Creative project helps tackle isolation and mental health in young

A project to help young people who have suffered isolation and loneliness during the pandemic has been made possible by a local arts development organisation.

Findhorn Bay Arts has today announced that eight recipients are to receive a total of £38,000 from them as part of the Youth Arts Small Grants scheme, a Scottish Government Covid-19 funding package to support the arts, administered by Creative Scotland.

An additional £2,000 will support the creative practitioners with training and documentation of their activities.

Findhorn Bay Arts was one of 18 organisations in Scotland to be awarded one of the grants to distribute to artists and creative practitioners to develop programmes of arts activity that engage with a range of local organisations, children and young people in Moray, especially those most affected by Covid-19.

Social isolation

Kresanna Aigner, Director at Findhorn Bay Arts said: “Lockdown has impacted on everyone’s mental health and our children and young people have suffered a lot because of the social isolation of not being able to see or play with their friends. The awards we are announcing today will help towards restoring a degree of normality to Moray children and young people.

“We have first-hand experience of how the creative arts can help increase confidence and self-belief but most of all, our children and young people will have fun accessing the gamut of the creative arts.” 

The Moray fund was open to freelance artists and creative practitioners living and/or working in the local authority and up 50 miles in neighbouring regions who were looking to work directly with children and young people across the region. The funding will build on the work of Ignite Moray Youth Arts Hub that was supported by Creative Scotland’s Time to Shine, Scotland’s National Youth Arts Strategy. 

The overall scheme had funds totalling £700,000 to devolve funds of between £10k and £50k for locally artist-led projects in early learning, schools, and other family support and community settings.

Panel member Elidh Brown who is the Partnership Development Lead at tsiMORAY said: “It’s brilliant to see this investment in the wellbeing of children and young people through an exciting and energising range of creative activities in Moray. These projects include innovative and inspiring arts and opportunities for play and reconnection, bringing joy, fresh hope and light at the end of the tunnel for children, families and communities hit hard by the pandemic.’

Eight awards totalling £37,664.50 have been awarded to nine artists and creative practitioners.

  • Daniel McQuarrie, Filmmaking, 12-17 years, £4000, “What Makes You Happy” Film Project for Young People
  • Rachael MacIntyre, Circus Skills, 8-16 years, £4790,Circus Connections’ Workshops in Circus Skills for Young People
  • Carol Scorer, Storytelling & Music, 2-5 years, £4095, Storytelling and percussion Workshops for Young People
  • Ruby Worth, Dance/ Movement, 9-10 year olds, £5000, Embodied Learning and Dance Movement Therapy for Young People
  • Gail Sneddon, Dance/ Graffiti Art, 11-18 years, £5000, ‘Traces’ Dance Film Project for Young People
  • Steven Sharpe, Music, 3-5 years, £5000, Drum and Percussion Workshops for Young People
  • Nicola Kennell, Mixed Media, 12-25 years, £4793, Mixed Media Workshops for Young People
  • Graeme Roger & Dave Martin, Film & Music, 12-17 years, £4984.50, Film and Music Project for Young People

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