#LiveWellMakeArt – Conversations

Brand new FILM from the Brinnington Events Team (BET) and Busha Productions for the “Conversations” Project!

The long version of this film and all other films shown at Call to Action can be found here

Conversations is a #livewellmakeart project taking place in Manchester, Tameside and Stockport which sees community groups collaborating with arts and culture organisations to reduce loneliness and social isolation and improve health and care outcomes in their neighbourhoods.



Stockport – BET, Brinnington

Arts Partner –Busha Productions

BET is a collective of community organisations ranging from intergenerational walking groups to media, photography and gaming groups as well as a music theatre group. BET is self-sustaining, co-odrinated by volunteers and an example of a culture based social movement addressing health priorities in their own neighbourhoods.

BET has made a short documentary with Busha Productions that shares the growth of their social movement, shows how BET uses creative arts and culture to support vulnerable members of the community and demonstrates through case studies why this social movement is important to Brinnington neighbourhoods.

Through conversations each community group has identified a particular health priority and then co-designed innovative approaches with a partner arts organisation to support people in their communities through artistic experiences. Neighbourhoods have led the development of Conversations from both the health and artistic perspectives, adopting and demonstrating a democratic approach to community, health, social care, arts and culture collaboration.

Manchester – Whalley Range and Chorlton Good Neighbours

Arts Partner – The Whitworth

Whalley Range & Chorlton Good Neighbours support older people by providing a range of activities and practical support. The group is aware of a significant level of social isolation locally, which is particularly concerning for older people.  Conversations sees Good Neighbours linking with Cyril Flint befriending services, as an extension of their individual activities, to bring together a new group of older people living in social isolation and take part in visual arts workshops with The Whitworth based at JNR8 Community Centre. The new art celebrates the importance of being socially active throughout life.

Tameside – The Johnny Barlow Theatre Company 

Arts Partner – Mr One Million CIC

The Johnny Barlow Theatre Company has been running for over 20 years and supports people living with mental health conditions and/or learning disabilities who have a passion for theatre. Members are open, creative and passionate about helping people through theatre and volunteer with other arts activities. The company is supported by Tameside Arts, Guide Bridge Theatre and Mr One Million CIC but entirely self-running, making decisions through their committee.

The company is committed to addressing the issues of loneliness and social isolation for vulnerable people and have been working with Paul Hine in creative writing and drama. This #livewellmakeart work will contribute to a new piece called The Anti-loneliness League, a multi-media superhero theatre piece, Guide Bridge Theatre, 13th April.

Tameside – Hearts and Minds

Arts Partner – Manchester Camerata

Hearts and Minds is a music and drama group for the over 60s. Group members come from a range of care settings across Tameside and meet weekly at Guide Bridge Theatre to get creative with lyric writing, music making and drama. All are passionate about creating work that supports positive change within their community.

Loneliness and social isolation is an issue that the group feel passionate about and have been writing lyrics, music and songs with a Manchester Camerata composer and musician that will form part of a touring music theatre piece, which aims to raise awareness of loneliness and social isolation in Tameside primary schools.

For more information on the Conversations project please contact:

Nick Ponsillo AMRSPH

Director, Philip Barker Centre for Creative Learning

University of Chester

Tel: 01244 512 111

Email: n.ponsillo@chester.ac.uk


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