Rowan is a Cambridge-based arts centre and charity for people with learning disabilities. It provides a safe, creative and unique environment where students can work alongside and under the tutorage of skilled artists and craftspeople to create quality artwork and take part in music and drama workshops.
Due to the pandemic, Rowan has had to move their classes online and are now running virtual sessions for their student artists including social catch-ups and drama sessions, along with Makaton, Sign and Singing classes, Chair Yoga and Woodwork Club. Not only is this a great opportunity to create structure for the students, but it also provides a sense of connection for those who may be feeling alone or have limited contact with others during this time. The team provides students with activities to do at home on their website and delivers activity packs to those with limited IT access.
Funding from the NET Coronavirus Appeal, through the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, is enabling Rowan to stay connected with students,their families and volunteers via weekly video and phone calls, emails and socially-distanced doorstep visits. Having a peer support network has been more vital than ever, with a friendly smile and chat going such a long way to improving mental wellbeing.
A representative of Rowan said: “It has been an absolute joy to stay in touch during this time and the updates, photos and artwork being done at home have lifted spirits and given us all something to look forward to.”