page 7 – arts project picks up funding boost

arts project picks up funding boost

An innovative arts project that aims to tackle isolation and boost mental health has been awarded funding by one of the north east’s biggest housing associations.

The Horden-based ‘Ceramic Care and Share’ initiative is designed to give people living in the east Durham village an introduction to ceramic art making whilst also helping to develop confidence and social skills. County Durham-based believe housing provided £5,000 to make the nine-month project possible.

Run by volunteers from The Ark, the project will bring new skills to local people. Participants are expected to take part in a wide range of pottery related activities.  This includes mosaic signs and pottery planters, which are destined to be used to help brighten up gardens throughout the village.

The volunteers will also be drawing on skills and experience from the successful East Durham Creates scheme. Guest tutors will further enhance the programme by demonstrating how a love of the arts can lead to job opportunities and even self-employment.

Kimberley Batey, Community Investment Officer at believe housing, said: “Using art in this way to help bring Horden together is a great idea. The sessions are providing a genuine way to break down barriers for some of the most vulnerable people in the community in a positive and creative environment.

“Providing new opportunities for anyone with mental health concerns, or who is dealing with isolation, will make a huge difference to so many people in the community. It’s exactly the kind of project that our community investment programme was set up to help.

Ceramic Care and Share sessions run every Thursday at either The Ark on Sunderland Road or Horden Hub House in nearby Seventh Street. Alongside the art sessions regular coffee mornings are held as a way to engage more local people in the creative activities offered.

The believe housing community funding programme has helped projects stretching from the Durham coast to the rural Weardale. Initiatives supported have ranged from health projects for older people in Blackhall Colliery to first aid training for primary school children in West Auckland.