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Shetland Arts are delighted to announce they have recently received funding from the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations Wellbeing Fund. The funding is being used to create digital provision that can be used to connect with those in local care settings or shielding at home. This provision ranges from guided meditation to craft videos, with additional craft materials being sent out to care homes. The material will also be freely available on Shetland Arts’ website to allow anyone who is isolated, or feels it will be of benefit, to get involved.

Shetland Arts manages an Arts in Care programme all year round, supported by the Robertson Trust. However in the current circumstances the organisation needed additional funding to develop new material and new approaches to connect with those that they used to visit for arts sessions. As part of the Wellbeing Fund, Shetland Arts have been able to support 10 more local artists to make new, digital materials. In some cases, they are mentoring artists through the process of developing new ways in moving their practical, often tactile, work into a new digital format, including pairing artists with filmmakers and editors.

Jane Cockayne tells of her experience as a freelance artist preparing videos and materials to be sent to care centres as part of this project.

“Delivering Shetland Arts’ Wellbeing Craft workshops my role was to facilitate the group who were already bursting with their own crafting experience, ideas and suggestions. It was lovely to have the opportunity to continue the Wellbeing Craft sessions via Zoom and currently we are filming craft activities which will be posted online and sent to care settings along with all the resources needed to complete these activities. As a freelance artist I am not based in one workplace but have the privilege of working in many settings where I meet many wonderful people from all walks of life. During lockdown this has meant that I have not been connected to a particular setting or group of colleagues and therefore I am very thankful that Shetland Arts has continued to offer me projects which have kept me in touch with people and introduced me to new artists. During this time of social isolation it has been special to have been collaborating with Keiba Clubb and Helen Robertson on Shetland Arts' Wellbeing film project. Being given the opportunity to collaborate with other artists at this time has been inspirational and much appreciated for my own creativity and wellbeing!”

Online content is planned to be available by mid July. If you are a care centre wishing to get involved or if you have any other questions please get in touch with kathryn.spence@shetlandarts.org

Photo credits: Helen Robertson and Jane Cockayne/

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