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2016 at Arts For All

2016 has been an amazing year at Arts For All when we have seen friendships blossom, confidence soar and we have witnessed unbelievable generosity from wonderful people – (you know who you are!!)

The year started with a bang when we took the adults with learning disabilities to see Mamma Mia in the West End! This was a great day out and something they will always remember. In January we also celebrated Brian’s 80th birthday!

The children’s clubs have been packed out and our waiting lists are getting longer. Our dream is to be able to set up more clubs but we are waiting until we have the funds to sustain more work. We have been thrilled to see how the work we do has had such a positive effect on the lives of; not only the children; but their families and their communities as well. We have been on a load of fun and exciting trips this year with children, families and other members of Arts For All. These have included great days out in Ely, London and our annual pilgrimage to Margate!! Throughout the year, as always we have been so grateful to the amazing team from Salesforce who have been a constant support as volunteers and also financially. This relationship has become so important to us and we have made some amazing friends there. We are looking forward to getting to know you all even better over the course of 2017!! Another amazing, exciting adventure we had this year was the first Arts For All holiday. We went off to Devon with a group of 10 adults with learning disabilities and volunteers! It is hard to put into words how amazing this holiday was but I CAN say that it was absolutely life changing for those came (myself included!) and we have already booked the holiday for 2017! I would personally like to thank everyone who gave us money towards this holiday as your donations made such a difference.

Creatively we have built up a permanent exhibition and our members often sell their art work on a week to week basis. This is a great confidence boost and drives them to develop their creative skills and try new interesting techniques. In November we returned to our wonderful exhibition space in the City (St Botolph’s Hall) and had a fantastic Winter Exhibition and Tea Party. The young people and adults who exhibited were applauded for their fantastic works of art and they hosted the exhibition, welcoming old and new friends to yet another successful Arts For All event! The work exhibited was paintings, vases and tables – all created in our hub of magic and happiness in Shoreditch!!

As we go into the New Year we are all so excited as to what 2017 has in store for us! We know there will magical creativity and lots and lots of laughter! We also know there will be new creative techniques including enamelling. We will be out and about on our famous adventures and we will be back in Devon for holiday number 2!

None of these things would be possible without the utterly amazing people who work and volunteer here. To every one of you I say a massive thank you.

Have a joyful and blessed Christmas and a very happy New Year!
Caroline