MANY VOICES – 3-year programme of creative engagement work in Calderdale

Posted by on May 2, 2018 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Many Voices – 3 years of creative cohesion work in Calderdale

Together with our partners Square Chapel Arts Centre, we have been awarded a total of £115,674 in funding to support and deliver ‘Many Voices’ – a new three-year community project for Calderdale. The total amount is made up of £105,674 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme. This will fund the project for three years from 2018 to 2021 and a grant of £10,000 from the Community Foundation for Calderdale will provide match funding for the first year of the project.

The new ‘Many Voices’ project will deliver a wide range of activities with diverse communities in Calderdale, with the aim of bringing people together to build confidence, knowledge, skills and understanding.  Working with a range of partners, the project will celebrate the differences between communities and promote the qualities and experiences that all people share, which makes Calderdale such a vibrant and exciting place to live.

There will be a particular focus on working with women and girls, exploring the issues they face, supporting them to share their stories and have a voice.

Michaela O’Sullivan, Head of Audiences at Square Chapel Arts Centre said:

“An impressive range of work has been delivered over the past three years, but as a partnership, we found that the stories and experiences of women and girls in our communities warranted further exploration.  It is particularly prescient that issues affecting women are to the fore at the moment and Many Voices is about supporting women and girls from different backgrounds and communities to have a voice and be heard.  At Square Chapel, we are very much looking forward to having a further three years to work with Verd De Gris Arts to deliver this new and exciting project in Calderdale.  We are enormously grateful to the Big Lottery Fund and the Community Foundation for Calderdale for funding this work and for their faith in our project.”

Both Square Chapel Arts Centre and Verd De Gris Arts use the arts as a tool to bring about improvements in people’s lives and both have strong and established track records in delivering highly successful and effective outreach programmes in Calderdale.

Verd De Gris Arts was established 15 years ago by Directors Jeff Turner and Sharon Marsden.  Based in Hebden Bridge, they have established a strong track record of using the arts as a medium to change and improve people’s lives, particularly people with life-changing conditions like dementia and Parkinson’s. Their cohesion work, bringing different generations and communities together, has been ground-breaking, innovative and impactful, with programmes delivered across Calderdale and further afield in Blackburn and Lancashire.

Jeff Turner, Director at Verd De Gris Arts says:

“We are delighted to have received this funding and we are very excited to be working in partnership again with Square Chapel Arts. We have learnt a great deal over the last 3 years, meaning we can develop a more focussed programme of work to support women and girls in the borough, particularly those dealing with issues affecting their quality of life and access to opportunity. Once again, our intention is to deliver work that brings local people together from ‘mixed’ socio-economic, cultural, faith backgrounds – to share and learn from each other and develop more inclusive and cohesive outcomes for themselves and the wider community here in Calderdale.

This work will involve close working with local support agencies, who see this creative approach as a very effective tool to help them in their social care and educational practice”.

Assistant Director of the Community Foundation for Calderdale, Emma Woods-Bolger says:

“Our research has identified that there is a need to improve relationships between people from different backgrounds. This project addresses that by delivering a sustained programme that brings people together, through participation in activities that facilitate communication, expression, creativity, exploring what makes us the same and what makes us different. We are pleased to be able to support two experienced local organisations who both have a strong track record of delivering a successful model, where people report they have a greater understanding, more knowledge, more confidence”.

We are grateful to the followers funders for their support: