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29 May 2020


From online challenges and activity packs to zoom meetings and art materials, we have been busy finding new ways to support our communities while the Kettle’s Yard building is closed.

Our priority during this time has been to actively listen to our neighbouring communities that we have worked with for years, in particular our local community in North Cambridge and our young people’s group to find out what they want and need.

After the first couple of weeks of lockdown, the novelty of being at home was wearing thin for many families and we spoke to local charities, schools, children and parents about how we could best help. At the end of last week, we delivered our fourth in a series of activity packs to families in Cambridge – these packs are little kits filled with art materials and ideas inspired by Kettle’s Yard, designed for those families who need extra support at the moment. We’ve delivered over 800 packs now, through Cambridge City Council and via our partners such as the Red Hen Project, Centre 33 and mutual aid groups. The safe creation and delivery of these packs has been made possible through the help of some of our fantastic volunteers.

Creations made with the activity packs

As well as providing creative activities for families, we have also been connecting with older people in North Cambridge, many of whom are living on their own, through weekly conference telephone calls – the group called ‘The Kettlers‘ have been exploring a different theme each week with artist Lucy Steggals and have been making some amazing artworks in response. You can see some of their creations on Steggals’ Instagram page here.

Collage about technology and time, made by The Kettlers

Circuit, our young people’s group (18-25 year olds) have been as active as ever, and are now meeting once a week on zoom. The group quickly adapted to digital sessions and worked together to create a virtual social, connecting young people from across the world for conversation and art activities inspired by Linder.

‘I’ve been thinking about the way that we come together around a digital table, and every time I gain some wisdom, and everyone always has some really good ideas. And we build a shared perspective – it feels like we are all very present’ – Circuit Member

‘I think I had a lot of new realisations from the social, that there are lots of new ways of interacting and organising things, and online tools that I wasn’t familiar with, there were lots of new experiences for me.’ – Circuit Member

Linder inspired Circuit session over zoom

All of those that we are currently working with have emphasised the importance not only of the creative inspiration but also of the contact with our learning and community team. Through all our work, we aim to enable our communities to be safely and physically distanced but still socially and creatively connected.

“My kids are hard at work making their woven coasters…they’re really engaged in it which is great! The 2 little ones have been colouring (as have I) and its really helped pass the time of day and getting their brains engaged so thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your supplies and ideas!” – Feedback through Facebook from Kym, parent from the Red Hen Project.

“The weekly sessions with Lucy have really helped me stay connected and helped break up my week with fun, laughter and creative ideas. Thank you all so much.” – Member of the Kettlers group