The Sand Bothy art classes for older adultsJoni Corbett, co-ordinator at The Sand Bothy run by Belhelvie Community Trust in Aberdeenshire, tells us how a 'Keep on Creating' microgrant from Creative Lives helped them run art classes for adults who would benefit from having somewhere to socialise and be creative.

"Our Art Classes for older Adults started in early 2022 at The Sand Bothy, after a member of the community expressed to our community Trust that she had experienced loneliness during and following the Covid Pandemic.

She is someone who enjoyed expressing herself through art and wondered if there would be any like-minded people nearby who would benefit from the same thing.

We were very lucky early on, to have been awarded some funding to kick-start the group, meaning that we could invite a professional art teacher along and pay for any initial art supplies that were needed.

Last year we had a regular group of 6-8 participants, a few more occasionally when health permitted. We had to take a short winter break recently as some of the members felt uneasy travelling in the winter weather. But we are happy to say we are now back to it and have a solid group of 12 participants who are enjoying getting together again and learning for the first time, or re-learning some art techniques that they haven’t practiced since school days!

The Keep On Creating Micro-grant has allowed us to invite artist, Mandy Clubb back this year for a 6-week block to teach the class, and it will cover any of the art supplies that participants need. Many are doing this for the first time and have no experience or materials. The class meets every Thursday from 1-3pm.

The class has been a success and our hopes are that we will be able to continue through the rest of 2023 and beyond."