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CompassionArt is a Dilly Arts project launched in 2018, working with people in and around the rural area of Hexham, Northumberland who are living with long-term chronic illness which prevents them from working, and has a major impact on their daily lives.

The current set of sessions are the fifth run of workshops in the project and are funded by the National Lottery Awards for All. Our participants told us that they’d still feel safer at the moment with an online process, rather than face to face due to the continuing covid situation, so we’ll be continuing to deliver our creative sessions via zoom. We are offering 20 sessions starting in the new year (January 2022). You can book for as many or as few sessions as you like. All sessions are completely free of charge and materials kits will be provided for the drawing, watercolour painting and up-cycled crafts sessions. We strongly advise that if you’re undertaking the watercolour painting sessions you also do the drawing sessions in preparation – we also advise that you attend as many of the drawing and watercolour sessions as possible as these activities are running as a combined course. Our sessions are designed to be beneficial, creative, stimulating and engaging activities to bring people together in a calm and supportive environment.

There are no geographical limitations within England for participation but our project is only aimed at adults living with long-term chronic illness on a self-referral basis. Our definition of long-term chronic illness includes mental health issues such as anxiety, depression etc…. Please note if you’ve never been to any of our sessions before that we are run for and by people living with long-term chronic illness and we are not health professionals or carers.

Our sessions are all led by artists, experts and fully qualified practitioners. This series of sessions consists of drawing, watercolour painting, singing & song making and chair dance.

We understand that when living with long-term health issues we can often find that life opportunities diminish vastly, leading to lack of confidence and isolation. It is, however important that any activities offered are sensitive to individuals needs and health limitations. This project has been structured to ensure empathy and compassion with participants, but it will also provide (appropriate) stimulating challenges and opportunities. CompassionART sessions are designed to ensure that peer support and reducing isolation through social connectivity are part of each session and that most of the activities could be continued beyond the project by the individual.