Why creativity matters Stories of creativity Food, Talk, Create Good Things Collective CIC (formerly The Exchange) is a Morecambe-based collective and hub. It uses creativity to improve community wellbeing and stimulate learning and enterprise locally, with a growing number of local, national and international partners. One of a number of micro-commissions funded by Creative Lives through our Get Creative strand, 'Food, Talk, Create' saw Good Things work with Eggcup, a surplus food club offering low-cost groceries, for the first time. The project gave the two organisations an opportunity to come together and offer the local community opportunities to connect around their essential activities, while support they might usually access was severely restricted. The partners were keen to address practical needs - making use of unpopular ingredients, making Morecambe's new outlet ‘Food People Community’ a more welcoming community space - alongside the creative connections that would be made. “In the past, we were able to provide a space where you could come in, have a cup of tea and a chat, then leave with a bag of food," says Jay Godden of Eggcup. "That helped to preserve people’s dignity and bring people together." Because of COVID, and the need to make things safer in the shop, that sense of connection and community had been lost. "But we realised that all of that could happen in a space for our members to create art," says Beki Melrose of the Good Things Collective. "And that we could use that as a tool to encourage them to start having conversations about food.” The project involved a series of open online workshops, the production of a community art display and mural, and a printed recipe book full of crowd-sourced favourites. It aimed to bring members from both groups together to create artwork and share discussions around food. Weekly online workshops with accompanying activity packs that could be collected or downloaded, were led by different artists, inviting members to create food-inspired artwork for the window display. “Members of the community are now taking their food away as before," says Beki, "but now they’re coming back to drop off something they’ve made. They’re sharing a recipe or clipping something to the displays. Eventually, people will bring us their cross-stitches and then they'll go up on the walls, too” Outcomes To conclude the project, a mural was produced for the window and the Food, Talk, Create! community cookbook was printed and shared with 350 members of the community. The resources and recipes continue to be available online and the enhanced Eggcup outlet, which members of the community took an active part in creating, will be a lasting legacy for people to enjoy. “All of that has done so much to brighten up the space and connect people with one another," says Beki. "They’re admiring pieces of art, and getting to say ‘my daughter did that’. Other times, they might be learning a new recipe. "The money from Creative Lives is giving us what we needed to bring people together and combat loneliness. For us, it’s not just about what we can do this month while the project is running - it’s about creating a long-term legacy, where we have a community space that people feel properly involved in.” To discover the rest of the Get Creative and Make a Difference projects in England, read our interactive digital publication via ISSUU.