WARRINGTON residents are being encouraged to “Connect with Culture” during the coronavirus lockdown.
Culture and the Arts are able to play a crucial role in supporting the mental health of everyone across the borough.
Whether dancing along with Oti Mabuse, listening to a rap about staying at home, learning to knit or watching a live streamed play, joining in with cultural activities can greatly help people who are struggling with major challenges such as loneliness, anxiety, depression and stress.
The borough council and partners have pulled together a list of cultural activities, events and resources for residents to experience and enjoy from their own homes while social distancing and self-isolation.
Activities include virtual tours of international museums, arts and crafts, sofa singing, online workshops, daily creative challenges, and much more. There is something for all age groups and interests.
A list of activities to allow people to engage with culture from their own homes can be found at warrington.gov.uk/connect-with-culture
For those without internet access, the BBC has announced its “Culture in Quarantine” initiative, a series of programmes which will run across both TV and radio, and which can be found in the usual TV and radio listings.
The councill’s cabinet member responsible for health, wellbeing and culture, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, said: “These are challenging times for all of us, and with current restrictions meaning people should only leave their homes when absolutely necessary, it’s really important that we take extra steps to look after our mental health as well as our physical health. By connecting with creative and cultural activities we can support our mental health and wellbeing in enjoyable ways and maybe pick up some new skills along the way.
“There are so many things we can do, from reading a book, drawing or painting, watching a film, or dancing to our favourite songs, but what’s really encouraging right now is the way cultural groups, organisations and broadcasters are using the media and social media to help people to engage and join in with new activities.
“Professional dancers and musicians, museums, theatre groups and even local craft groups are all finding ways to reach out online or on TV and radio. Activities like these provide the perfect way to relax, stimulate the mind, alleviate stress and take our minds off other things.
“These links will give local people inspiration and ideas about cultural activities they can get involved in at home, and will also remind people that, as well as looking after their physical nourishment during this challenging time, it’s also really important that they continue to look after their mental nourishment. Connecting with culture is a great way of doing that.”
Culture Warrington have also been working hard to keep their audiences busy by creating an online “one-stop-shop” of cultural activities and resources for people, at culturewarrington.org/coronavirus-get-creative-at-home
In addition, they are providing regular content on their various social media sites, including links to national theatre performances, local online classes, a midweek challenge and an opportunity to take part in a special project to create a commemorative patchwork quilt.
Emma Hutchinson, managing director at Culture Warrington, said: “Times like these can be challenging for us all and can have a real impact on our health and wellbeing. As venues up and down the country remain closed, we’re eager to ensure our visitors still get access to a top-quality culture and heritage offer without having to leave the house. From national campaigns from industry leaders to quirky treats we’ve created ourselves, our one-stop shop aims to bring a little light relief to everyone.”
Visit warrington.gov.uk/connect-with-culture or culturewarrington.org/coronavirus-get-creative-at-home for more advice, tips and information about staying connected with culture during the coronavirus lockdown.