During Spring, Summer and Autumn 2021, Artist James Aldridge worked with participants from 10 local areas (see below) across Wiltshire, from single people in their garden or local park, to small groups of residents outside almshouses and day centre groups in community spaces.
The aim of the project was to support isolated individuals at home, struggling with their wellbeing or mental health and who had an interest in nature and/or art. Participants were referred to Celebrating Age Wiltshire by local community connectors, a social prescriber or family member and supported by James to record what they noticed about their local natural environment, using drawing, printing, rubbing and collage.
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‘I’ve really enjoyed your company, as well as what we’ve been doing.’J, Corsham
‘Please tell the people in charge that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself’B, Whitley
Royal Wootton Bassett
‘Rubbing this dandelion leaf makes me remember my mum making dandelion wine. This one leaf has brought back so many memories… I haven’t had this much fun for ages.’B, Royal Wootton Basset
“That’s inspired me to get some leaves and materials and to experiment… you’ve got my creative juices flowing!’P, Purton
‘You’ve introduced me to a media which I love, and it’s so easy. I’m definitely going to continue with it.’Participant
‘This has been a real inspiration… it’s not just what we are doing, it’s the memories that are being brought up by my doing it’J, Trowbridge
Amesbury and Salisbury
‘I’ve surprised myself, I’m thrilled to bits!’M, Salisbury
‘We’ve got the ones we did last week on our mantlepiece.’Couple, Porton
‘When I get a moment I’ll do some more of this, it’s such fun.’J, Stockton
‘I’m going to take my granddaughter out doing this.’Participant
‘You’ve made an old woman very happy’D, Melksham
‘I really enjoyed that, I didn’t think I would to be honest…’E, Hanging Langford
‘It was so nice to meet with other people after we had been shut in for so long.’Participant, Quidhampton
The images and quotes shared here are a taste of the work that took place during 2021, with further sessions planned for 2022 due to the success of the project, and the positive feedback received during evaluation.
Celebrating Age Wiltshire is currently working across the following local areas: Corsham, Royal Wootton Bassett, Calne, Trowbridge, Amesbury and Salisbury, Warminster, Melksham and South West Wiltshire.
To refer someone to take part in the project, please complete the Noticing Nature Referral Form. To download the Noticing Nature Resource Pack, or view a short film made by James, which details activities that you can try at home, please visit here.