Creative Lives’ producer Rachel New visited some inspiring projects across Stoke-on-Trent to learn more about creative activities making a difference in local communities. Listen to some heartwarming and uplifting stories about three groups building creative communities through gardening, textiles, banner making, theatre, music, and more.

The Social Agency

The Social Agency is a group for adults with autism and learning disabilities who meet at B arts in Stoke on Trent. Having received a grant from the Creative Lives' Know Your Neighborhood fund, they are now running an ambitious visual arts project called Arts Factory, Rachel New went down to meet them.

Listen here to learn more about the group and the creative activity:

"It’s the highlight of my week, it’s a big part of my life." (Group participant)

New Vic Theatre Dementia and Creativity Group

The New Vic Theatre in Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire values the power of connecting people. Every Tuesday they have an Open House Cafe, where anyone is welcome for a free cuppa and a chat. They also have a Dementia and Creativity group, for those living with dementia and their loved ones, who meet on Thursdays and put on plays and develop creative projects together.

Rachel went to meet some of the members and find out how important these groups are to them:

"There is lots of laughter!" (Group participant)

"I see people immerse themselves and forget about the outside world, we try not to talk about dementia, but focus on the activities." (Group leader)

Fegg Hayes Cultural Corner 

Fegg Hayes is an area in Stoke on Trent that is undergoing a cultural transformation, thanks to some dedicated volunteers and a grant from the Creative Lives' Know Your Neighbourhood fund. Rachel New went along to a seed giveaway at their hub to hear their exciting plans.

Listen here to learn more:

"We need projects like this, as we are looked down on as an area [...] but there is such a sense of community spirit here when we do creative projects like this, and we can say look, look what we’ve done."