Courses

 

Creative Communities West Berkshire currently offer two programmes; The Relate Programme and the Reconnect programme.

 

The Relate Programme

 

The Relate Programme is specifically created for older adults living in rural communities, and their friends, family and/ or carers. This brand new ten-week programme covers a range of different creative disciplines, all of which aim to improve and develop fine motor skills and memory retention, as well as bringing older, potentially vulnerable adults and their friends and family together through a shared interest, thereby improving mental and physical wellbeing.
 
This programme is all about getting out and getting together again, meeting new people and learning some new creative skills, all in a fun and informal environment.

Many of the skills covered on the programme can also be continued at home with limited resources. This programme aims to connect older adults and their loved ones with others in their local community, therefore creating a support network for the whole family. 

 

This programme is funded by West Berkshire Council and is therefore FREE of charge. We do ask for a small contribution of £10, per ten week course towards the cost of materials, equipment and resources.

The Relate Programme will be held in the following three venues across the academic year:

 

The Wilkins Centre, Compton, RG20 6NP

Wednesday 22nd September, 10am to 12pm

 

Hungerford Youth and Community Centre, RG17 0AL

Wednesday 19th January, 10am to 12pm

 

Bradfield Village Hall, RG7 6EY

Wednesday 27th April, 10am to 12pm 

Over the ten week programme, learners will cover a range of different art and craft disciplines, including:

 

Painting

An introduction to painting with Watercolours, acrylics and gouache

Wool, paper, and needle crafts

Such as needle felting, Macrame, crochet and card making.

Pottery

In association with Love Lane Studios, learners will discover how to hand build and will have their work fired in Newbury and returned to class for finishing.

 

 

 

Pastels, Pens and Pencils

Discover the endless possibilities of chalk and oil pastels, drawing/ sketching pens and pencils, watercolor and colouring pencils.

 

 

 

 

The Reconnect Programme

The Reconnect Programme runs exclusively in West Berkshire residential care homes and day centres and is funded by West Berkshire Council. Courses are run over a 40 week period, with time for individual study between teaching sessions. The aim of all of our courses are to improve mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, through self expression, working towards a shared goal and the development of fine motor skills and memory function.

 

 

Courses include:

Animal Art Therapy

Animal Art Therapy is a brand new course which is unique to Creative Communities and aims to bring together animal interaction with creativity. Creative Communities will work in conjunction with pet therapy providers, local animal shelters and charities as well as private individuals who will volunteer to come in with their pets

Each session will commence with a 30 minute animal visit, along with a short talk from the organisation/owner about the animal. This will include a Q&A and some group discussion.  When safe and appropriate there will be opportunities for learners to handle, hold and stroke the animals.

The art activity will change each week with a variation of skills and techniques being introduced which will include pencil sketching, watercolour painting, acrylic painting, pastel drawing, paper collage, 3D image making, papercraft, mixed media and working with clay.

 

Words and Pictures

This course is unique in its design with the objective being to encourage learners to tell their life stories through images and words.  Each learner will be given an A3 sketchbook and each session we will cover a different element of their lives and key events in their past.

The sessions will be learner led, with some sessions based around discussion and storytelling, with other sessions based on creativity. This course uses language and artistic techniques to explore reminiscence, self-expression, and reflection. By the end of the course the learner will have produced their life story to treasure and share with friends and family.

 

Reminiscence through Creativity

This course uses images, scents, music and discussion to encourage learners to relate to something from their past.  There will then be an art activity for learners to make a creative record of their recollections and reminiscence.

Each session will be themed and we will involve the learners in choosing the themes at the start of the course, these might include things such as landscapes, seascapes, sport, food, familiar architecture, animals, trees, flowers, cars, boats, and seasonal images. Learners will be able to select themes that interest them and in this way we hope this course can appeal to everyone.

Pottery

This is a very hands-on course covering a range of different ceramic techniques. This course is excellent for developing fine motor skills.

Each week learners will be given a chunk of clay to make an object, ranging from hanging ornaments, tiles, mugs, plant pots, bowls and jewellery holders.  Learners will create the object out of clay, which will then be fired and returned to the learner for painting with glazes.

Techniques covered over the duration of the course will be:

  • Pinching
  • Slabbing
  • Coiling
  • Scratching, impressing and relief

Note:  This work will be taken away for a final firing at the end and returned to learners once firing in complete

 

 

 

Music and Movement 

This is a chair based gentle movement/exercise session where learners will be encouraged to feel the mood/tone of the music and move their bodies (gently) according to the tempo.

Sessions will start off slow and gentle with gestural performative movement being encouraged.  As the tempo increases (slightly) participants will be encouraged to free style in their chairs and if the music is familiar and if they would like to, a sing along to the music will be encouraged.  This is essentially a creative expressive movement to music session but could also be seen as a chair-based exercise session.

 

Art

A more traditional Art course with a variety of different techniques covered. This course will also include an element of Art history.

Over the duration of the course learners will discuss the work of different famous artists from the modernist movement and then explore the techniques that would have been used by that artist. Learners will also extend their exploration to similar modern techniques that were not known in that time period.

Sessions will include:

  • The Colour Wheel
  • Pencil Sketching
  • Pastel Drawing
  • Watercolour painting
  • Acrylic painting
  • Collage

Subjects explored will be traditional subject matter such as:

  • Portraits
  • Landscapes
  • Still Life
  • Wild Life
  • Abstract 

Craft

This course will cover a range of different crafts, skills, and techniques. At the start of the course the tutor will discuss preferences with the group and devise the course accordingly. Each week a different skill/ technique will be covered. Some projects will be individual tasks and others will involve working together as a group. This course is excellent for developing fine motor skills.

Craft sessions will include, but are not limited to:

  • Crochet
  • Wreath making
  • Card making
  • Paper crafts/ paper flowers
  • Needle felting
  • Wire work
  • Beading
  • Jewellery Making
  • Macrame
  • Flower pressing/ botanical printing
  • Wool craft/ Pom Pom making

 

Flower Arranging

A one-off, 3 hour workshop delivered by a specialist Flower Arranging lecturer.

This will be a seasonal workshop and, as such, will include seasonal flowers and foliage. Learners will work together as a group to create one stunning arrangement which can be placed in the home or day centre for everyone to enjoy. Depending on the time of year, the tutor may also work with the group on creating small hand tied arrangements or little individual wreaths or posies.

 

 

 

Coming soon……                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Funded by Greenham Trust, Creative Communities West Berkshire will be soon be holding creative courses in town centres across West Berkshire for adults suffering from mild to moderate mental health difficulties, specifically those linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. Sessions will be tailored around wellbeing and learning to cope with feelings of anxiety, stress and depression. 

We are hoping to start courses in January, so watch this space for more information.