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.”
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.
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!