South Leeds arts organization celebrates after receiving a national lottery cash boost of Â£ 9,400.
Hello Leeds: The artists seek to breathe new life into the never-before-seen history of the bustling city …
The Skippko Arts team will use the funding to run a community photography program for unpaid caregivers – a group that has gone through an incredibly difficult time during the pandemic.
The hope is to come up with positive activities to help improve the well-being of caregivers while celebrating their accomplishments and telling their stories. This vital funding has been awarded by the National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.
Arthur Stafford, Director of Skippko, said: âAs a caregiver you are rarely alone, but you can be very lonely emotionally. There are around 74,000 unpaid caregivers in Leeds. Their health and well-being are crucial in a city where the proportion of people over 65 – the age at which more people are taken care of – is expected to rise to 18% by 2030. “
Participants involved in the program can enjoy some well-deserved “time for me” and have the chance to let go of their family responsibilities.
“During the sessions, unless people want to talk about their role as caregivers, we tend to talk about other things because we want to focus only on the person as an individual.” said Cath Brooke, art project manager for Skippko “They can create something that is meaningful to them. They can focus their photography on what interests them, so we have members who love nature and wildlife and others who like to tell their story by photographing objects around the house. “
The project prides itself on being as flexible as possible for its participants, recognizing that as a caregiver, plans may be forced to change at any time.
During the 2020 coronavirus shutdowns, Skippko ran three online ‘home’ photography projects for caregivers, one of which was called Shutter Stories. These gave unpaid caregivers a chance to be creative and connect with other caregivers, receive support and feel less isolated.
One participant said: âIt was great to have something creative to do during the lockdown that could ease the tensions and concerns of going through a pandemic. It was very helpful to feel part of the community created by being part of the Shutter Stories group during this very isolated time. “
Commenting on their new National Lottery funding, Cath said: âWe just couldn’t run this project without this funding, so a huge ‘thank you’ to the National Lottery players. The funding will help pay two professional artists to facilitate the project.
âIt will also cover the printing costs as we like to have all the images professionally printed and we send them to the participants, which is a pleasure for them to see their work like this. At the end of the project we are also going to have an exhibition and people are so proud to see their work on display. There will also be a beautifully printed book of their work.
Joe Dobson, Fundraiser for Yorkshire and Humber at the National Lottery Community Fund, said: âThanks to the players in the National Lottery, this vital funding will have a huge impact on the lives of people in Leeds.
âThe past year has been incredibly difficult for the communities and we applaud the volunteers and groups who have been a lifeline for so many people. As we all look to the future, we are excited to see how local groups will use this funding to further help their communities thrive and prosper.
Leeds is not the only one to benefit from funding from the National Lottery. Today it was announced that over Â£ 65million has been distributed to over 1,920 community organizations across England in the past three months.
National Lottery players raise over Â£ 30million each week for good causes across the UK.
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