Following on from its recent success with a ‘good’ judgement from Ofsted, Hazelwood Academy has cause to celebrate again, having secured a £9,900 Big Lottery Fund grant to run the Toothill and Hazelwood Community Arts project from 22 to 26 June.
The week of events, organised by Toni Dickinson of arts in education business ’No Added Sugar’ has engaged pupils, parents and members of the Toothill Community in creative sessions to make large, colourful pieces of art to hang in the academy hall. Jessica McDonald reports.
The application for the grant was submitted by academy business manager Kate Ayliffe, who commented: ”Our aim has been to involve members of the community, including the elderly and those where language may be a barrier, in a fun, informal and creative environment. We’ve been able to draw in people to discover their creative talents, which perhaps they haven’t used since they were at school themselves.”
Toni and Gordon Dickinson ran art activities through the week for each class and also sessions after-school and in the evening for residents and community groups. The theme of the week is to create four large banners depicting the same scene through the four seasons. Participants made flowers, birds and insects out of felt appropriate for the season. Residents also used their imagination to paint small artworks.
Although there was a great deal of work put in from the children, a few adults stood out among the crowd. Interior designer Sandra Wells of Hyde and Seek Curtains & Blinds in Purton helped create the large banners and parent Elsa Hatley made detailed felt birds with the children.
Headteacher Suzanne Lloyd is delighted with the work. She said: “We wanted to both encourage collaboration and to break down barriers in the community by creating pieces of lasting art work which the whole community can be proud. The children have been really excited by the prospect of working with two talented local artists and have had lots of fun creating art work with local people.”
Over 100 Toothill residents took part in the week of community art. Toni said: “It’s been a fantastic week, the children have loved taking part and there have been some amazing contributions from the community. Lots of people have been surprised by their hidden artistic talent.”
The Big Lottery Fund supports projects such as the arts project across the UK, and it is clear from this event just how crucial these grants are for building relationships amongst members of smaller communities.
There will be an exhibition for parents, children and residents at Hazelwood Academy on Wednesday 1st July at 3:30pm – 5:30pm.
For more information, visit their website here.