perspective

Over the year we have

  • given 128 children and young people an Arts Award
  • offered one young person volunteering work next year
  • helped realise the library as a space for culture and exhibition
  • put 7 young people into first time employment
  • Supported 8 parents to return to work or take up a new hobby
  • worked with a former participant to design a new project for Autumn
  • Launched an Arts and Wellness strand to our programme because of what we’ve learnt from our participants

There are so many reasons why creativity matters in the politically and economically fragile times we live in.

A child on our holiday project added to our evaluation ‘I like doing creative things. It feels like it fills my heart when I’m creative.” Wise words, as on that note, the question is not that it matters, more ‘What would we do without it?”. Creativity is joy, hope, change, conversation, imagination, ideas, potential and more. It is intrinsically linked to our wellness and sense of self.

In wellness, there is comfort- taking us neatly into our next programme of work.

Louise