Neighbours at the Faversham Almshouses

Community Catalyst, Siobhan Timoney is working with some of the residents living in the Almshouses in Faversham, testing and experimenting creative ideas with them. Mostly in their eighties, many haven’t taken part in art since leaving school 70 years ago.

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“We have done so much already and we are only starting.”

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Siobhan says: “We meet in the Community room and simply have a go – we talk about Art and life. The idea is to create a community spirit of doing creative things together, trying things out and see where it takes us, whether making things, writing or playing music. Anything the residents wish to try, we’ll give it a go.”

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“We have been more productive in the last few weeks than we have been for a long time.”

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A selection of the hats made will be on display at the Hat Festival in Faversham on Easter Saturday, April 19th, while the group are also working on ideas to share at the Faversham Arts Festival on June 7th; details will follow on the blog: http://neighboursideastest.wordpress.com/

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“We are really enjoying this.

Since their activities at the Faversham Hat Festival, local musicians have come in to play, and also ‘Moving Memory’ dance group, to explore dance with older people.

Says the Almshouse warden, “The residents who joined the art group were sceptical about their artistic abilities and some were concerned that they had not picked up a paint brush since their schooldays.  However, it soon became apparent that all of them were enjoying their art afternoons and on my morning visits the residents were talking enthusiastically about their achievements. The success of this Group is largely down to Siobhan’s gentle encouragement, which has given the Almshouse residents confidence to rekindle interests and also try new activities.”

The Almshouse artists’ group is now established and growing. It will continue meeting and making art for as long as the residents continue to enjoy their new found talent.