Free lessons on playing the ukulele, story-writing, photography and more are helping older people avoid feeling like they are stuck at home during the Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown.

In partnership with Awen Cultural Trust, Bridgend County Borough Council is sharing a new programme aimed at supporting the mental health and well-being of older people while the restrictions are in place.

The ‘Stronger Together’ programme, which encourages those social distancing or self-isolating at home to be more creative, take up a new activity or share an existing interest with others in the same situation.

Suggested activities include creative writing, keeping a diary, taking a photograph and telling a story, learning the basics of playing the ukulele, using another musical instrument to contribute to a virtual band performance, being a part of the online choir, recording fond memories and more.

To support local people to access the programme, a workbook and an accompanying DVD are being posted on the Ageing Well Bridgend website. Access the creative at home resources on the Ageing Well Bridgend website.

The resources are also available at Stronger Together Bridgend website and you can view regular updates at the Stronger Together Bridgend page on Facebook. Access the creative at home resources on the Stronger Together Bridgend website.

Cllr Phil White, Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help said: “These are unsettling times for people of all ages, but especially those who may be living alone, unable to see their family, friends or neighbours, and have been identified as being particularly susceptible to the Covid-19 virus.

“We hope that the ‘Creative at Home’ programmes, and the suggested activities and support, will give these individuals something positive to focus on, something to lift their spirits and provide a real sense of community and purpose at a time when they may otherwise feel isolated, vulnerable and lonely.”

Richard Hughes, Chief Executive of Awen Cultural Trust – the registered charity which manages arts, cultural and heritage services on behalf of Bridgend County Borough Council – added: “Research shows that starting a new hobby or taking up an old, forgotten one again, is a great way of keeping your mind fit and healthy and lifting your mood.

“We have suggested a whole range of different activities in the pack, whether you are online or don’t use a computer or mobile phone at all, and will provide the necessary support to get you started.

“We hope these will inspire you to get creative, and perhaps provide a welcome distraction and raise a smile, whilst you are staying safe at home during these challenging times.”

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