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Retired people finding creative solution to isolation

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Gateshead Council are helping people of retirement age to stay creative and connected during isolation by joining Art Diamonds. 

Art Diamonds offers people of retirement age a new way to try their hand at different creative activities, whether it means learning a new skill or reigniting a passion for an old hobby. The project, supported by Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation, includes a wide range of activities from creative writing to photography, painting to making mini movies.  

Gateshead Council has over 150 registered Art Diamonds who were all given weekly challenges to keep them busy while in isolation until the end of April and will soon be receiving new activities to do. The group are also given links to other organisations that can provide support, such as Gateshead Older People's Assembly, a phone number should any of them just need someone to talk to as well as a fortnightly newsletter. There is also a new facebook group to share ideas and keep in touch.  

Councillor Angela Douglas, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, said "Due to our current circumstances we're unable to hold our usual Art Diamond workshops and events. However we know that being creative has a real positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing. This has never been more important than now as people face long periods of time not being able to see family and friends or go out in the way they usually would.  

"I'm really proud that our staff are keeping in touch with our Art Diamonds continuing to set them challenges and give them someone to contact if they just need to have a chat. I'd encourage people to join our Art Diamonds as our challenges are all free and you don't need to have art experience just the enthusiasm to give it a go." 

Anyone over retirement age can join Art Diamonds. To find out more and to join email 

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