Adaptation Series - Onwards and Upwards!

Zoe & Lucy from My Arty Party

Despite the endless and devastating negative effects of COVID-19 there have been a few small positives too.  Like having the time to stop and reflect rather than react, listening to that lovely bird song, finding amazing patterns in nature, just everywhere, reconnecting with close family and having just a little spare time to enjoy being more creative!

We at My Arty Party were set for a bumper year delivering arts and crafts experiences to children at loads of Sheffield events, parties and workshops.  We were fully booked until late summer, due for our best year ever since we established in 2014, then lockdown.  Initially, like everyone, we watched aghast the terrifying scale of global events and went through many emotions, fear, relief, sadness, helplessness, hope.

We were desperate to be able to do something creative for kids that was ‘allowed’.  I’m afraid we are not natural YouTubers, yet, so it was wonderful to sign up and be part of the Bags of Creativity initiative for Rotherham in May.  It gave us a real purpose and an opportunity to be busy and creative again.  Of the six activities we submitted all were chosen for the Bags - yay! We absolutely loved the whole process, especially the mentoring sessions and connecting with other creatives.

In July we became a Partner with Create Sheffield, which made us feel part of a great, supportive, lovely team and in August we supplied 300+ craft activity packs as part of the Healthy Holidays project coordinated by VAS (Voluntary Action Sheffield) and their partners.  These were distributed to local families so the children could enjoy great creative activities and keep their minds active and healthy after long months of being at home.

Creating these packs, as well the activity ideas and instructions for the Bags of Creativity, has been a huge learning curve that we have really enjoyed.  It gave us purpose, hope for the future and joy.  We learnt so much, graphic design skills, how to create and extend crafts for children with next to no resources, speed box building techniques to name a few!  There are new ideas pinging all over the place now that will hopefully form into tangible creative services and products for all children and young people to enjoy really soon.  Watch this space!

We wanted to say big thanks to Create Sheffield, Rotherham Local Cultural Education Partner, IVE, Zest and VAS for their support and faith in our little business and making us feel brighter.  Thank you.

Zoe and Lucy x