Skip to menu Skip to content

Our work with older people

Volunteer with Impact Arts and help older people in your community

Are you interested in arts and creativity? Could you offer a few hours a week to help older people in your community?

Older people can sometimes become isolated within their own communities. We are looking to assemble a team of volunteers in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire to create welcoming environments for older people to enjoy, and arts activities to inspire them to create their own work.

As one of these volunteers you will be over 18 years old and able to commit to a one day a week.

You will receive training from a Volunteer Development Co-ordinator, a Creative Ageing Tutor and Impact Arts' partners who will develop your talent and support you to deliver workshops and regular local showcases to display the work that has been created.

You will be supported to gain new skills, make connections, and gain the confidence and knowledge to contribute to the development of your community. You will work towards becoming part of a wider network of Creative Volunteers who will be able to provide you with peer support, share plans, and help co-design programmes.

You can also choose to work towards achieving a Community Achievement Award and/or Arts Award as part of this programme.

 

On a day to day basis we would ask you:

  • To attend volunteer development training sessions as delivered by our Volunteer Co-ordinator, the wider Impact Arts staff and our partners.
  • To develop your own workshop ideas with the support of the Volunteer Co-ordinator and Creative Ageing Tutor.
  • To prepare materials and equipment, prepare artworks for exhibition, set up and tidy away workshops
  • To support participants on a one to one basis where they require additional help and support
  • To help to maintain safe and protective boundaries
  • To assist staff to document workshops through a variety of means, completing basic paperwork, take photographs etc.

 

Interested?

Download a full volunteer role description here (PDF). To register your interest, call Impact Arts on 01294 273 051 or email volunteering@impactarts.co.uk.

A PVG check will be required (Impact Arts will cover the cost of this).

Closing date: April 2018 Interviews: April 2018

The programme is funded by the Scottish Government's Aspiring Communities Fund, the European Social Fund, Linstone Housing, Barrhead Housing Association, Engage Renfrewshire, and Langholm Tenants and Residents Association.



#KeepGovanCrafting: Steven's Story

As part of our #KeepGovan Crafting campaign to prevent the closure of our older people's Craft Cafe in Govan, we're sharing stories about the service, how it has changed the lives of the members and why it is vital the service continues. This is Steven's Story - please note, the name has been changed for confidentiality.


Before retiring, Steven had worked as a hospital porter at the Southern General. Active and a hard worker, when it came to retirement he was concerned about losing motivation and becoming isolated. Having no family of his own, he had seen other unmarried friends find themselves with too much time on their hands, drinking their retirement away in pubs without anything to focus on.

He wanted to escape this pattern and resolved to do something different. He initially joined an NHS walking group, but was finding that this didn’t push him hard enough. One day, however, the health worker for the group took participants to the Craft Cafe Govan. Always having held artistic ambitions and an admirer of artistic skill, here he saw an opportunity to get involved with something he hadn’t done since school.

Upon joining the Craft Cafe, Steven was very focused on learning how to draw and paint. He borrowed art books from the Craft Cafe to take home and study, asked for technical advice from more experienced members and gradually built up his confidence and skill. Having started by using drawing guides, eventually he was creating artwork from his imagination, and now finds himself at a point where he is confident in his ability and making work of which he is rightly proud.

It gives him a sense of achievement, he explains, even just in the little things he learns, and he finds himself utterly absorbed and enjoying what he is doing. “When I am at home on my own it can get quite bad,” he reflects. “It gets heavy for me sometimes. People are not meant to be on their own like that and that’s why we go to things and keep busy.

“The people and the company at the Craft Café give me incentive. I genuinely wish I’d done this years ago. Other things have held me back, but I have started and it’s my time now, I am doing what I have always wanted to do.”


“The Craft Cafe gives me a target, a reason to get up and out, and helps stop feelings of loneliness. I get bored sitting at home and staring at the TV. But after coming here, I find myself practising my drawing at home instead of watching the telly!” Steven

Craft Cafe Govan is facing closure after March 2018. We are looking to raise £12,000 to secure the service for another year. Any donations you can afford would be welcome. Visit our Crowdfunding page for all the details.

#KeepGovanCrafting: David's Story

As part of our #KeepGovan Crafting campaign to prevent the closure of our older people's Craft Cafe in Govan, we're sharing stories about the service, how it has changed the lives of the members and why it is vital the service continues. This is David's Story - please note, the name has been changed for confidentiality reasons.


Govan born-and-bred, David is passionate about the history and community of the area. After serving as a cook in World War II, he worked as a porter at the Southern General hospital for 35 years before retiring, but remained active in the community, volunteering at the Govan Stones and with Friends of Elderpark. He was looking for somewhere regular to go during the day to keep him active, occupy his mind and bond with others.

David first came to the Craft Cafe in 2011 on a friend’s recommendation. He had not created any artwork since childhood and was hesitant at first, sitting at the side initially while others got involved. But that soon changed, and David was trying new things, getting to know new people and becoming part of the group.

David embraced the many artistic and creative techniques the Craft Cafe’s artist-in-residence introduced him to, including photography, silk painting, using a sewing machine, and sculpture. He has produced work that he is passionate about and proud of, including a black-and-white photography project focussing on historical sites in Govan, and he also photographed his vast coin collection, editing the work using Photoshop. Originally a baker by trade, he has cooked for other members, while he has discovered new creative passions, spending hours delicately and meticulously designing a mosaic bird.

David has said the most crucial part of coming to the Craft Café is the company . There, he feels that strong sense of community that he has always valued. He thrives in this environment, has developed strong friendships and is viewed with warmth and respect. These relationships are marked by small gestures of kindness, like bringing in the newspapers every week, collecting art supplies from charity shops, and arriving early to help put out the chairs in the morning. He is a quiet, gentle and warm-hearted person and feels at home in the Craft Café.

