In Spring 2018 Nonsuch conducted a pilot project of Make.See.Do in Bulwell, in conjunction with Nottingham City Homes and Creative Nottingham North. Make.See.Do. is a transformational cultural empowerment and social inclusion programme for over 65s in Nottingham; empowering participants to become active makers, seers and doers of culture and creative activity in their communities and through this tackling loneliness & isolation. This project was made possible through a grant from the JN Derbyshire Trust. The result of this project is the brilliant short comedy film ‘The Secret Life of Lathkill’ below that was devised, performed and directed by participants of the programme.
The project was initially conceived after identifying need for more creative opportunities for the elderly, particularly in care settings, sparked by two of the Nonsuch team with elderly grandparents in uninspiring care homes around the country. We also wanted to use this project as an opportunity to show what can be done with very little budget and resources, but a lot of imagination. Sessions were based in the unused residential common room of an independent living scheme for 65+ in Bulwell, selected due to its apparent lack of activity and social interaction; activity was free and open to all residents.
”The most valuable thing I will take from this programme is the friendship” – Participant Feedback
Over 10 weeks, using drama-based skills we created a project model which facilitated a participant-led creative programme that built their creative confidence, provided them with social and cultural activities and supported their wider personal wellbeing through skills development, exciting new experiences and production of their own individual artwork. This was achieved week-by-week through:
Week 1 – Movie afternoon. Residents selected ‘Some Like It Hot’ – which set a cheeky and comedic tone for the project. One audience member hadn’t been to the ‘cinema’ for over 50 years, since she was 16-years-old.
Week 2 – Getting to know each other through sharing personal stories, memories and teamwork exercises.
Week 3 – Dancing. Song requests and videos were projected for residents to follow movements, encourage group interaction and learning routines.
Week 4 – Comedy script reading and group games to encourage openness and group interaction.
Week 5 – Script reading and drama games to encourage teamwork and confidence building.
Week 6 – Group drama games becoming more adventurous, comedic and participant-led. Introduced concept of producing a group project and group discussion led towards producing a scripted comedy movie.
Week 7 – Clowning, with scripts and props. Subsidised residents trip to Derby Theatre to see performance of “Two”. One participant hadn’t been to the theatre since she was at school.
Week 8 – Filming day 1. Learning scripts and basic camera techniques.
Week 9 – Filming day 2. Finishing scenes and editing.
Week 10 – Premiere of ‘The Secret Life of Lathkill’. Video at beginning of the blog!
100% of participants enjoyed the sessions and would attend sessions in the future.
Question) Why did you decide to take part in this workshop:
- ‘For some company.’
- ‘Because I like doing things.’
- ‘To get us out of the routine and rut we get ourselves in.’
Question) What do you think is the most valuable thing you will take from this programme?
- ‘The friendship.’
- ‘Learning things.’
- ‘Moving instead of sitting around.’
Question) Describe your experience.
- ‘Absolutely brilliant. I only come down to this common room for these sessions.’
- ‘Everyone insults the young, never a thank you. For this project we thank the young [Nonsuch] for their time.’
‘’This has been a great programme to put on – it’s been really successful. The people we’ve worked with have all been lovely and there has been some really interesting characters with great stories. Watching the way some of the residents’ confidence grew over the 10 weeks was fantastic, we all felt a real sense of achievement and the end of it when we watched the film back. We would love to roll out more programmes like this across the city.’’ – Laura Jasper, Nonsuch Outreach Practitioner
Nonsuch are looking for funders and locations to run future Make.See.Do. sessions across Nottingham. For project enquiries please contact email@example.com
Article in local newspaper the Hucknall Dispatch: https://www.instagram.com/p/BiPFmyelbpU/?taken-by=wearenonsuch
Blog by Creative Nottingham North: https://creativenottinghamnorth.com/2018/03/27/makeseedo-in-bulwell/