TEXTtile Project: Connecting Classes 2

IMG_8807We have a very forward thinking and open minded group of makers who have generously offered to take part in some research with The University of Newcastle by taking part in three Connecting Classes workshops. Our second #CClasses workshop will take place on Monday. The idea is simple, as part of our making workshops we schedule in 20minutes to watch some short film footage about community projects on our own or in pairs,  (other groups are looking at different topic of interest), and  we tweet our responses and thoughts about what we have seen / listened to. Responses can be in the form of audio recordings, scribed responses by a peer or volunteer or tweeting directly. For all of our elderly makers sending tweets is a new experience and iPads unfamiliar tools of communication.

By asking our makers to take part in this research we hope to be able to open up the conversation of how arts and wellbeing community projects can interact and share and include feedback from the people who matter the most – the makers themselves. Feedback from the makers, the staff and volunteers on the project, other facilitators of learning and participants form other art and wellbeing projects around the world, feed into and inform our future projects. For many, old age can be an isolating experience, especially when faced with the challenges of sensory impairment coupled with issues of mobility in later life. We hope that by including their experiences we can, ideally,  glean information which, will allow for more inclusive practice pathways whilst empowering our makers by teaching them new methods of communication within a positive, intergenerational group.

This week we will be watching a short 6minute film entitled “Meet Me At The Albany”, in which, two elderly people give their first hand experiences of the impact creative activities in a supportive community have had on their wellbeing. We will be tweeting form 13:15 on Monday 23rd May.  We would love to hear your thoughts please join in. Here’s the link…


Thank you for sharing.

Author: Alex McEwan

Alex is an artist who specialises in inclusive and accessible community arts projects, such as Sense's TEXTtile and Quilt Tales.

10 thoughts on “TEXTtile Project: Connecting Classes 2”

  1. “I’m independent, if i want to do something I do it, but it is made so much easier by being part of a community centre.” – Margaret, TEXTtile Maker

  2. “It’s up to the person to try and make the effort. Don’t give up! The clubs keep me company. I don’t feel so lonely now, I can share experiences with friends here.”
    -TEXTtile maker

  3. “Music is so important – it keeps your spirits up. Brings all types of people together.” – Margaret, TEXTtile maker.

  4. “I like discussion groups, where you can put the world to right . You need a variety of activities. Makes your Brainbox work! “- George, TEXTtile maker

  5. “Ok we are all living longer but you want to keep hold of your faculties. My sister cooked her own meals until she was 98yrs old. I think that helped, that and talking to people. Keep talking, having conversations.” George, TEXTtile Maker.

  6. “Someone recommended coming here (St.Luke’s Community Centre). It keeps my brain turning over. I do’t feel so lonely now. You can’t sit and watch 24 hrs a day!” George – TEXTtile maker

  7. “A friend like me ( blind) – wouldn’t go out and she had to press her nose up to the window to see anything. You have to be very strong. I used to crochet a lot. I can’t see but I’m not going to give up!” J., TEXTilte Maker

  8. “People are what make a good community centre. Have a go. Take part. Playing games keeps the brain working. ” Margaret, TEXTtile Maker.

  9. This video is so very good. I’m sorry to have missed the live session, but having watched it I found it so very moving and important. It made me reflect on me, my children, my students, my parents, my neighbours – all the different stages of life and really there are fewer and fewer boundaries. People don’t pop out of childhood to enter education and pop out of some door on graduation to become adults, and then one day cross the street and become old. They stay people and I’m not sure what I will do about it (yet) but I felt this was a call to action for me. It has something to do with a fundamental belief and value for people and a far less biased – even limitless perception. I never cease to be surprised by people’s capabilities and sometimes all it takes is someone to give them the chance. That’s a big ramble, but I wanted to share something and say thank you for putting together your session and sharing.

    1. Laura, this is not a ramble, it is a very honest and human response which, will have resonance with many,arguably all!We are constantly told that we are all living longer, but there would seem to be a deficit of attention as to the importance of the quality of life in these longer years.It certainly is a buffet of food for thought and you are right, it does and should make us reflect on facilitation of learners no matter at what life stage because are all heading in the same direction and our attitude to learning now will influence our choices and confidence for life. I wholeheartedly agree that the boundaries are blurred and I can only see that they will continue to blur, morph and bend in the future. Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.