Wellbeing charity The Together Project has started fundraising for its new Crafting Connections programme, which aims to create long-lasting intergenerational friendships through arts and crafts.
The concept of Crafting Connections involves children and older adults in residential care homes being partnered up to create artwork on a given topic each month and swap it in the post, along with some themed ‘fun facts’ about themselves.
Each participant is given a ‘friendship folder’ to store their partner’s creations, building up a memory of their friendship as the months go by. Also included in the children’s monthly packs is age-appropriate educational information for parents to share with their children, such as a guide to dementia or what life was like when their older friend was a child.
With support from the CareTech Charitable Foundation, The Hallmark Foundation and individual donors, Crafting Connections has already secured £33,000 of the £45,000 needed to launch and the charity is now looking for additional partners and individuals to help them reach their fundraising target.
Louise Goulden, Founder and CEO of The Together Project, said:
“The pandemic has shone a spotlight on social isolation and the importance for our mental health of connecting with others. But many in our society will continue to experience the devastating impact of loneliness long after COVID-19 has receded. Even before the restrictions, rates of severe loneliness in older adults were more than double for people living in care homes versus those living in the community.
“Crafting Connections can play a vital role in improving the wellbeing of older adults by creating life-enhancing new friendships, as well as being such a valuable and fun-filled activity for children and their families. We can’t wait to get started.”
Jonathan Freeman MBE, CEO of CareTech Foundation, said:
“Throughout the pandemic, one of the biggest challenges facing those in care and those with loved ones in care has been overcoming the distance and separation. There is evidence that Crafting Connections can make a difference in improving the mental health of people and are delighted that the Foundation can support such a meaningful initiative that aligns with our values.”
Those interested in funding or sponsoring Crafting Connections, can get in touch with Louise, Founder and CEO of The Together Project at firstname.lastname@example.org