The latest Creative Carers workshops have inspired a group of local carers to leave their commitments behind for a morning, to come together and instead learn new skills, make handmade gifts and enrich their lives by creating meaningful relationships.
Carers are quite simply heroes who dedicate their time and energy to look after a loved one or person who may be too ill to look after themselves. Through Birmingham Museums Wellbeing programme, we are committed to giving back to carers. We aim to actively provide them with a creative outlet and space through which they can meet new people and express their artistic flare through a low level, social activity.
Recently we ran a jewellery making workshop at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. As usual we start the gathering with tea and cake which opens up a space for people to catch up, meet new faces and socialise in an informal way with like-minded people. The focus of the session was to use wire and beads, to create earrings or necklaces.
As with all of the sessions, there is a sense of fluid skill sharing, a task is set but the environment usually promotes an air of ‘having a go’, which often sees one or more members of our group stepping forward to teach a related skill or share something they have discovered during the activity.
One member of the group was very skilled in creating specific wire loops and turning them into a beautiful bracelet. He shared his skills with other members who were inspired by his creations.
All the women made earrings following a simple demonstration and a few of them agreed to model what they had made.
This year’s carer’s programme offers a range of activity, running once a month and includes craft, baking, creative writing and fine art. Because our carers are important to us, we will continue to consult with them to offer the activities they enjoy and provide opportunities for them to self-lead elements of their session.
To find out more information about our current carers programme, please email Hannah.Graham@BirminghamMuseums.org.uk