Feb 2023 update: Please note – the Thursday morning Breathing Space sessions have finished for now. We were so glad to see so many participants taking part and enjoying the activities. We are delighted to be launching a wellbeing zine (printed & digitial) on the project which those interested can continue to use – the launch takes place on 15 March 2023, 6.30-8.30pm, at Eltham Library. See here for more information about that event.
The wellbeing zine is a reflection of our sessions we did for the carers and includes few simple well being activities that anyone can do in the comfort of their home with minimal resources. A printed version of the zine will be available for free on the event day and the digital version will soon be available to download from our website.
Breathing Space is a project for carers of any age in Eltham funded through the Innovation Grant by Royal Borough of Greenwich. Led by Eltham Arts, the sessions will take place at Eltham Library starting in September 2022.
During and post pandemic, social isolation has been greater than normal. The aim of the project is to empower local carers to express themselves, reflect on their connection with others, feel respected and valued and develop strategies for self-care to positively influence their wellbeing.
Through creative weekly sessions we will foster a playful and safe space for listening and honest conversation to take place to build respect and trust. We will explore our emotions and ways of sharing our feelings and build a breathing space to destress. In turn, we will recognise personal qualities, strengths and interests, all contributing to a sense of wellbeing and self-worth.
Improving and developing our physical health and wellbeing has lifelong benefits. How we process and respond to our experiences affects our mental health and emotional wellbeing. We will learn what wellbeing is and why it is important to look after ourselves. Through different artforms we will experiment, notice and reflect to appreciate the richness of the extraordinary within the ordinary.
At Eltham Arts we design projects to ensure that anyone in the community can access irrespective of their age or background. Our artists have an extensive skill set and experience working in a range of community settings with a variety of groups in both co-creation and collaboration.
Participants of Breathing Space will contribute to a printed outcome that not only promotes the group to other carers but documents and celebrates the project with interactive activities for other carers to improve mental health far and wide in the borough.
Our wellbeing sessions
Shermaine Slocombe led some lovely session about breathing, visualizations, collaborative drawing and mark making. Fiona Gulec led a wonderful session on sounds healing and musical vibrations. We also paid a visit to Prince Philip Maritime Museum collection centre to inspire ourselves from the beautiful items from the collection. We had poet Arji Manuelpillai who delivered a wonderful poetry session and artist Diana Jones who showed us the use of shadow puppetry to boost our wellbeing. She demonstrated how we can create shadow puppets using the materials and resources around us.
The participants have enjoyed the sessions and found them relaxing and healing. Here are a few photos from our sessions.
Meet our creative team on this project
Project Partner – Eltham Library and Artist Shermaine Slocombe
Pragya Kumar – Project Manager
She will also co-facilitate workshops with our other practitioners. She is a visual artist with more than 10 years’ experience in participatory and community arts. She has been associated with Eltham Arts for the past eight years and have successfully delivered projects to connect the community, increase social engagement and provide opportunities for self-expression. Read more …
Shermaine Slocombe – Lead Practitioner
She is a multi-disciplinary participatory artist and educator, experienced in engaging young people in ambitious creative learning projects. Read more …
Diana Jones – Shadow puppet artist and lantern maker
Diana is our Lead Artist on this project. After completing a degree in Fine Art in Sunderland, Di Jones moved to London and embarked on a freelance career in community and celebratory arts which took her the length and breadth of Britain. Read More …
Fiona Gulec – Reiki Healer
Fiona is a Reiki Master Healer and Reiki teacher. She has successfully been helping people to heal physically and mentally for over many years. Read more ….
Arji Manuelpillai – Poet
For over 15 years he has worked with community arts projects nationally and internationally. In everywhere from prisons and Immigration Removal centres to schools and youth clubs I have continued to push creativity and self expression. Read more ….
Project funded through Innovation Grants 2022 from Royal Borough of Greenwich.