CCI worked with Arts and Minds and Blue Smile during lockdown as part of the FullScope consortia to launch and develop this new creative care programme. Fullscope, launched in October 2019, is a new collaboration between seven leading organisations that support the mental wellbeing of children and young people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The partnership, with support from the National Lottery Community Fund and development support from Arm Limited and Norfolk and Norwich Festival Bridge, champions, collaborates with and is inspired by the voices of children and young people, taking their lead in order to deliver its aims.
The focus of this new programme is to develop resources to support people of all ages to be creative at home. Where possible these are delivered as part of ‘creative care packs’ but they have also been made available for free to download or access on line. To date five artists have designed a series of 12 ‘invitations to create’ to help people rediscover the world on their doorsteps in creative ways. A series of films to support these have also been made.
Thank you for providing us with all the amazing ideas and different ways to keep our children’s brains stimulated. We followed your guidance and collected as many different objects of as many different colours inside and out. My children loved doing the finding and searching as much as they did the creating. Thanks for providing the packages - made my life a lot easier for a couple of days!! do you have anything else up your sleeve to help spark the curiosity. Mother, via Instagram
Love the focus on natural objects & play, think we all need both now more than ever.
Clare, Art Therapist
From April to June, CCI distributed these to vulnerable children and young people and their families within 357 individual packs, alongside specially chosen materials selected by the artists. These invitations encourage people to go out into the world around them, and reconnect with all their senses and with the pleasures of noticing, listening, making and shaping. Where possible online support has also been included - artists have joined Zoom classroom sessions (primary school partner) and WhatsApp weekly meetings (The Kite Trust group) as well as emails and phone-calls to encourage engagement and dialogue. Small films are also being developed to support each invitation and build connections with the artists.
It was a delight to drop the creative care boxes round this morning. The children were absolutely thrilled and their parents really grateful. It really worked I thought, as a way to connect and engage with those families. I was feeling in bit of dip yesterday, with worry and feeling a bit fed up with the situation and what might happen next, but that was just really nice. What a pleasure to see everyone this morning, to know they’re okay, and for them to know all these people are still thinking of them. I could literally see that on their faces. Thank you for putting all of these materials and ideas together. You are wonderful. Headteacher, Wilburton Primary School
Creative Care packages have been sent to some of our most vulnerable families and have proved to be a lifeline to those that are engaging with them. One family in particular, who currently have no access to a computer or tablet, have wholeheartedly embraced the invitations given to them and have rediscovered what it is like to engage with the nature surrounding the place they call home. Many hours have been spent creating and imagining images and inventions for life outside their bubble. Many, many thanks to all involved in bringing this opportunity to our community.
Headteacher, Mayfield Primary School
CCI is now working with Centre 33 and The Kite Trust to create versions of the creative care packs for young people and families approaching them for support.
To date the CCI has worked with Mayfield Primary School, The Kite Trust, Cambridge Academic Partnership, Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire Skills and Abbey Foodbank, and the Red Hen Project as part of this programme. Download here the executive summary of the evaluation of this stage of the programme.
FullScope has also been working with the wider sector to identify clearer pathways to support for everyone at this time – below are numbers and details for where support can be found.
For people aged 18 and over - Now we’re talking - coming together in isolation:
- Lifeline Plus - a mental health and wellbeing helpline for people aged 18 and over living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, is available Monday-Friday between 9am and 2pm via freephone 0808 808 2121. The line will support people to manage their wellbeing, provide selfhelp advice or signpost to other organisations for particular concerns. Between 2pm and 11pm the number is managed by Lifecraft who provide support for those in mental health distress.
- Qwell - an online wellbeing support, including educational and self-help articles and peer-to peer support via forums. Adults are also able to receive help from qualified counsellors via drop in or scheduled online chat sessions.
- Keep Your Head – this website brings together all the mental health support available across the county.
For young people