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Glossop Arts Project

Dianne Boardman

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Glossop Arts ProjectSonja QuirkClare IsherwoodArts for WellbeingGlossop Adult CentreGlossop

Sonja Quirk and Clare Isherwood

Sonja Quirk and Clare Isherwood were picking their children up from school and chatting in the playground about how they’d like to use their training and degrees to give something back to the community.   Sonja is a Social Worker and Clare has a degree in Art so they were sure that between them they could set up a group to help physically and mentally disabled adults and promote social inclusion.  The seed for the Glossop Arts Project was sown.  

With help from local counsellors, the Volunteer Bureau and various groups and donations, they now hold Arts for Wellbeing groups on Mondays and Fridays at the Glossop Adult Centre for people with long term physical and mental health problems.  These sessions are free and there is also a group for adults with learning disabilities on Wednesday at Pure Vibes in Whitefield that makes a small charge to cover some of the materials but also includes music and movement sessions.  

Glossop Arts Project

Not only have the people attending the groups gained a lot for themselves in increased self-confidence and enjoyable social interacting but they have given a lot back to the community too, working with the Friends of Manor Park on the Sensory Garden and the Bellies not Bins campaign, being involved the Art in the Window show, and with High Peak Community Arts.  They recently joined Glossopdale Community College and the DCC on a scheme at Whitfield Extra Care Housing Complex for the elderly, which was a great success as many generations worked together on weaving and sharing stories.  Many residents had worked in the mills and were able to tell the art and textile students all about life there.

Recently Sonja answered a Facebook request on a Glossop Page from a nurse at Tameside Hospital asking for someone to brighten up the dayroom of the Cardiac Ward.  Sonja and Clare used donations from the High Peak Councillors Initiative Fund to buy materials and frames and the art groups rose to the challenge.  The result was some beautiful artwork inspired by the landscape of the area.  A Sister from another ward was so impressed she wants them to do a dayroom on another ward too.  Meanwhile they have begun their next venture, funded by Foundation Derbyshire and the NDVA (formerly North Derbyshire Voluntary Action), it is to be based on Lowry’s work.

The Glossop Arts Project hopes to one day become self-funding and to this end they sell at lot of the work they produce and Sonja and Clare give up many weekends and evenings to do car-boot sales and various other fund raising efforts but for now donations are needed to keep going, whether of materials, time or money.  Any help is welcome - even a bundle of wire donated by a local electrician was turned into an amazing head sculpture by a woman who had previously been too anxious to socialise at all.  

If you can help in any way please contact Sonja on 07855320179 or email at Sonja@glossopartsproject.  Their website is:  They also have a Facebook page and are on twitter.