Older people from Bridport, Lyme Regis and Beaminster have been enjoying a series of free arts workshops. The Arts Development Company designed the workshops as part of the Stepping into Nature project.

Trying out different art forms

Local artists are running sessions in the Skyrm Room in Beaminster and The Hub in Lyme Regis. Activities include dance, drawing, creative writing, pottery and singing. The workshops are all about having fun, meeting new people and trying out different art forms.

‘It’s an opportunity for people to explore their senses and try new experiences,’ said poet Kim Squirrell from Bridport. Kim led the creative writing workshops.

‘My hope is that the people who took part carry on some of these new ways of seeing into their everyday lives.’

Artist Sarah Hough agreed. Sarah ran the large-scale drawing workshop.

Childhood memories

‘All the workshop participants very quickly started to express their individual personalities. They connected with their feelings relating to the landscape around them. It also stirred childhood memories,’ she said.

‘Their drawing confidence grew throughout the session. Their work inspired discussion, as well as provoking memories and laughter.

‘I hope that the workshop broke down the fear of drawing large-scale, making it more accessible. It could be something that they and their carers may want to develop and use in the future to express themselves and their connection with the landscape.’

Stepping into Nature

The workshops were part of the Stepping into Nature programme, paid for by The Big Lottery Fund and managed by Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Stepping into Nature is helping to deliver health and wellbeing benefits for Dorset’s older people, including those living with dementia and their carers. It uses Dorset’s landscape to create dementia-friendly activities.

Stepping into Nature art workshop

ART OF LIFE: Maggie Harwood-Lindley and Alan Lindley from Bridport at the Stepping into Nature drawing workshop at The Hub in Lyme Regis with artist Sarah Hough (left) and Cleo Evans of The Arts Development Company (right).