What is The Gathering Project?
The Gathering Project is a creative community programme designed to respond to
societal challenges arising from COVID-19. It aims to bring communities back together
through theatre to promote community cohesion, resilience, positive health and wellbeing.
We are offering Hampshire-based community groups the chance to take part in this
exciting and innovative project for free during 2021.
The project is split into three stages:
Stage 1 (Listening) - June to July 2021
Participants will take part in a series of four, COVID-19 safe, practical workshops, delivered by experienced community practitioners. The workshops give people an opportunity to build back confidence, develop individual resilience and feel connected to their community again. Participants will learn how to make healthier life choices and to reduce harmful behaviours, as well as learning about accessing local services and support. We aim to work with a maximum of 15 people per location, either indoors if guidelines permit or outdoors if restrictions are in place. If there is a full national lockdown workshops can be delivered online. Each workshop will last no longer than two hours and will explore topics connected to 'resilience':
Workshop 1: Isolation (feeling lonely and alone)
Workshop 2: Loss (of friendships, people, freedoms and resources)
Workshop 3: Coping (developing coping strategies and techniques)
Workshop 4: Emergence (planning for a positive future)
Alongside these four workshops, a pop up art installation in partnership with artists Gobbledegook, will travel to a public outdoor location within the local community. This free ticketed art installation will be an interactive ‘brain’ inviting engagement from residents of all ages that captures their written and spoken experiences of resilience during the pandemic.
Stage 2 (Responding) - August 2021
We will facilitate two more public workshops/discussions within the community (or online if COVID-19 restrictions continue), working closely alongside Hampshire County Council Adults’ Health and Care team. In these workshops participants will unpick all of the stories and experiences gathered from the community during Stage 1, which they will then use to inform the creation of a ‘self care pack’. The development of this free resource inspires participants to take charge of their own health and wellbeing and signpost support services and resources that they may not know about or feel excluded from. It will enable them to better meet their needs and the needs of their family as well as cope with challenges. The creation of this pack can also support people in improving their reading and writing skills as well as digital skills, vital for job and social inclusion.
Stage 3 (Celebrating) - September to December 2021
The self care pack will launch at our annual All in the Mind Festival on 11 September 2021 which participants are personally invited to attend (in person or online, dependent on COVID-19 guidance). Project participants are encouraged to come along and present the self care pack to the public, as well as volunteer as a festival steward if they wish. In addition all participants are given the opportunity to get involved in other areas of Fluid Motion’s work after The Gathering Project ends in December. This includes joining us as a Trustee, signing up to our associates programme, taking part in our festival community panel for 2022 and much more. Details of specific opportunities will be given to participants nearer the time
How many people can take part?
We would like to work with between 8-15 people per community group. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, exact numbers will be discussed with the community partner/organiser, in line with Government restrictions, before the project takes place.
How does this project benefit communities?
COVID-19 has had a negative impact on community life across the country, communities which are essential for health and wellbeing, social connections, neighbourliness, a sense of belonging and
mutual trust. Building and maintaining community resilience is vital as we recover from the pandemic. This project:
Helps people articulate their mental health and therefore feel more empowered to make better lifestyle choices, feel more healthy and ultimately have an improved quality of life
Uses arts and creative activity to help people feel connected, more resilient and more able to deal with individual and community challenges
Gives communities something to celebrate, makes people feel good and energises and inspires local residents
Connects people to local support services that they might not know about or feel excluded from
Interested? What do you need to do next?
If you or your community group would like to take part in The Gathering Project,
or if you have any questions about it please contact Leigh Johnstone, Artistic Director at email@example.com.
The Gathering Project Funders and Supporters: