You Me Us 2021 was Ideas Test’s project to reduce feelings of loneliness and social isolation in Medway and Swale through creativity.
This version of the project took place between April and June 2021.
Who was involved with You Me Us 2021?
We came up with the idea for the project and managed You Me Us 2021.
Local voluntary organisations Medway Voluntary Action (MVA), Swale Community Voluntary Service (SCVS) and wHoo Care (based on The Hoo Peninsula) were our partners and friends in this first version of the project.
Along with our partners, we also worked with a number of friends and local organisations to get the word out to people in our community.
You Me Us 2021 was funded by Arts Council England and the Department of Culture Media and Sport. Additional funding came from Kent County Council.
The name ‘You Me Us’ came from someone who took part in our previous projects. John Greenhill came up the name after we asked a few people in our community for a title for the project.
How did You Me Us 2021 work?
Four artists were chosen by a community panel. The people on the panel were;
- Kasia Senyszyn – You Me Us 2021 project manager, representing Ideas Test
- Two people from the community who’d been part our previous projects – including John who came up with the You Me Us name.
- MVA – a voluntary organisation who work across Medway
- wHoo Cares – a voluntary organisation who work in the Hoo Peninsular
The chosen artists helped people to get creative and meet other local people in small activity groups.
People taking part didn’t need to have tried singing, writing or drawing before to be part of the groups.
You Me Us was a project to make people feel safe and less alone. We also wanted people to feel more connected to their community and to be creative while we were all in Lockdown.
The groups were free to take part in and open to anyone over 18 who lived in Medway or Swale.
You Me Us 2021 Artists & Projects
The artists and their projects were;
- Dan Simpson’s Lifelines to Link Us: Poetry and creative writing
- Hannah Whittaker’s Drawing on Wisdom: Storytelling and drawing
- Sophie Stone’s an outside space: Photography, drawing, and sketching things from outside your home
- Anil Sebastian’s Telephone Choir: Singing over Zoom and the telephone.
You Me Us Lite
You Me Us Lite was a smaller version of the 2021 project for people who couldn’t join the regular groups.
We had three different worksheets from the artists that people could follow along and send in what they had made.