Community Cohesion

No Added Sugar artists have a great deal of experience delivering projects in partnership with a vast range of communities and can engage even the most reluctant participant.

Our community cohesion work relates to a variety of issues where the arts are used as a tool of communication with all ages and abilities to address relevant issues.

Projects include partnerships with:

  • Swindon Borough Council – Intergeneration project
  • The Heritage Lottery Fund – working with people from different cultures to celebrate diversity
  • Schools and SPLASH Charity – working with families to encourage better relationships
  • SPLASH Charity – working with children and young people whose parents suffer from drug and alcohol abuse
  • Housing Development Associations – working on housing estates to encourage neighbours to work together

Projects in this section

Intergeneration Project

Client comment

The aim for this project was to encourage young and old to work together, and the relationships formed during the project have exceeded our expectations. So much so, in fact, that we are already planning another intergeneration project in a second school community in Swindon. The excellent communication skills of the artists/facilitators has led to the participants taking the lead of this project and they are planning future sessions to extend their working relationships. Helen Miah, Head of Culture

Poem by Bill

We’re waiting outside the door, at Lilian Lock,
We all have to arrive there by ten o’clock.
The six of us are a merry band,
We are looking forward to the job in hand.

The taxi’s arrived and we’re on our way,
The cars they leave, and we’re soon there,
We open the boot for our Terry's chair.

We go to the reception, and get booked in,
And then to the hall for the work to begin,
We all settle down, and there is no fuss,
Those wonderful children are there to meet us.

Everybody is interviewed in various places,
And it’s nice to see, the smile on their faces,
In a while we decide to stop, and take a walk,
Down to the dining room, for a tea and a talk.

After tea, we all went back to play our part,
Some helped out with the painting and art,
We achieved so much, each one and all,
Then we went to lunch in the dining hall.

After lunch we returned to the hall,
To thank all the children, at the school,
And tremendous thanks, to you the staff,
For giving us pleasure, and such a laugh.

Thanks to Sevenfields School from all the residents at Lilian Lock Gardens, PenHill.

A word from the artists

This exciting project started from an idea to improve the relationship and understanding between older and young people, which would develop better community cohesion and inclusion, using the arts as a tool to make it happen. The project group consists of representatives from Children’s Services, schools, Adult Services, Swindon Borough Council Policy Unit, Housing, led by artists from No Added Sugar. We worked with Year 6 pupils from Sevenfields School, Year 11 pupils from Kingsdown School and a group of older people who live in a variety of settings in Penhill. We delivered three project sessions with these three groups to make bunting from a variety of materials, to be displayed at Lydiard Park on the 10th July 2010.

For more information on the Big Arts Day and Big Arts Experiment please see the Swindon Does Arts web site.

Family Project

Client comment

The families that participated had a great day and were able to do something different together. Children worked well with their parents and the general feel for the day was one very much of fun. Personally, it was overwhelming to see families working together and bonding the way they did. Andrea Smith, Extended Services Wootton Bassett Secondary School

This project was an amazing opportunity for parents and their children to work together and see each other in a different light, as creative people. No Added Sugar created an atmosphere where participants could comfortably relax, focus on their family portraits and learn to communicate on a different level. The artists encouraged participants to believe that they could achieve, and everyone produced the most amazing art work, including me! Simone Mathews, Splash Coordinator

A word from the artists

Our family projects are a great success with participants, artists and partners who are also encouraged to join in and paint their own portraits.

This puts everyone on a level playing field and allows families to talk to family support workers and artist/facilitators in a relaxed atmosphere rather than in an office.

Project process…

We simplify family portraits and then draw them out ready for participants and lay them out on tables with paint, brushes and photographs so they can start as soon as they arrive.

Often people are worried that they will spoil the picture, so we start with a demonstration and paint badly over an image then wipe off the paint to show that any mistakes made when painting, like life, can be fixed with a little bit of reflection and action. These projects are more about the process than the product. However, if the process is right the product will be amazing, and we have never had anyone leave less than thrilled to have this opportunity to achieve together.

Broadgreen Community Centre

A word from the artists

We have delivered several projects with Linsey Poole - youth worker at Broadgreen Community Centre with her young people and this project came from the young people wanting to put something back into their community. The young people made a start on the images during evening sessions and then held a community day in partnership with the Muslim Youth Centre. They advertised the project in their community and approx 130 people of all ages, faiths and cultures attended the day. We are in the process of looking for funding for community to do more work together.

Co-worker comment

I have worked alongside No Added Sugar on a number of occasions and the results have always been successful and popular. Our last project was particularly successful in showing young people in a positive light in their community. Sometimes the young people who we work with can be quite challenging and I feel that No Added Sugar take on this challenge with humour and a genuine desire to inspire and support. They are flexible, open to change in direction and easy to communicate with. I highly recommend their work and look forward to working together again in the near future. Linsey Poole, youth worker