Winter Distance Creates Remote Programme
Throughout the cold winter months of 2020, our Distance Creates Remote Programme brought connection and creativity to teenagers with similar life experiences of living with long term health conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While many teenagers were able to go about their schooling and day-to-day life the same as their peers, there were others for whom cocooning and the isolation of social distancing was a difficult reality that they had to find a way of managing.
Our Distance Creates programme has been an essential outlet for the children we work with during these times, using remote working and innovative tools to allow the children to find expression and have some form of connection despite the restrictions. Through this programme, we have positively affected the lives of over 25% more children across 14 more counties and rural locations than had it been delivered in person.
The programme involves Helium’s dedicated team of artists delivering a series of home-based creative experiences through activity sheets delivered with step-by-step guides, surprise postal drops, collaborations via post, and virtual sharing.
The first week of our Distance Creates programme got off to an exciting start. The 6-8 year olds were exploring the world of land art. This involved venturing outside to see what natural materials they could find which they could then make art with. Some of the items they found were twigs, leaves, acorns, shells, stones, flowers, feathers – check out some of the impressive work they created below!
Meanwhile, the 9-12 year olds created some beautiful to decorate and brighten up their homes during the winter months. Using clue, paint, bunting shapes and paper, the came up with some wonderful designs. Check them out here!
For the second week, the 6-8 year olds said goodbye to autumn by creating leaf postcards. Using drawing materials, stickers and ribbons, they made special artworks to send to our Post Pals or friends!
The 9-12 year olds were busy creating kindness calendars to celebrate the 31 days of December! Each day featured something nice to do for someone else – a great way is a great way to spread positive energy!
With the cold weather creeping in, the 6-8 year olds built their very own hibernation stations using items around their house to make sure they would be cosy all through the winter months!
The 9-12 year olds brightened up their homes by creating colourful origami stars. It was hard to tell it was winter at all!
For the fourth week, both groups cooked up a winter wonderland feast! Using air dough, Paper plate, paper bowl, paint! Check out some of delicious creations below – almost good enough to eat!
One of the parents shared the impact the programme has had on her son Tom, who suffers from severe allergies that affect his day-to-day life, “He’s been buzzing from the project, and his confidence is up. Just to get him socially interacting, for him to talk to other kids. He doesn’t like to not be able to do something, he doesn’t give up, and having this to be a part of has had such a big impact”.
This year, we are continuing our Distance Creates to help lift the spirits of children living with long-term illnesses during these unprecedented times.