An arts group which has been running in Kidderminster for those people who access adult social care services has been hailed a great success by its participants.
Chipp Shop, which stands for Cultural and Heritage in Partnership with Personalisation, aims to provide fun and creative activities for adults with learning and or physical disabilities and also people with dementia. It helps them get and stay fit and interact with other people with similar challenges, as well as helping them learn a new and exciting activity or hobby, including drawing, dance, drama and writing.
The weekly sessions, which have been held at Kidderminster Town Hall, have just finished but officers from the county council's arts team are already planning to roll them out wider across the county, such has been the positive response.
One service user, Paul Bardell – a keen Kidderminster Harriers FC supporter – said the sessions provided him with many benefits, not least meeting new people: "I really love the colouring, especially clowns, circus and butterflies - I like to use different colours as it makes the pictures look nice. The best part of coming along to Chipp Shop is meeting other people and catching up with friends."
Another attendee, Melanie Latham, also from Kidderminster, added: "It's great fun and I enjoy joining in with all the activities."
The arts team, led by Steve Wilson, is part of the county council's Adult and Community Services directorate, which is also responsible for adult social care services.
Steve said "Chipp Shop was a great example of different departments within the directorate coming together for the benefit of service users: Chipp Shop is about providing fun and creative activities for people who might not always feel that they have the same opportunities to get involved in such sessions in their community. Getting out, meeting new people, establishing friendships while getting those creative juices flowing can have a really positive impact on people's quality of life and proves that just because you may have a disability, there is nothing stopping you learning new and exciting things."
Chipp Shop begins again at Kidderminster Town Hall on Friday 28 September and will run weekly on Friday's from 10.30am – 12.30pm. The cost is £5 and there is no need to book – just turn up on the day.
For more information about the county's arts service contact Steve Wilson on 01905 765754 or email firstname.lastname@example.org