Coming to the Craft Cafe has had other vital benefits. David struggles greatly with his health; he has heart problems, often feeling breathless and tired, and has been in and out of hospital for years. He has eyesight issues, often finding things blurry and difficult to see, and his eyes water badly. Some days at the Craft Café he will only feel fit to sit and rest. But these issues only make him more determined to be active, and he fully believes that coming to the Craft Café provides him with much-needed exercise, while stimulating him mentally and allowing him to be among friends.

“The friendships here are first class! People are friendly and you feel welcome and supported. If it wasn’t for the Craft Cafe, local older people would have nowhere to go. You would have to stay in and be house-bound, and that’s when your health deteriorates. This place gets me out, I come here and it feels like a community. I am with my friends.” David

Craft Cafe Govan is facing closure after March 2018. We are looking to raise £12,000 to secure the service for another year. Any donations you can afford would be welcome. Visit our Crowdfunding page for all the details.

#KeepGovanCrafting: Elizabeth's Story

As part of our #KeepGovan Crafting campaign to prevent the closure of our older people's Craft Cafe in Govan, we're sharing stories about the service, how it has changed the lives of the members and why it is vital the service continues. This is Elizabeth's Story - please note, the name has been changed for confidentiality reasons.


Aged 69 and retired, Elizabeth had only recently moved to Govan and knew very few people in the area. Having suffered from arthritis for years, she had been forced into early retirement and had mobility issues. Soon after, she was diagnosed with diabetes and depression. Her husband had passed away in 2012, and her responsibilities included caring for other family members with health issues.

She moved to Govan in 2015 due to a lack of transport links where she lived previously. The following year, she saw a Craft Café poster in a local shop window, and decided she would give it a go. “I will never forget my first day here,” she says, “I felt instantly at ease and was able to help people. I felt valued. I felt like there was a reason for coming here. It was very welcoming.”

Elizabeth is a very talented craftsperson; she can sew, knit and embroider. Due to her skill, she was instantly able to help people and got thoroughly involved. She said that helping people felt like “a huge personal achievement” as she hadn’t previously felt confident in her ability to communicate and instruct.

Since joining, she has made candles, mosaiced and knitted ‘comforters’ for an NHS dementia ward. She also knitted a comforter for her sister, who has severe dementia, her nephew, who is in hospital after a serious stroke, and was commissioned by another Craft Cafe member to make one for his wife who is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s. These were the first times she had knitted in almost 40 years, when she was making clothes for her own baby daughter.

Elizabeth feels the Craft Café has had a huge impact on many areas in her life. Physically, it gets her out and about and moving, which her doctor says is just what she needed to help with her arthritis. Her GP told her they are pleased with her new sense of motivation. She feels more stable in her life and, because of the routine, she feels her eating habits are under more control, helping with her diabetes.

Most impressively, she has been able to decrease the dosage of medication she takes for depression. This is something she sees as a direct result of coming to Craft Café: “It gives me a reason to get up in the morning. If it was on every day of the week, I’d be here.”


“I have met lovely people here. This place has given me friendship. I know that I can contribute to the group, I can help other folk and giving gives me a feeling of self-worth. This place means everything to me, it means I have a purpose in life, which I did not have before. I feel like I am coming home again when I come to this group.”Elizabeth

Craft Cafe Govan is facing closure after March 2018. We are looking to raise £12,000 to secure the service for another year. Any donations you can afford would be welcome. Visit our Crowdfunding page for all the details.

#KeepGovanCrafting: Help us secure the future of Govan's Craft Cafe

We need your help. On Monday, we launch #KeepGovanCrafting - a crowdfunding campaign aimed at raising money to secure the future of Govan's Craft Cafe for older people.

For three days a week, the Craft Café offers free arts workshops at the Elderpark Centre to older people in Govan.

As well as offering materials, tuition from a professional artist tutor and an opportunity to celebrate older people’s artistic achievements, it also has a vital role in breaking down loneliness and isolation in an age group that is particularly at risk.

Due to a change in our funding remit, the service is now at risk of closure after March 2018. This would be devastating for the group of almost 100 members who regularly use Craft Cafe.

We're hoping a campaign that highlights how vital the Craft Cafe is will capture imaginations, and we're using a crowdfunding platform to attract the donations necessary.

We aim to raise £12,000 to sustain Craft Cafe for another year. This will be done through a crowdfunding page going live on Monday morning.

We would be grateful for any help in spreading the word about the campaign. To do so, we have set up a Thunderclap – a scheduled social media post – to go out on Monday morning at 10am, linking people to the Crowdfunding website where there will be a video all about what the Craft Café does and why it is important it continues to run.

Your organisation can sign up to the Thunderclap here:https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/67733-keepgovancrafting

Any other support you can offer in publicising our campaign would be an incredible help. Our social media accounts are: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn

We look forward to sharing quotes, stories, photography, video and artwork which encapsulates the Craft Cafe community and why it would be a desperate shame for the service to close.

If you have any ideas, suggestions or questions, please contact Impact Arts' Matthew McWhinnie on 0141 575 3001 or email matthew.mcwhinnie@impactarts.co.uk.


Donate now

The team at Impact Arts work hard to secure over £1.5m of funding per year to provide life changing creative experiences for more than 5000 people.

You can help us achieve this target through making a single gift, or a regular donation. Thank you.

Make a donation online

Twitter

Facebook

Newsletter

If you would like to be the first to know about Impact Arts programmes, exhibitions and events, please sign up to our newsletter.

Loading