Our nursery children create artwork for isolating locals

Older woman isolating holding nursery artwork and family being serenaded by singer Peter Edge

This October, our nursery worked with MYsocial and Family Volunteering Club to build connections between local pre-school children and isolated members of the community.

Age UK Lambeth’s MYsocial programme identified a number of ‘offliners’ (individuals without regular access to computers) who became the participants of this project. Children from our nursery explored the subject of community and friendship, inspired by the book The World Made a Rainbow by Michelle Robinson. They were then tasked with creating original artworks to be gifted to the participants.

On Saturday 31 October and Sunday 1 November Family Volunteering Club made individual, socially-distanced visits to the homes of participants to deliver the artworks by our nursery children. To make the visits even more special, each participant was treated to a performance from a professional artist.

Lola Oh, a poet and writer read some of her beautiful work including Raspberries and DAMI-LOLA . Baritone Peter Edge brought joy to residents as he sang songs including Oh What a Beautiful Morning. Guitarist and singer Elliott Morris serenaded residents with original music including Wild Mountain Thyme alongside more well known songs including Three Little Birds.

Isolating locals were overjoyed, there were many smiles and even a few happy tears.

One of the participants said: “I am absolutely over the moon and crying happy tears, I loved the singing and the beautiful picture from the children, my neighbours came out and enjoyed it too. I will never forget it, thank you.”

The mother of one of the participants said: “Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful…. This is the most beautiful thing for someone like my mum who can’t go out… You’ve brightened my mum’s day – and mine!”

Maddy Mills, Founder of Family Volunteering Club said: “We were absolutely delighted to create this uplifting programme which encouraged local children to think about the importance of their community, and bring joy to local residents who are struggling to connect to their communities in the same way as a result of the pandemic.”

Jane Christofi, Head of Early Years Education at our nursery said: “The children in the nursery had a fantastic, fun time creating works of art to share with the participants. This is the first in our intergenerational projects and we were really proud to be part of such a fantastic project bringing members of our community closer together. The children will be so excited to see the photos from the day. The look on the participants faces will be a joy to share with the children and families.”

Dee Waltham, Manager, MYsocial said: “Mysocial were delighted when we were approached by the Family Volunteering Club for our members who are offline to enjoy such a wonderful experience, especially as our usual calendar of live events has been drastically reduced during the pandemic. Thank you for providing such a treat for our members, and we look forward to working with the Family Volunteering Club in the future.”

The project was kindly funded by Comic Relief’s Community Fund.

Read more about the project in Southwark News.