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Creative Communities: Art project invites residents to turn over a new leaf

A travelling art project is visiting community events across Wirral during the next fortnight.

A partnership between local charity Involve Northwest and Wirral’s Public Health Team, will see ‘The Wellbeing Tree’, a large-scale tapestry, exhibited across the borough.

Residents are invited to take part in an immersive community arts piece starting Tuesday 13th August.

Accompanying the tree will be a ‘travelling sofa’ where people can rest, relax and discuss how their lives have been influenced by culture and creativity.

Dubbed ‘The Sofa Sessions’, the project links to the borough’s upcoming Public Health Annual Report for 2019, Creative Communities which looks at the impact of culture on overall health and wellbeing. The report will be published in September.

Cllr Christine Jones, cabinet member for adult care and health said: “The 2019 report looks at the experiences of local people interacting with culture, creativity and the arts, in whatever form they take – be that a travelling sofa or a wellbeing tree!

“Just as the report identifies the fantastic work already being done locally to support health and wellbeing, these events will explore innovative ways and opportunities to improve health through culture and art.

“I’m grateful to the local people and tireless community workers who have taken part to make this happen.”

Popping up at 11 community events over the next two weeks, The Wellbeing Tree and Sofa Sessions will act as a blank canvas for residents to express some creative flair by adding their own ‘leaves’ to the tree, with inspirational messages about health, wellbeing and creativity.

The events take place at a time when culture is very much a focal point for many fantastic events and projects going on in Wirral.

Cllr Christine Spriggs, cabinet member for culture and tourism said: “As we celebrate our year as the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture, these events provide a great opportunity for everyone to engage with culture and experience something new.

“The Wellbeing Tree and Sofa Sessions invite young people, adults and families to make their mark on a piece of community art, while enjoying the surroundings of Wirral’s parks, open spaces and community centres at a variety of events.”

Each ‘Sofa Session’ will be attended by Community Connectors from Involve Northwest who will be on hand to advise any residents who are looking for support.

Justine Molyneux, Chief Executive Officer at Involve Northwest said: “Our Community Connectors play a key role in communities across Wirral, empowering local people to make positive lifestyle choices, or even changes.

“So, working in partnership for this project made complete sense.

“The Connectors will offer attendees clear, concise information about local services available to them in Wirral.

“And for anybody who is unable to attend these events, our Connectors are happy to arrange a time to visit you in your home or at a drop-in event in the future.”

Members of the public are invited to join The Wellbeing Tree and Sofa Sessions at the following community events:

  • Ilchester Family Fun Day in North Birkenhead – Tuesday 13th August @ 12-2pm
  • Wirral Evolutions’ Health & Wellbeing Art Project in Eastham – Wednesday 14th August @ 1-3pm. (Note: this event is open to Wirral Evolutions members only)
  • Bee Wirral’s Annual Family Fun Day in B’head – Thursday 15th August @ 11am – 3pm
  • Beechwood Festival Day (Beechwood Estate) – Friday 16th August @ 12-3pm
  • Mencap’s One Wirral Festival in Birkenhead Park – Saturday 17th August – 11am – 4pm
  • Carrbridge Centre – Monday 19th August @ 10-1pm
  • Summer Park Event (The Walled Garden in Central Park, Wallasey) – Tuesday 20th August @ 10-12pm
  • Building Bridges Family Fun Day – Birkenhead – Wednesday 21st August – 12 – 4pm
  • Summer Activities at West Kirby Library – Thursday 22nd August @ 10-1pm. (Note: Booking for this event is required via West Kirby Library due to capacity).
  • The Barn, Pye Road in Heswall – Friday 23rd August @ 11-3pm
  • Family Drop-In at Williamson Art Gallery Oxton – Saturday 24th August @12-3pm

Local freelance artist Pam Sullivan has been commissioned to support the community in producing this art piece.

Following the events, the finished piece will be displayed for the community to enjoy in various places across Wirral including the Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead Central Library and more.

Social media updates about these events can be found on Facebook at Involve Northwest or over on Twitter at @InvolveNW.

For further information about how ‘Connect Us’ can support you to link in with services, organisations and communities which could benefit your health and wellbeing, call Involve Northwest on 0151 644 4516 or email [email protected].