Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, The GENERATOR was our big summer holiday programme for families at the Scottish National Gallery this year. Taking inspiration from GENERATION, a landmark exhibition at the National Galleries of Scotland, the programme encouraged families to have fun exploring and responding to contemporary art.
Every afternoon for four weeks, children aged 4+ and their families were invited to drop into our learning centre and take part in a range of free, creative activities. Many of the art works in the GENERATION exhibitions are challenging and experimental so we really wanted to encourage families to try out new inventive ideas. We turned our learning centre into a crazy art lab and posed questions like ‘What happens when you mix art with music?’, ‘How do you ‘un-paint’ a picture?’ and ‘What could a sculpture be made of?’
Activities included creating collage tree shapes inspired by Martin Boyce, painting to music inspired by Victora Morton, making sculptures with unusual materials inspired by Karla Black and exploring the flamboyant performance side of some of the artists in GENERATION like Steven Campbell and Ross Sinclair by dressing up as an artist character and taking part in a photo-shoot.
Inspired by the immersive nature of some of the installations featured in the exhibition, we really wanted to turn our learning centre into an art work in itself. We did this by creating a large-scale abstract mural that participants were able to add to and alter. An artist called Fraser Gray randomly ‘generated’ a composition using a computer programme, which he then painted directly on to the wall. Parts of the mural were painted over using a very new type of hydrochromic paint that changes colour when water is added to it. This meant that families could really experiment with mark making and paint directly onto the mural. Once the water dried, the marks disappeared, ready for the next person to re-invent the design.
We were so excited about the GENERATOR activities that we wanted to share them with as many people as possible – so this year, for the first time, we opened the workshops up to other audiences. In the mornings, we invited after-school and family groups to come and explore the exhibition and have fun in the workshops. We also opened up the GENERATOR to adult groups as part of our GENERATION Late events on Thursday evenings. The response was really positive, with adults relishing the chance to experiment, explore and create in a playful environment.
Approximately 2,200 people enjoyed the GENERATOR and we were very sad when it came to an end - roll on next summer when we can create a whole new experience for families to enjoy!
Thanks to players of the People’s Postcode Lottery whose support made all of these activities possible. I will sign off with some lovely visitor comments:
‘This event is fabulous, the children absolutely loved every minute and didn’t want to leave!’
‘My favourite thing – watching my daughter become more confident with materials, becoming less worried about it being ‘good’ and becoming absorbed in the activities – especially the musical painting.’
‘Absolutely wonderful, we are on low income and this was a fantastic and unforgettable afternoon we could afford it thanks to you.’
‘Amazed to see my 4 teenage children all freely engage in the activities! Lovely to see them become absorbed and concentrate on their creations!’
‘Kids loved it, something a bit different linking it with artists work. Thanks!’
‘Engaging our boys to get their hands creating, what else could a parent ask for?’
‘Very engaging for all. Encourages kids to foster an interest in galleries.’
‘Brilliant fun for our two children! They have had a great time painting and creating. So glad we found this place!’
This is part of a series of guest blogs written by charities and good causes supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Today’s guest blog comes from National Galleries of Scotland, a fantastic organisation that has received a whopping £866,513 from players to date to help make spectacular exhibitions accessible to people of all ages.
Oak Tree Cottage is nestled in the heart of the beautiful Teifi Marsh nature reserve and is now open to guests thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Funding from players has enabled The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales to renovate this bolt hole for nature lovers in Pembrokeshire.
The cosy cottage sleeps four people and is the perfect setting for watching a variety of local wildlife. Visitors have already enjoyed spotting the family of otters on the river at dawn and a wonderful display of bats at night. Guests will immediately unwind to the sounds of nature and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this truly unique setting. The cottage is a haven for nature and wildlife enthusiasts, star gazers, walkers and cyclists. Kids will love playing in the Cherry Tree Adventure Park, discovering the Willow Maze, exploring our fantastic nature trails on foot or two wheels and meeting our resident water buffalo.
The nearby Welsh Wildlife Visitor Centre also has lots to offer including an interactive indoor area and Glasshouse Café which offers top-class local home-cooked food. Nearby Cilgerran Castle is well worth a visit and is a walking distance from the cottage. A walk across the beautiful reserve takes you to the town of Cardigan where there are some lovely places to eat if you don’t fancy cooking, and two theatres as well as a cinema.
