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Grants available for creative projects to help reduce social isolation

  • There have been 11 grants awarded so far for creative projects across the district to help people with their mental health and wellbeing during self isolation.

  • Grants of between £500 and £1,000 can be applied for.

The creative and arts sectors in the Bradford district have been devising a host of imaginative ways to help to reduce social isolation and improve the mental health and wellbeing of residents during the coronavirus outbreak. To support this, Bradford Council has launched grants to help the arts in the district to survive and thrive in the face of national COVID-19 lockdown measures and beyond.

Those already being supported by the grants include Lloyd Thompson, Katie Mahon and Mussarat Rahman

Lloyd is producing videos for children, young people and adults from Bradford who are in isolation. The videos will include exercise, stretching and dance that can all take place in confined spaces e.g. home, office, staff room. The videos will include storytelling and home tutorials to encourage people to get involved including those who don’t usually engage in the arts.

Katie will be using her Bloomin’ Buds Theatre Company contacts to deliver arts and craft parcels to the doorsteps of children and adults who are most in need, focusing on those without access to the internet, as well as activity packs for isolated elderly people.

Mussarat will be creating a garment made using inspiration from responses received from various outlets online and media, gained through chats, forums, messages, newsletters and other platforms. These messages will be turned into art pieces reflecting themes such as, the “dawning of a new world” and “hope for the future”. This making and crafting will be live-streamed, so people can engage with the project and have input into the final creations.

The package of support launched by Bradford Council to help the creative, arts and cultural sector is aimed at harnessing the power of the sector in helping to reduce social isolation and improve residents’ health and wellbeing.

RESPONSE is the Council’s new grant programme will support the creative sector to with innovative ideas and activities to help residents to connect with each other without leaving their homes and build on their sense of community, through various accessible platforms such as YouTube, podcasts, and live-streaming.

Supporting individual artists, freelancers, community groups and larger arts organisations across the district, projects must take place between now and August 2020 and grants of between £500 and £1,000 can be applied for up to 20 April 2020.

The Council has also guaranteed forward funding of key arts organisations for next six months, match funding Arts Council funding, so that they can continue to pay and support staff, freelancers and suppliers, until the sector is able to return to business as usual. 

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “The current set of restrictions, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, means that people are unable to go out and enjoy the extensive creative offer from across the district, which is so important for their health and wellbeing. In particular, there are vulnerable people in our communities who are feeling isolated right now.

“We need the support of our vibrant and creative arts and culture sector to play a vital role in finding the creative solutions, through new ways of working, so that people can be reached and feel included. This package of support will help keep the cultural sector afloat in these difficult times, enabling them to support the growth of our economy and maintain the cultural richness of our communities.”

The council has already received 29 applications and more are coming in every day. There have been 11 grants awarded so far for creative projects across the district to help people with their mental health and wellbeing during self isolation.


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