£1,000 grant for Hebburn Birds of a Feather arts group thanks to Cultural Spring initiative

An arts group at a South Tyneside care home has been given a £1,000 grant by an award-winning culture project.
Lisa Davidson of Bedewell Grange Care Home and artist Lindsey GrievesLisa Davidson of Bedewell Grange Care Home and artist Lindsey Grieves
Lisa Davidson of Bedewell Grange Care Home and artist Lindsey Grieves

The Bedewell Birds of a Feather group – which provides a range of activities for residents at the Bedewell Grange residential care home in Hebburn – is one of a dozen organisations sharing

almost £12,000 from The Cultural Spring, an initiative working to increase participation in arts and culture in South Tyneside and Sunderland.

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Its Your Art fund aims to help community groups develop their own artistic ideas and support people to organised arts events in their own communities.

The Birds of a Feather group was formed in 2017 and is made up of members of staff, with regular input from residents and residents’ families.

The Your Art grant will go toward the cost of a new watercolour painting project.

Lisa Davidson, who was activities manager until she recently became a night manager, said: “We’re really grateful to The Cultural Spring for the support. The grant will pay for artist Lindsey Grieves to work with residents.

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“We’re planning to work with about 12 residents, some of whom may have dementia, over a six-week period and the paintings produced will then go on show.”

She added: “We aim to take a group of residents down to North Marine Park and the beach at South Shields and talk to them about their memories while we’re there.

“We’ll then take some photographs and the paintings will be based on their pictures.”

Jarrow-based freelance artist Lindsey has worked at Bedewell before, most recently on a ceramics project.

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She said: “The residents get really engaged, particularly when you’re talking about the past and their memories.

“They’re also really proud of the work they produce, which is why we’ll make sure their paintings are signed and then put on show.

“I also think creating the work gives them a confidence boost.”

The Your Art scheme has invested almost £100,000 in local communities.

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Michael Barrass, co-project director for the Cultural Spring, said: “Your Art was designed to encourage and help groups develop their own arts ideas – and The Bedewell Birds of a Feather project fits the bill perfectly.”