Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage will be running free drop-in sessions with Silver Foxes group until the end of July before we break for the summer.
The group is based at Brooke Mead Sheltered Housing Scheme in Brighton but open to anyone city wide over 60 years of age.
The group meets every Tuesday each week from 11-12pm.
We are exploring life memories, local history, trying new activities including bocca, table tennis and chair yoga to encourage participants to try new things, improve their memories and meet new people – oh and tea and biscuits of course!
We have received funding from The Homity Trust towards a new project called ‘Wild at Heart’. This project is a partnership between Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage, the Low Carbon Trust based at Brighton’s Earthship, and the Restorative Justice Department of Children’s Services, in Brighton & Hove City Council.
Our project will deliver a series of planned activities to take place at the Earthship based in Stanmer Park Brighton (The Earthship was built as a community centre for use by Stanmer Organics, aSoil Association accredited site in Brighton) to deliver training and skills around the environment and local plant life and planting with a group of dedicated young probationers with community service hours to invest in supported learning.
The participants will engage with activities with various groups based at Stammer Organics (next to the Earthship) including the Permaculture Association Plot and Green Woodworking.
With this project, Strike a Light plans to support the community to:
Transform a local area
Create ownership for service users and the local community
Improve local community relations
Revitalise the area
Pass on creative skills and education
Encourage environmental awareness
Between January and April 2018, this will involve the delivery of a mosaic mural to be situated on the front of the Earthship which will be designed and created through training and workshops with probationers, Probation staff, Low Carbon Trust members, and volunteers. The mosaic would showcase local flora and fauna and be the first sight as visitors enter the Earthship area in Stanmer Park.
We will run 12 weekly sessions at the venue in the park to support this restorative justice, as well as self-managed learning with the young people attending the activities.
We will provide guidance and support for both the Restorative Justice Team, and the participants to learn about local flora and fauna, offer ornithological talks by the South Downs National Park Authority, (also based at Stanmer Park), increase understanding of the heritage of the area, explore the principles of permaculture, and create a beautiful mural which will remain in the location as a testament to this project, and be enjoyed by all visitors to the area into the future.
A key tranche of this scheme will be training ten young offenders, as well as Children’s Service coordinators and Low Carbon Trust Directors and volunteers to learn about the medium of mosaic with the end result being a the participatory creation and installation of community focussed bespoke mosaic mural. This will be sited on the font of the Earthship building on a long term basis to promote sustainable ideals and environmental awareness, including the venue being part of the South Downs National Park.
These activity and learning sessions sessions will be facilitated by a creative practitioner and supported by the Restorative Justice Team who would be responsible for the subsequent health and safety and supervising behaviour.
The participants’ ages range from 10 – 18 years old, with the majority of these being between 13-18 years old. The young offenders are a mix of male and female, however the client base is predominately male. All of the young people live in the Brighton and Hove area and in a mix of in school, college, some form of education, employment or NEET (not in education, employment or training). They include looked after children, as well as those living with parents.
This venue was the first Earthship to be built in England. Earthship Brighton is an off-grid building that heats, cools, powers itself from the sun, harvests its water from the sky and treats its wastewater onsite using plants. The venue’s focus has been spreading a positive message of climate change education and helping people to modify their behaviour to live with a lighter carbon footprint through the training and events it offers.
The aims of the Earthship Brighton since it was built 20 years ago, has been deliver a sustainable community centre in response to a genuine local need, change values in the construction industry and inspire positive action in individuals to generate environmental change through modifying people’s behaviour to less carbon intensive lifestyles. This resonates soundly with our project aims to engage with disaffected young people and support their understanding for community involvement and development to the point where they are engaged in a way that means they would be less likely to re-offend.
This project offers a new opportunity for engagement, lifelong learning and enjoyment, whilst offering participants, volunteers and staff the facility to support youth involvement and gain relevant sills themselves. This project will also allow volunteers to contribute their own ideas to the project in the form of the final mural design. Outcomes from this project will be:
The youth offending community to feel a proud sense of ownership within their locality
Improving lock spaces that require renovation
Creating a locally based project combining creative arts and environmental themes.
A new bespoke mosaic mural supporting a colourful, safe community spaces
Libretto: Tertia Sefton-Green
Trench Brothers is a new music theatre work commemorating in Brighton the contributions of ethnic minority soldiers during the First World War through music, theatre and puppetry, bringing to life their hopes and fears, their longing for home, their camaraderie, courage and valour.