The profits from the cottage mean that The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales can continue its work to protect the wildlife at Teifi Marsh and its other nature reserves. Thank you so much!
This is part of a series of guest blogs written by charities and good causes supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Today’s guest blog comes from Wildlife Trust Wales, the largest voluntary organisation in Wales dedicated to protecting wildlife for further generations. Our players have awarded this amazing organisation with over £400,000 to date, helping to deliver educational opportunities and events for local communities and schools, as well as maintaining nature reserves across the country.
Dementia Adventure is a multi-award winning social enterprise and a registered charity which specialises in connecting people living with dementia with nature and giving them a sense of adventure. Dementia Adventure is based in Essex but works nationally and has an international following. Now in our 6th year of operation, Dementia Adventure is on an exciting and ambitious growth plan to reach thousands more people living with dementia with our nature-based adventures, thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Do you know someone with dementia who needs an adventure?
We deliver our own adventures and support other organisations, using our experience and expertise to run theirs. We work hard to prove the positive impact that adventures have for people living with dementia and their carers. In the last year we have successfully designed and delivered bespoke and supported adventure holidays and short breaks for 62 people living with dementia and their carers. We focus specifically on connecting people living with dementia with nature and giving people a sense of adventure, through organising activities which are challenging yet possible and supporting people to fully take part in an atmosphere which is non-judgmental and positive.
A week in the Lake District was enjoyed by 3 couples and 3 staff in September 2013. Sue and Sally, who took their husbands who are both living with dementia, said:
“Good balance of fun, caring natures, but allowing privacy & independence wherever possible. Loved all of them, first class.”
“Loved feeling able to reconnect with my husband with help available when necessary.”
Audrey spoke of the unbelieveable impact the trip had on her and her husband Dennis who has Alzheimer’s disease:
“His mood lifted giving him a sustained energy to tackle many activities and socialise in a more positive way. I benefitted from having a rest from caring for Dennis and was given an insight about how I must keep myself healthy, calm, caring and enthusiastic to keep our lives interesting and forward thinking even though we have to face the testing moments Alzheimer’s throws up at us to test us both.”
This year the support we have received from players of People’s Postcode Lottery has enabled us to expand our park walks programme from its origins in Chelmsford in Essex to include park walks in Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham and Stroud, with further walks being developed in Leicester and Worcestershire. These walks are two hours long and are designed and delivered with people living with dementia in mind to enjoy time and activity together outdoors in beautiful settings. The walks are called ‘Walk and Talk Together’ because it is as much about the exercise as it is about socialising together in lovely green spaces. Park walks help and are needed because people feel safer and more confident to take part in outdoor activity when everyone is ‘in the same boat’ and understands dementia.
So far this year we have enabled over 350 people to benefit from park walks and provided training to over 50 staff and volunteers to successfully design and deliver these walks at a local level. With further interest from numerous other locations who want a park walk in their area the future expansion of this work is very exciting. Dementia Adventure is now looking for a national organisation to partner with to deliver these walks in over 12 locations next year.
Here are some quotes which demonstrate the impact and benefits of our park walks:
“As an Activities Coordinator I would certainly recommend highly this type of activity for people who have dementia. It has been so rewarding for care staff and family to see the pleasure it has given our residents over the past months, especially those who have severe dementia and who have communicated for the first time in a long while, even if it was just a smile”, Audrey Brown, Activities Co-ordinator, Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court, Stisted Hall
“I had the best day”, person living with dementia
“A lot of fun”, person living with dementia
Dementia Adventure has an ambitious five year plan of expansion which, thanks to the long-term support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, will see our successful park walks programme expand from 6 locations this year to 50 in 2019. We also plan to expand our Dementia Adventure holidays to provide 40 bespoke and residential holidays a year in addition to expanding the training and bespoke support we provide to health, social care and leisure organisations to over 320 days a year. This would not be possible without the generous support of players which gives us the strength and freedom to remain innovative and reach more people with dementia.
For more information about Dementia Adventure holidays or park walks then please visit our website.
This is part of a series of guest blogs written by charities and good causes supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Today’s guest blog comes from Neil Mapes, Managing Director at Dementia Adventure. This wonderful charity provides training, research and personalised projects for people living with dementia.