It's amazing how many live streams, video tutorials, and other brilliant online activities there have been in lockdown - and the internet is such a constant presence in my life, it's easy to forget that many people go without it. In fact, in 2018 the Office of National Statistics put that number at more than 7 million people.
That's why I'm delighted to have been chosen as one of the ten artists working on 10x10 Creative Gateshead, a project to design and distribute creative activity booklets that will support the wellbeing of community members in this time of lockdown, who have little access to digital technology. Each of the artists will work with a Gateshead-based organisation to create a fun and engaging activity to be included.
This project is funded by Arts Council England and the Best of Bensham Collaborative. You can see all of the chosen artists and the organisations we're paired up by visiting the project website.
What I'm Planning
I want my activity to focus on nature and the environment, something that's been so important to all of our wellbeing during lockdown. I have been paired with an organisation called Creative Youth Opportunities which holds youth clubs in the ReCoCo building in Saltwell Park, so the location is perfect. Although we are yet to get everything finalised, we will be going with a rough theme of 'bringing the outside inside' - encouraging people to evoke the natural world in their writing, so that even somebody who is currently shielding could read their piece and feel transported into the natural world. I can't share too much at the moment, but here's a sneak peek:
You can follow the project as it progresses by searching the hashtag 10x10CreativeGateshead on Twitter!