Gorton Visual Arts (GVA) are a volunteer led, and ran, organisation whose focus is to provide arts-based learning for their community.
They deliver visual arts projects from their facility in Debdale Park, the heart of Gorton, that aim to provide opportunities and engage older people and people with learning difficulties. They celebrated their 15th birthday last month, an impressive lifespan which illustrates the extent of the impact they’ve had on the area.
GVA came to us looking for a grant to deliver a project in which they would provide 41 older members with art activities and materials that use a diversity of techniques. As with all of their projects, they are tailored so they can be completed at the individual’s pace and offer opportunities to develop their artistic practice in whatever way they want to take it. The activities were to be based on subjects that encourage people to explore their local history, subjects that stimulate positive discussions about nostalgia and allow the person the chance to share their own narrative in whatever way they feel is right for them.
When asked about the grant, Ian McKay, Project Co-ordinator and Lead Artist at GVA, said:
"The We Love MCR Charity funding has enabled us to deliver a project that benefits and unites people together, in such a fun and very positive creative way, during these very uncertain and scary times."
Ian also came back to us with some great feedback on how they’re progressing with these sessions and their work as a whole. Read below, and check out the fantastic pictures at the bottom of the page!
“Our high-quality service during these uncertain times, continues on a much bigger scale presently, this is due to many more people being referred to us from the NHS and other sources.
We have also been asked to help people in need in the Harpurhey and surroundings areas, which we are doing. We continue to overcome statistics,and provide inspiration, friendship and belonging to older people who would have otherwise been lonely, isolated, and struggling with a lack of connection.
Our “keeping in touch “policy provides interaction with others as people receive regular contact through phone calls, email, and text messages, so we catch up with people, sometimes offering more help and assistance with the activities, or just having a general chat about anything, we always remind people we are here to help, contact us at any time for a chat. We constantly remind people they are not alone, and we are here to help.
People tell us that seeing their work displayed side by side with other people’s work on all the groups social media platforms gives “a sense of togetherness, which is great!
People continue to contact the Freelance Artists at any time to ask questions, seek advice and forward their work to be featured on all the groups social media platforms, this is very reassuring for everyone.
An ever increasing amount of work by older people sent in to us receives constructive and encouraging feedback by the Freelance Artists."
We’re delighted to fund Gorton Visual Arts to continue the great work they do for Gorton residents, and wish them good fortune for the next 15 years of their history!
Find more about them at their blog: https://gortonvisualarts.wordpress.com/about/