Age Cymru, in partnership with community arts organisation Tanio, has organised a series of well-being sessions for people over 50. The sessions will centre on using creative skills within the natural environment, through a group of activities called forest arts.
Tanio will deliver taster sessions using specially-trained forest arts practitioners on Friday 24 March and Friday 31 March 2023. It will then deliver a free 12-week programme later in the spring. Refreshments will be provided, and support with transport and access is also available.
Forest arts impacts
Tanio’s Chief Executive Lisa Davies says: “We are delighted to be partnering with Age Cymru to bring forest arts to older people in Bridgend. We have seen the huge benefits that being creative in nature brings through our Forest Arts Schools programme. And can’t wait to bring people together in some of our wonderful outdoor spaces.”
Age Cymru’s Arts and Creativity Programme Manager Kelly Barr says: “For many of us, the last few years have helped us to appreciate the natural world around us, through daily walks and meeting socially outside. It is widely recognised that being in nature has a positive impact on our physical and mental well-being. We hope that this pilot project will demonstrate the benefits of bringing together creativity and the outside world!”
The project, funded by the Natural Resources Wales Resilient Communities fund, will take place in woodlands in Bridgend County Borough. For more information about the project and how to book a place, call Kelly Barr on 02920 431 576 or email [email protected].
Age Cymru is the national registered charity for older people in Wales, combining Age Concern Cymru and Help the Aged in Wales. It works with local Age Cymru partners across Wales to improve life for older people. Age Cymru is funded by donations from the public, corporate partners, its trading enterprises, and the Welsh Government.
Tanio is an organisation committed to providing access to a range of creative activities and interventions to different communities, locally and internationally. Tanio focusses on three core values – igniting community, creativity, and change. It believes that in equipping individuals with the courage and self-assurance that creative self-expression can nurture, individuals and communities can be strengthened and enriched.
Established during the miners’s strike in South Wales in the early 1980’s under the name Valley & Vale, the organisation has worked with countless people and communities using community arts as a vehicle for exploration and empowerment. After decades of work, it naturally evolved over the years to align with what communities needed from it. In 2020, Valley & Vale was rebranded as Tanio to align with a refreshed direction and purpose. Tanio means ‘to spark’ or ‘ignite’ in Welsh.
Forest arts benefits
Tanio’s unique forest arts offerings combine creativity and self-expression with the ethos, methods, and training of Forest Schools. Its Level 3 Forest School-certified facilitators guide people of all ages to engage with the outdoors in meaningful ways. The techniques make Forest School an innovative educational tool, including the many ways it coincides with the new Welsh Curriculum. Allowing people to connect with nature and understand their relationship to it helps participants to become better, more confident stewards of the planet, while learning about their own emotions, creativity, and autonomy.
Participants engage in activities working with natural materials which are available across the seasons, while taking a journey into the world of bushcraft and survival skills. Learning outdoors is proven to enhance well-being by increasing connectivity with nature, and stimulating discussions about wildlife and habitats, leading to the sharing of knowledge. In turn, this increases awareness of sustainability, climate change, and protecting the natural environment.
This article was based on a press release from Age Cymru, and website content by Age Cymru and Tanio.
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