Craft Café has been operational for the last 11 years and reaches out to over 100 members aged 55+ in Govan, Glasgow. Based at Elderpark Community Centre, the project has become an essential part of the Govan/Elderpark community. The project is proven to reduce feelings of isolation and vulnerability; improve mental and physical wellbeing, and reduce the pressures on primary and secondary care/health providers. Operational 3 days a week, members define the creative activities which take place, which is led by a professional, highly experienced community artist and assistant. Feedback has highlighted that this shared activity has created new friendships, brought new purpose to lives and has been called a ‘lifesaver’ by a large percentage of our members.
The project was established in 2009 as statistics and research showed clear levels of disadvantage and deprivation within local residents of the target geography – Similarly, research has shown clear links between isolation and loneliness (particularly, in older age), and negative or “poor” health outcomes. Craft Café plays a vital role in breaking down loneliness and isolation in an age group that is particularly at risk. As well as offering materials, tuition from a professional artist tutor and an opportunity to celebrate older people’s artistic achievements.
Impact Arts Craft Café project, offers a safe, social and creative environment for those aged 55+ to learn new skills, renew social networks, and connect with their communities. Providing a creative space for members to come together to help tackle the isolation and loneliness they may be facing. We aim to maintain and improve member’s mental and physical wellbeing, while being committed to supporting the connections that exist within the local community. Engaging the community in activities, sharing messages and helping to bridge the gap between generations with collaborative projects involving the members and young people.
Fiona Doring, Director - Impact Arts
Since 2018 the project has been funded by the National Lottery Community Fund allowing classes to run up until spring 2022. In 20/21 we benefit from funding from Alliance Scotland and Glasgow City Council and we have ongoing support from Elderpark Housing Association and were previously supported by the Scottish Government’s People & Communities Fund. Alongside these funders is a range of smaller trusts and foundations who contribute to the project.
Header Image: Participants painting a chair yellow, Photo by Impact Arts