The Connect & Do team are committed to uniting people from inside and outside the Certitude community through arts, activities and community participation.
Last year we reported on how this dynamic group has successfully pivoted online to offer a multitude of activities on Zoom, and in doing so, extending its reach right across London.
A year on, the Connect & Do (C&D) network continues to thrive and the team received the Certitude Michael Rosen Award in recognition of their extraordinary resilience and creativity in the face of COVID-19. Working with The Gate, Astley Day Centre and the ARC internally, and partnerships with influential organisations including Brit School, the Young Vic, Dulwich Picture Gallery and Dance Syndrome have resulted in some incredible outputs including the amazing Twenty Twenty film which premiered online in January 2021.
It’s not been all plain sailing and the team has faced ups and downs. Community Development Manager, Jake Meyer explains:
“Most people who deliver our sessions have lived experienced of mental health issues and some have struggled with social isolation, so we are very grateful for all the additional people who have helped and supported us with their time and resources over the last 12 months. This year we’ve had to be agile and have continued to adapt our offer because Zoom doesn’t work for everyone. The plan now is to include more face-to-face options which we can adjust depending on guidelines. Our 2021 Big Connect was bigger and better than ever, live at the Portico Gallery and included a new and very exciting collaboration with the Young Vic.”
Connect & Do highlights
Virtual Big Connect
On 27 November 2020, the team stretched its digital boundaries to host an amazing day of activities online for over 100 people. From laughing yoga and daytime discos to arts and crafts and its own radio station (hosted by The Gate) this vibrant event introduced many new people the idea of online fun, including Zoom break out rooms!
Big Connect 2021
In October, the team ran their annual ‘Big Connect’ in person for the first time since 2019. This was an opportunity for peer facilitators to run taster sessions, for us to exhibit participants work from the past year and also promote the programme more widely within the community.
Over 100 people attended the event, with many colleagues coming along on the day to say hello and see everything on offer. There were eight different taster sessions for people to take part in across the day. Taster sessions available included card design, jewellery creation, sewing, relaxation, marbling, printmaking, and creative writing.
The event took place in the Portico Gallery in West Norwood, an exciting neighbourhood art resource available for the local community in collaboration with the Young Vic Theatre.
Places on C&D’s six-week courses were quick to ‘sell out’ with sewing, printmaking and creative writing proving particularly popular.
With more time to get creative, C&D’s art packs and workbooks – which are posted out and include everything you need to participate in the team’s twice weekly art sessions – have remained consistently in demand, with over 169 art packs and 125 workbooks distributed.