Bernicia helps tenants embrace creativity

Bernicia is encouraging its tenants to embrace their creativity with a series of workshops held in conjunction with local charity, Creative Arts North East (CANE).

With the aim of improving social and communications skills, building confidence and encouraging motivation, the workshops have proven so popular with Bernicia tenants at Sleekburn House, a retirement housing scheme in Bedlington Station, that an extra 10 sessions have been added.

Noreen Henderson at Bernicia, said: “We’re extremely grateful to CANE for helping our residents to develop new skills, and encouraging them to explore their creative interests together.

“Some of our tenants can feel isolated at times so we try to ensure that they have the opportunity to get involved in a range of different group projects, which they may not otherwise have the chance to experience.”

Participants have the opportunity to try everything from silk painting and photography, through to ceramics, pottery and decoupage paper-craft.

Sheila Evans, a Bernicia tenant, said: “I’m doing things I’ve never done before and I really love the silk painting.”  Elsie Branley added: ‘It’s about getting out of my flat and into company.”

In addition to creating fantastic opportunities for tenants to develop their skills, the CANE workshops also provide work placements for people with learning difficulties and disabilities. Each session allows these volunteers to improve in areas they may otherwise struggle, including communication, team work and provision of support.