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The Rainbow Art Making Club - wellbeing for children

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Inspired by the experience of shielding as the pandemic hit, the Rainbow Art Making Club was set up by Thorpe St Andrew mums Ruthie Collins and Jessica Sharp to help promote wellbeing, celebrate kindness and connect people in the community. 

Sending positive messages to the community 

A major driver in the project is recognition of the wellbeing and socialisation needs of children.

‘We shielded in the first Lockdown and I noticed a gap in for families having to shield and manage the anxiety of living with additional health risks in the pandemic’ says Ruthie, a writer and socially engaged arts practitioner.  

‘Jessica and I thought it would be good to turn the situation into a positive and try to help others. Since then the need for wellbeing for all children has become much more visible, so the club has been a great way to help children connect online, introduce mindfulness techniques and inspire kindness in the community in a fun way. And art is a great way to help.’   

The online club brings creativity and mindfulness to children and families, encouraging them to get out into nature, with a focus on intergenerational connection and sending positive messages to the community.

‘Wellbeing is so important to families and we all need a bit of extra positivity in the pandemic,’ adds Ruthie. 

Positive Posters  

With online help and encouragement from artists such as Genevieve Rudd, children have been celebrating kindness and hope by making ‘positive posters’ to share to a care home or display in the window at home, along with nature-based art creations for friends. Some of the designs have been turned into postcards, and these will be available in outlets in Thorpe St Andrew. 

Positive feedback 

Feedback from parents and children has been overwhelmingly favourable and supportive. Isabelle and Leah’s mum Rosanne says: ‘The girls really enjoyed the activities, it meant that they were reflecting and thinking about what helps others, and wanting to spread kindness, and being outdoors and creative with natural things did them a lot of good!’ 

The club has also supported families who have lost loved ones in the pandemic, helping them experience the concepts of mindfulness and emotional resilience through creativity.  

‘We have both learned skills that we have shared together, enabling us to build on the power of a positive approach to work through our grief’ added mum Kim.

Read more about the Rainbow Art Making Club here and hereFamilies who would still like to take part can email [email protected] to arrange collection or delivery of an activity pack. 

This is part of a series of examples of the huge contribution made by local Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise organisations in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. To understand more about the pivotal role played by VCSE organisations in Norfolk’s Covid response effort please visit our Norfolk VCSE Covid-19 Story page.