Directed by Clare Whistler and Freya Wynn-Jones to Neil Irish’s designs, it features over 250 children from local primary schools in Brighton, Newhaven, Lewes and Seaford alongside acclaimed jazz vocalist of the year and MOBO nominated Cleveland Watkiss and ‘superb’ (The Times) opera singer Damian Thantrey.
Renowned jazz composer Julian Joseph and award-winning composer Richard Taylor are joined by composers Michael Betteridge, Jenny Gould, Matthew King, James Redwood and Omar Shahryar in a unique collaboration drawing together work developed with schools across London, Lancashire and the South East since 2014.This powerful centenary event is made all the more poignant by its location in Brighton Dome, which served as an Indian Military Hospital during the war.
There will be a pre-performance talk about the creation of Trench Brothers with Julian Joseph, Richard Taylor and Tertia Sefton-Green. Tickets to the evening performance also give access to the pre-performance talk.
The grant is from the Trust for Developing Communities – Healthy Community Fund. The sessions will start early next year and focus on people with early onset dementia, their families and scheme visitors.
“Dancing with Dementia is another excellent example of why Strike a Light is a truly committed community organisation. It’s not all about big grants, these local, hands-on local endeavours keep us in touch with our wonderfully diverse and vibrant neighbourhoods. Dancing is one of the best and most fun ways to communicate. I’m delighted to hear that we have been successful in our bid for support from the Healthy Neighbourhood Fund.”
Dr Sam Carroll – Strike a Light Director
“It’s fantastic for Strike A Light to be continuing our work with people living with dementia, thanks to the Healthy Neighbourhood Fund – we are pleased to be able to build on our successes in this project with new participants at Brook Mead, an exciting new development for the city.”
The Boys on the Plaque: Unearthing Hidden Histories of WWI Soldiers from Brighton & Hove. For those interested in finding out more about this project and these themes from WWI in the city of Brighton – join our Conversation Cafes for reminiscence activities, outings and events. Free CONVERSATION CAFÉS taking place on the second Wednesday of every month, beginning on Wednesday 21st October at Fabrica gallery, Jubilee Library and other Brighton venues from 2.30-4.30pm. All welcome!
We will be hosting a series of Twelve Conversation Café’s at Fabrica from October 2015, facilitated by Nicola Benge (Strike A Light), will use Holy Trinity, the plaque and the local area to look into participant histories.
Book your free place by contacting:
Clare Hankinson, Project Manager – The Boys on the Plaque
Strike A Light: A local voluntary arts and heritage organisation using people’s life stories and memories to transform public and private spaces, specialising in intergenerational projects and working with people in the third age.
University of the Third Age(U3A) Local History Group: A learning co-operative of people no longer in full time employment. With over 450 members and educational, creative and social. Alan Cooke – Chairman of Brighton and Hove U3A and Coordinator of U3A Local History Group. www.brightonandhoveu3a.org.uk
There will be talks from Dr Chris Kempshall, project Coordinator of the WWI in East Sussex project, outings to the Rare Books Archiveand more including discussions will be led around themes inspired by The Boys on the Plaque, including life in Brighton & Hove during WWI, historical experiences of ordinary men and women, and life after the war. We will also consider wider themes about the church in the community, and Holy Trinity’s history with its bi-centennial in 2017. Participants will gain an in-depth knowledge of Holy Trinity as church and gallery over the project.
Information and copies of selected heritage materials found by our research group will be shared with older and younger people through our Conversation Cafe’s and Graffiti workshops, and intergenerational groups at our free Walking Tours, Heritage Open Days events on Thursday 10th September 2015 and Thursday 8th September 2016 and Bi-Centennial celebration in 2017, increasing the reach and impact of our research.
Through this we aim to connect people with local places associated with WWI, through investigation of our locality, sharing our findings through Walking Tours of the area and events based at Fabrica (a Grade II* listed building).
Nicola Benge (Strike a Light) will work with members of University of the Third Age and other individuals to share stories, memories, family history and local history (using information generated by the Volunteer Researchers), and take part in object handling to establish a meaningful history of ordinary people’s lives in Brighton & Hove.
These will be recorded for posterity, inform the project as a whole and will help to build a long-lasting relationship between the participants and Fabrica. Academics, historians and researchers will be incorporated into our activities, their research and skills enabling a high quality learning experience for volunteers and participants, and significantly enriching our public programme.
Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage CIC is a community arts and heritage organisation based in Brighton, working across Sussex.