Create develops and delivers high quality creative arts programmes that provide life changing experiences to seven priority groups of disadvantaged and vulnerable people across the UK: older people at risk of social isolation, young patients, those with disabilities, carers, schoolchildren, offenders, and marginalised individuals e.g.: homeless people.
Create develops and delivers individually-tailored programmes – facilitated by its exceptional professional artists – in communities with little or no arts provision that enable people to explore their creativity, develop new skills and work collaboratively. All programmes use creative activities to enhance participants’ self-esteem and, well-being and confidence. Their ideas drive the creative process so they influence the outcomes and feel a sense of ownership.
Create runs several programmes for vulnerable older people including art:links, a project with the over 65s in West London. Working with artist Helena Roden, a group of older people created sculptures and artwork earlier this year that evoke a sense of new life, providing beautiful decoration and a sense of shared ownership over the space.
Memories and Tales enables older people to come together, reminisce about the past and make new friends during creative writing and music making. Taking place at day care centres, the project enable participants to take part in stimulating creative workshops that help them to maintain their cognitive ability, develop new skills and enjoy a sense of wellbeing. It demonstrates the impact of creativity as an effective part of social care. Grace (78), who came to London from Guiana in 1957 and took part said, “Singing makes you feel better, it makes you feel young! I like all the songs, this is a medicine, one for aches and pains, and it is a wonderful thing. It’s something to live for! Create has helped me to remember what I used to do and the things I have achieved with my life.”
In 2014/15, more than 50 of Create’s professional artists will run 900+ workshops delivering 18,000+ contact hours to more than 2,500 vulnerable people. In 2013/14, 45 individuals volunteered 4,894 hours to help Create achieve its goals. This year the charity partnered with 57 other organisations, including carer services, hospices, prisons and care homes.
Create recognises that the barriers faced by vulnerable people when accessing creative activities include lack of transport, poor mobility, lack of confidence, physical barriers (eg: hospital and exclusion from educational/ social opportunities) and limited budgets. It delivers carefully tailored creative sessions within the spaces where participants feel comfortable and safe that are always free to participants and usually to the community partner, ensuring they reach those who lack provision and are most in need.
In 2013, Create was shortlisted for the Charity Times Awards Charity of the Year: with an income of less than £1million and awarded a transformational grant of £480,000 from The Queen’s Trust, which described it as “a small charity with a big heart and a fierce ambition”. As a result, Create is on target to double the reach of its work by 2016.
Create’s Patrons include world-renowned choreographer Matthew Bourne OBE, writer Esther Freud, composer Howard Goodall CBE, Royal Academician Ken Howard OBE and one-handed pianist Nicholas McCarthy.