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New creative well-being project in West Cumbria Libraries

Raymond enjoying some dressing up (Photo Tom Kay)

A new creative well-being project for adults starts on Monday 16th September, in Workington and Whitehaven’s central libraries. Tea and Tonic will offer individuals a safe, welcoming space to socialise, meet new people and increase social confidence through tea, cake, conversation and a range of simple, accessible arts activities. Sessions run fortnightly and will have different theme each time, so people can attend as many sessions as they wish.

There’ll be music, movement, poetry, a bit of singing, craft and hopefully lots of laughter! Themes will be inspired by library resources and by the people who choose to attend. Lee Thorburn, Allerdale’s Community Services Manager says “We are delighted to be supporting the ‘Tea and Tonic’ fortnightly sessions in our Whitehaven and Workington libraries. The variety of activities planned really do have something for everyone and is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy your local library and learn more about our many services”.

The project aims to reduce social isolation and improve well-being through regular, social creative activity. It’s a collaboration between Cumbria County Council library services, Amy’s Care (who specialise in providing social clubs for older adults) and freelance Creative Facilitator Jenn Bell. Sessions have been funded by Allerdale and Copeland Borough Councils and meeting room spaces have been provided free of charge by Workington and Whitehaven libraries. The fortnightly activities will be led by Jenn Bell, supported by Gilli Goodfellow from Amy’s Care. Jenn has delivered a wide range of arts and heritage community initiatives and currently runs Theatre by the Lake’s creative programme for people living with dementia and their carers.

Each Tea and Tonic session is £3 and is open to anyone who might be feeling lonely or isolated or in need of a pick-me-up. It’s accessible to people living with dementia and their carers and to those who may need a bit of a helping hand accessing the arts. Free to attend for carers. Sessions begin on Monday 16th September, running fortnightly in Whitehaven library from 10am – 11.30am and Workington 1.30pm – 3pm until Monday 9th December. For more information please contact Gilli Goodfellow at [email protected]. Wheelchair access – for Workington contact [email protected].

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