Give A Bag Some Life
Tackling loneliness and social isolation is the aim of a new exhibition called “Give A Bag Some Life”, which is about to start touring Thanet’s art galleries.
More than 70 blank canvas bags have been decorated by volunteers, supporters and beneficiaries of the Thanet Good Neighbours Service, a befriending scheme which matches the most isolated older people in the area with volunteers, who visit once a week for tea and a chat, go shopping with or for their matches, or even help with dog walking.
The befriending scheme, part of Kent Coast Volunteering, has made more than 100 successful matches and is always looking for ways to raise funds.
Service coordinator, Rebecca Bullivant said:
“We started handing out blank canvas bags to our volunteers to decorate and the project became so popular that we quickly had to find more. They were snapped up by all ages and abilities eager to get creative on behalf of the Good Neighbours Service. We hope people will come to the galleries and then bid for them at auction.”
Good Neighbours Service volunteer Jackie Collins, who decorated and donated bags herself, said:
“What we do is so important. People are living longer, and I feel our befriending service allows people to keep their dignity, but we are there if anything starts to go wrong or they don’t seem to be coping.”
The project was kickstarted by Thanet Rotary Club and bags have been covered by everything from painted birds and seascapes to crochet poppies and patchwork beach huts.
People can make sealed bids at the galleries before the auction, which will take place at the San-Clu Hotel (Comfort Inn) on Friday 8th March at 7pm. The first such bid to be received was from National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) chief, Sir Stuart Etherington, who was bowled over by the project during a recent visit to Kent Coast Volunteering.
All funds raised will go towards the Good Neighbours Service and the aim is to keep the “Give A Bag Some Life” project running as long as possible.
Bags can be seen at the following locations:
McGillan & Woodell, Ramsgate, 14th – 22nd Feb, with a viewing party on Saturday 16thFeb 3-6pm
New Kent Art Gallery & Studio, Broadstairs, 25th Feb – 3rd March
Nice Things, Ramsgate, 4th March – 8th March
Ramsgate Visitor Information Centre, also 4th March – 8th March
Auction – San-Clu Hotel (Comfort Inn), Ramsgate, 8th March, 7pm-8:30pm