Centre offers children a natural space to get creative
Tucked away behind the 12–14 Maresfield Gardens offices is a small wooden den. This cosy space is the ideal setting for the Garden Arts Club, run by the Centre after school.
The aim of the club is to offer children who may not have access to natural space an opportunity to get creative with nature-themed art activities in a fun setting. It also gives the Centre a chance to be involved in, and give back to, the local community.
Up to nine pupils from the local primary school sign up and attend the club once a week on Thursday afternoons during term-time. Staff members from the Centre volunteer their time, as part of the staff volunteering scheme, to run the sessions, accompanied by one of the school’s staff members. Over the last two terms, we (Elisa and Judith) have jointly run the sessions.
How have we found it?
Sessions generally have a nature theme, and use a variety of materials. With the kids, we have created Easter bird nests, sun catchers, paper-chain snakes, paper-plate flowers, and lots more! We have found volunteering for this project really valuable: it gives us a broader understanding of the reach of the Centre within the local community, and it means we are working directly with children every week.
How have the children found it?
The children are always very excited to take part in the sessions, and get creative with the materials provided. This is some lovely feedback we got from a teacher at the school:
Thanks you for all your hard work (everyone). The children always come back from Garden Arts enthused and laden with amazing art!! It is really a wonderful way for some children to spend in an environment that they wouldn't ordinarily have access to – it really is appreciated and much needed for a great deal of them.
How can I find out more?
You can see more pictures here of the children's creative efforts and check back for an update on the group at the end of the year.