Arts For All is a highly creative charity serving the disadvantaged communities of Tower Hamlets and Hackney. The organisation runs structured weekly art therapy sessions to engage people of all ages from diverse cultures and background and those with special needs. The centre sits within one of the most deprived areas of the UK, some 85% of families served by the centre are unemployed and three quarters have English as their second language. Through long term support, Arts For All builds confidence, helps people achieve their goals and changes lives.

Painting

Rainbow Club

The Rainbow art club

A creative arts and crafts club held once a week for adults with learning disabilities. On Wednesday morning we will run a class, in our centre, for approx 10-12 adults with learning disabilities.

Each session is relaxed and we do varied creative activities each session. These will range from painting, drawing, 3D modelling, sculpture, ceramics, jewellery, mosaic work etc. They learn new skills and, within our warm welcoming environment they grow in confidence. This project provides a safe, relaxed, happy environment where these vulnerable and isolated adults with learning disabilities can meet and have creative fun. Many are isolated by bullying and lack of ability to communicate. We encourage the use of Makaton sign Language helping our members to communicate in every day life.

Many people with learning disabilities have trouble communicating and also they find it very difficult to find a place where they are really accepted for who they are. This problem is recognised as often contributing to low self esteem, social isolation and loneliness, learned habits of compliance, lack of trust, frustration, anger and disempowerment. We want the complete opposite for our members. We want them to grow in confidence, to feel empowered and through improved communication we want them move towards more independent living. This is a club where everyone is happy!

making fruit kebabs

Healing art

A creative club for adults with HIV/AIDS. The beneficiaries of our Healing Art project do not only have HIV / AIDS but also suffer a range of related mental and physical disabilities. This includes blindness, restricted mobility, and cognitive impairment. We work closely with The Mildmay Hospital that is next door to our centre. Many of the patients are also extremely distressed and become anxious in new circumstances. That many of them knew us, and that we are located just around the corner from the hospital made us the ideal organisation to provide therapeutic activities for them. Our sessions provide the opportunity for patients to relax and socialise in a friendly, non-judgemental atmosphere. Participants have the chance to learn and practice a variety of artistic techniques including painting, silversmithing, sculpture, and ceramics. This type of activity is relaxing and therapeutic, and as participants improve their skills we have seen their confidence and self-esteem soar. In fact many of the patients in our pilot last year saw great improvements in their co-ordination and fine motor skills as a result of taking part in our programme

Pauline's quilt

material magic

A colourful, welcoming community textiles club that we run at Arts For All for disadvantaged local women. We are specifically focusing our attention on the elderly people who live in this area and eagerly encourage them to attend this great club. We believe in inclusion and know from experience that older people enjoy the company of younger adults. We aim to have at least 8 people over 60 - there are 12 in the group in total. The class is open access and includes knitting, sewing, crochet making soft furnishings and having fun.

In this area there is little provided for the elderly that is of good quality. This group truly addresses the issues of isolation and loneliness. The older people who attend the group will learn new creative skills and get the opportunity to sit and chat and make friends in a welcoming, safe environment. We will see natural and easy befriending and confidence growing in individuals. They will get the opportunity to exhibit and sell items that they create in the various sales that we have. This is great boost for anyone; no matter what age they are.