Kara and Creative Generations

The pilot programme run with Thameside Primary School and Frederick Andrews Court sheltered housing complex.

Kara took part in our Thurrock Social Entrepreneurship Programme, and Thurrock Soup. She later joined the London based  Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme in October 2019.

Loneliness and isolation in the UK doesn’t just affect the ageing population. According to the Office for National Statistics, 1 in 10 children also experience loneliness. Kara’s work as an artist and tutor in her local community helped her to discover that inter-generational interactions and creativity can help the well-being of both children and older people. “Probably from my own isolation and from seeing that in my grandparents, I knew I wanted to help people to feel less alone,” Kara reflects.

Kara set up Creative Generations to bring her idea to life, using her skills and passion for all things creative. The social enterprise offers art workshops for children and the older community to help them to see past their differences, connect through story-telling and creativity, and feel more valued in their communities as a result.

Kara was taking part in the Thurrock Social Entrepreneurship Programme when she decided to present her idea by pitching at Thurrock Soup, which gives local people an opportunity to win some start-up money. The idea of Creative Generations caught everyone’s imagination and Kara won the cash on the evening and went on to successfully be awarded a grant from the UnLtd fund. 

Sheltered housing residents and school children in Thurrock have been taking part in intergenerational workshops with Creative Generations to boost their connections within the community.  The intergenerational scheme was initially piloted in June 2019 with students from Thameside Primary School and residents at Frederick Andrews Court in Grays. Since then, Corringham’s Bellmaine Avenue Sheltered Housing residents and children from Corringham Primary School have also benefited from the workshops.

Residents at Vigerons Way Sheltered Housing complex, Grays, have spent an hour each week for the past month with students from Herringham Primary Academy working together and exploring a range of topics using art techniques such as drawing and collages. At the end of each session, the children and residents present what they have made and learnt to the rest of the class.

So far, two groups of school children at Herringham Primary Academy have benefited from the schemes at Vigerons Way. A number of children who took part in the workshops before Christmas recently visited residents with their parents to enjoy a special afternoon tea.

Cllr Barry Johnson, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “It’s fantastic to see older and younger members of our community being creative together and discovering what they have in common. The techniques used in these workshops not only make outstanding artwork, but helps the children in their learning and storytelling.

“The afternoon tea was another lovely idea and really highlighted to the parents the great work that the children and sheltered housing residents have been doing together, as well as see the connections formed.”

Margaret Cullwick, a resident at Vigerons Way Sheltered Housing, said: “I’ve really enjoyed the sessions with the little ones and it’s been really good fun. The children always ask lots of questions, particularly about the differences between when we were at school compared to their school life today.”

Nine-year-old Maddie Davis from Herringham Primary Academy, added: “The best part of the week was leaving school to go see Betty and draw together.”

Kara Thompson, artist and tutor at Creative Generations, said: “Giving the children and older adults this unique space to talk and learn together has been incredibly successful. We see their confidence and skills grow with every workshop, plus across the ages they build a sense of connection and appreciation with their local community. You only have to hear the excitable chatter at the workshops to understand that bringing these age groups together is of huge value to both children and older adults.”

Residents at Vigerons Way Sheltered Housing complex, Grays, with students from Herringham Primary Academy PLus of Course Kara

2 year plan in place with £300,000 grant approved

plan-frontWe’re delighted to announce that our latest project plan has been approved and we anticipate drawing down a total of £300,000 towards projects over the next two years.

Details of the planned projects can be found here – and you will see there is a lot going on and to get involved with.

To sign up for more information or to join Riverside Community as a project volunteer or a member of the Board, please complete the form found here.

Grays and Thurrock Residents – Do you have a business idea, would a little funding help?

wonder-soupWe are excited to be partnering with Thurrock Council in launching Thurrock Soup – an event where local entrepreneurs with business or social enterprise ideas share their idea with others and the best idea is funded by the entrance fee!

This simple but effective concept can help you sharpen your focus and improve your idea whilst getting you the chance of winning a few hundred pounds to develop your business plan or product.

The first event will be hosted at The Beehive, West Street, Grays at 18:30 until 20:30 on Friday 9th September and the entrance fee of £5 will buy you a bowl of freshley prepared soup produced from locally grown organic produce and a delicious bread roll. (Of course at the end of the night all entrance fees will go to the winning business or social enterprise idea!)

To register for the event please visit the link here and remember to bring a five pound note with you!

 

Introducing Local People to UnLtd Star People Awards

Five local residents were invited to meet Roland Singer-Kingsmith, a social entrepreneurship manager from UnLtd, on 12th May to pitch their ideas for social enterprises that will benefit the Grays Riverside.

UnLtd provides support for budding social entrepreneurs across the UK including direct investment through their Awards Scheme and the type of practical support that an individual needs to get their project from the idea stage to an actionable business.

Roland’s team at UnLtd work with the various Big Local projects across the UK, one of which is Riverside Community, through the ‘Star People’ programme.

The projects discussed at the meetings cover a diverse range of ideas all of which are seen to have some beneficial value for the local community either directly through the delivery of services or indirectly through increased economic activity.

Three local residents who attended the Riverside Community AGM have already shown themselves to be eligible for the ‘Star People’ programme so if you have an idea for a social enterprise and you live in the Grays Riverside area, you can come down to the Riverside Community office and we can arrange a meeting with one of UnLtd’s ‘Star People’ team or you can go to www.unltd.org.uk/starpeople.