The Voluntary Action Calderdale column with Emma Worsley

Learning: Purple Patch Arts use a multi-sensory approach.
Learning: Purple Patch Arts use a multi-sensory approach.

We can all be creative. It’s an opportunity to let your imagination take the reins and look at new and original ways to approach something. So if your response is ‘But I’m rubbish at drawing’ or ‘I can’t sing’ then read on...

I am a big advocate of creativity. Yes I’ll admit that my artistic skills would never get me an exhibition at the Tate Modern and my dancing would definitely not get me to the finals of Strictly but I’d still give it a go! This column is one of my creative outlets and has definitely reignited my love of writing. That’s the thing with creativity – it never leaves you. No matter how long a break you may have, it feels like second nature to go back to it. Even discovering a new creative passion can jog reminiscent memories and it can definitely help create new ones too!

Metaphorically, the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) has creativity running through its veins.

As a sector that has always provided innovative solutions to some of the biggest health and social issues in the UK, it’s no surprise to see the number of VCS organisations who utilise creativity to help improve local lives.

Purple Patch Arts

At Purple Patch Lifelong Learning Programmes, they use creative methods such as dance, drama, music, literature and art (pictured) as a way to make educational topics and themes exciting, engaging and accessible for adults with learning disabilities. Purple Patch Arts deliver sessions to suit a range of needs, using a multi-sensory approach to create an immersive experience which is lots of fun.

As well as promoting a love of creativity and learning, the Purple patch Lifelong Learning Programmes also help participants to improve their social skills, confidence and independence. Every year they pick a different theme – this year it is ‘Imagine’.

For more information about Purple Patch Arts, please visit the website www.purplepatcharts.org

Awakening Arts

Awakening Arts is a Calderdale-based community arts organisation that runs a weekly group for people with dementia and other age-related neurological issues.

The group, called Be Here Now, runs every Tuesday at Hebden Bridge Town Hall from 2.30pm to 4pm. At the group they sing songs, read poems, create music, art and poetry. They share their joys and, sometimes, their sorrows. It’s a friendly welcoming group and no previous experience is required.

For more information about Awakening Arts, please call 07591157841.

Verd de gris

Verd de gris is a socially engaged arts company based in Hebden Bridge. The group develops and delivers a range of creative projects with people from across the North of England, specifically health and wellbeing work and intercultural community projects.

The company has won a number of awards including a National Dementia Care Award in 2017 and the National Creative Learning Award in 2019.

Verd de gris’ aim is to engage with communities where the opportunity to participate in arts projects is low. They are keen to show how local people can use the arts to impact on a range of social issues, and how they can use creative expression to transform their lives and their communities.

For more information about verd de gris, please visit the website www.verddegris.org