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Send JOY! Our New ‘Art for Elders’ Project

Today Creative City launches 'Send Joy', a new art for elders project.

‘Send Joy’ invites everyone in Manchester to create a piece of upbeat and positive artwork. Send Joy will arrange to send your artwork with others to care homes and community groups in Manchester - to brighten the day of older people who are having to isolate, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, without the visits they would normally enjoy.

‘Send Joy’ invites people of all ages to draw, paint, collage, write poems, letters or short stories – using their imaginations to make something positive, motivational and joyous to contribute to the project.

Contributors should email a digital version of their work to Creative City, who will then send that artwork on to retirement homes across the city.

Seven retirement homes have already signed up to receive the artwork for their residents, responding very enthusiastically to the project. That’s more than 500 older people who will receive artwork! Creative City hope to be able to include more homes and community groups if enough people join in and create lots of positive pieces of joy!

In conversation with each of those retirement homes, Creative City have made plans to deliver the artworks – some will be packs of printed and laminated artwork, sent by post, so they can be wiped, and some will be delivered digitally.

Throughout the city people are staying home to protect the NHS, their vulnerable neighbours, friends and family, and themselves. Staying home saves lives. This project offers an opportunity for people to safely send something positive to an older person. Creative activity is good for wellbeing, so getting creative and focusing on something positive will be good for the project’s contributors too.

Send Joy artwork rules are:

- The work must be upbeat and motivational

- A4 sized is best

- Either create it digitally or create it physically then take a good photo

- Use your imagination – poems, drawings, paintings and letters welcome.

- Be respectful

- Creatives of all ages are welcome to take part

- Put your first name on it (but please don’t include your surnames and addresses on the artwork)

- Email it as an attachment to

Creative City might share some pictures of the artwork on social media to encourage others to join in. Find Creative City on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram via @CreativeCityGM and via the project hashtag #SendJoyMcr.

People might want to take part but not know where to start, so Creative City are hosting some digital ‘Create Together’s – a friendly informal way of getting together virtually and creating something to contribute to the project. It’s a way to share ideas, get support and encouragement from us, and hopefully have a laugh at the same time. The first ‘Create Together’ will be on Saturday 18th April at 3pm, sign up is via Eventbrite and details can be found on Creative City’s website.

Creative City will also be working with its existing youth groups and with community partners to deliver online ‘Create Together’s designed specifically for those groups.

Beth Powell, Creative City’s Managing Director said: “We are really excited about launching this project. Having to stay away from others is hard on us emotionally and I think a lot of us are feeling a bit guilty for not being able to play a bigger role during a crisis. Advice is to stay home, so we wanted to offer a small way for you to connect with more vulnerable community members from home. We hope ‘Send Joy’ encourages everyone to get creative and spend time doing something nice for the community. Through creativity you can show you care and demonstrate that we are all looking out for each other in whatever way we can. We hope each artwork will brighten someone’s day. Hopefully the project will spark other creative ideas for spreading joy too.”

About Creative City

Creative City England CIC is a social enterprise based in Manchester, using the arts to support individuals and communities to grow. Creative City uses creative activities and events to support individuals to improve their wellbeing, gain confidence, connect to their community, generate new creative projects and lead social change.

Instagram: @CreativeCityGM

Twitter: @CreativeCityGM

Project Hashtag: #SendJoyMcr

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Creative City England CIC - Company Number: 11244971