A creative start to 2017

Artist, Hannah working with group members in Marlborough
Sculpture project - Corsham

Sculpture project – Corsham

Decorative fans - Bradford on Avon

Decorative fans – Bradford on Avon

Papier mache bird made at the Marlborough Group

Papier mache bird made at the Marlborough Group

Puppets - Pewsey. Checkout the fingernails!

Puppets – Pewsey. Checkout the fingernails!

Book illustrating - Devizes

Book illustrating – Devizes

Portrait drawing - Trowbridge Group

Portrait drawing – Trowbridge Group

All six Arts Together groups got stuck into 2017 in January and have been having lots of fun making some stunning artworks. We tend to boast about and promote all the art activities that take place but of course Arts Together is so much more than that.

What is mostly unseen is the support and care we give to all our members because it is their well-being, health and capacity to take part that is most important to us. The art is an essential ingredient of the Arts Together mix but so is the attentiveness of our; well-being coordinator, charity manager, dedicated volunteers, skilled artists, transport drivers, carers, volunteer fundraiser, accounts manager, admin assistant and trustees.

We try to give the impression of that swan analogy, gliding over the water when we are really desperately paddling below the surface. So, please enjoy the happy, arty photos but also remember that the other huge benefit to our participants is the care, support and social contact that keeps them afloat!

Everyday we hear on the news about the crises in social care and the cuts to services and local authority budgets that are still to come! I am not sure where all the money has gone over recent years but there use to be a lot more of it about and now, like so many other small charities, we are constantly looking for funds to keep going. It shouldn’t be like this. Our elders, parents, grand parents, veterans, neighbours, deserve better. They deserve to be confident of love, care and support as they; age, loose partners and friends, leave family homes, abandon long cherished activities and careers. They shouldn’t really be increasingly dependent on the support of charities, voluntary organisations and support groups which are themselves progressively¬†taking over the role that public services used provide. Politicians take note – we are watching you!

Despite these gloomy ramblings I am constantly encouraged to find that the world is full of good people. I know this because I work with lots of them at Arts Together. I couldn’t begin to calculate the days and days of voluntary effort that these lovely people give cheerfully and willingly. And they then say how good it makes them feel to be giving so much. Aren’t human beings wonderful? Well most of them – I have noted a few dubious characters on the evening news over recent months. Enough said.

So please keep enjoying the photos and Arts Together news. Please support us in anyway you can – money helps but a willing pair of hands is just as good. And remember – there are lots of new photos and regular bits of news about the groups on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so just follow the link icons below, and share the love with your friends and contacts.

Congratulations for reading this far and thank you.

Jeff

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