There hasn’t a day gone by without a crane being folded somewhere in Beeston this week! Even on a tram ride out of Beeston, I couldn’t resist folding my used tram ticket into a printed version of that graceful bird.
Keen to make sure that we generate interest in our community project, and enough cranes to make a decent display, we have arranged a few group sessions and the response has been good. I especially enjoyed showing a mother and her son how to complete the models they started independently.
This week I have also been getting back into my writing. The tram in question was taking me to meet a lady at an office in Clifton, and despite getting off at the wrong stop, getting a little bit lost and arriving late she was really pleased to invite me in to talk about her successful community interest company, Creative Paths.
I first heard about Karyn’s community project work through Sarah of Open House, and have been following some of them from afar for about three years. When I heard that the theme for the next edition of The Beestonian Magazine was ‘community’ I saw the perfect opportunity to have a proper natter with Karyn and satisfy my genuine interest in what she has been up to, as well as providing me with a topical article for our people centred publication.
Karyn started out as a community artist working teaching classes in a hospital for the elderly, many of which were terminally ill. She speaks of the pleasure she got of enriching people’s lives with creative pursuits and at once I experience an innate understanding of where she is coming from.
With an arts and education background, Karyn has managed to build on the many different experiences that have eventually led her to become the director of an expanding social enterprise that delivers community support in Beeston and now Clifton. She employs six members of staff and three sessional workers and co-ordinates a range of courses to stimulate and engage the elderly, mostly in care homes. I was certainly inspired by our conversation.
You can read the finished article in early February, when the next edition comes out, along with an excellent selection of other local writers’ work on the same topic. Al I need to do now is persuade a happy band of creatives to lend me their clever fingers for a folding frenzy, that will culminate in an eye-catching display of community cranes in the heart of our little town.
In the meantime
Look out for each other
and stay sweet