Whippet Up CIC
Saltburn by the Sea
Using creativity to work with people who are isolated
Whippet Up was formed in 2018 by a group of four friends who all have creative skills and a background of working in community arts. We have committed one day a week each to work as volunteers to run creative drop in sessions in the Woodlands Center in Saltburn. This is a great venue that provides indoor and outdoor workshop space. Having a workshop place in peaceful surroundings that has indoor and outdoor working space is an ideal setting for working with people. The centre is a short walk from Saltburn Centre and can be reached by car for people with mobility issues.
For the past two months we have been promoting these open workshops and meeting people to gather ideas about the type of work people want to get involved in and finding ways to meet people who are lonely/isolated. We have made links with the local provider of community based mental health services and occupational therapists. We have started to support people referred to us who are isolated/lonely as a result of poor mental health by helping them get involved in a range of arts activities.
So far this has generated some great ideas for future activities and community actions these include:
• Craft sessions to build bird feeders
• Building an outdoor pizza oven and then using it for a community meal
• Outdoor drawing and photography in the woods
We are continuing these open meetings that have helped us identify over 120 people so far who are interested in taking part or who can refer people to us; we are now communicating with this group via facebook (www.facebook.com/choosedays). It has also helped us attract people who want to volunteer with us who we are communicating with using email.
We have promoted the idea with a Choosedays flyer printed in Salturn's 'Talk of the Town' community newspaper
Whippet Up also offers workshops to local groups; we have just completed our first set of workshops for Boosbeck Village Hall where we worked with family groups to make festival costumes to help the residents of Boosbeck celebrate the ‘Klondike’ cycle race as it passed 5 times through their village.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
We want to buy materials to support our work with local people who are isolated/lonely as a result of poor mental health by helping them get involved in a range of creative activities. We want to spend some money on arts materials, especially paint/paper so we have a stock of materials we can work with. We want to spend some money on promotion by printing leaflets we can send to other local groups. We also want to be able to cover the travel costs of volunteers.
We want, and aim to support a lot of people, during our ‘Choosedays’ open sessions. From talking to one organisation that supports people with poor mental health through the 'talking therapies' services in Redcar and Cleveland we now know that they supported 1645 people over the past year in East Cleveland and 362 of these people came from the Saltburn area. With the recent closure of the local SSI steelworks and large-scale redundancies at the local Potash mine it is likely that levels of poor mental health will increase. We have attracted over 120 people so far who are interested in taking part or who can refer people to us; we are now communicating with this group via facebook (www.facebook.com/choosedays). It has also helped us attract other people who want to volunteer with us who we are communicating with using email.
The key skill and interest that links the volunteers in Whippet Up is their commitment to participation in creative activities, all have a shared belief that art and creativity should be fun, accessible and create finished pieces that people remember, cherish and feel proud to have helped create.
"Working with Whippet Up was spectacular! They helped create a carnival atmosphere in Boosbeck
Paddy O'Rouke Boosbeck Village Hall committee"