10 x 10 Creative Minds with Hands 

Every Tuesday morning Gateshead Carers are running a creative group which is currently based upon the 10 x 10 Creative Gateshead project (https://www.dingybutterflies.org/10x10-creative-gateshead/). Carers who join the group get sent a creative 'pack' which is full of paper, pens and an activity booklet. The booklet has ten creative ideas created by ten different Gateshead based artists. It's a wonderful book full of leaf rubbing, puppet making, poetry writing- and that's just the tip of the iceberg!

Every Tuesday morning we meet and we have one rule only; you can only say positive things about your own work. It works a treat! We normally all arrive with mugs full of tea on desks and our paper and pens all set and read. As one carer says 'I enjoy the creative zoom sessions. I find it very relaxing and enjoy talking to others. I have my creative pack and a coffee ready to go.' Some of us even Zoom in from our gardens when it's good weather.

Wherever we are, for an hour we have some quiet, creative time away from our caring roles.

As one carer explains:  'I've been going through a tough time over the past few months/years and I'm always too busy dealing with other people's problems to have time for myself. I am finding the classes helpful because now everyone knows 10am Tuesday morning is my time, so no matter what happens it will have to wait until I've finished. I enjoy doing arts and crafts, I can get engrossed in what I'm doing and it takes my mind off my worried for a while.'

And another says: 'The creative zoom sessions have allowed me to meet new people and draw in a therapeutic way and environment.'

Some carers don't have a computer or their caring role us unpredictable so they are doing the  activities at a time that is best for them. I keep in contact with them and they can send us pictures of what they've made for us to share.  

It has been such a success, with eighteen carers signing up that we are hoping to continue this creative group for carers throughout the winter months.  If you would like any further information please speak to a Carer Wellbeing Facilitator or contact Emma Cockburn at [email protected] or call 07546 304759.