High Hopes was a creative programme for Farnham designed to encourage people to connect, take notice, share and create. In spring 2021, a range of artists provided workshops, participation opportunities, and surprise packages for those in the community who were most in need of a pick-me-up. The activities were designed through conversations with the Health Authority, the voluntary and community sector and local people with a particular ambition to engage with the widest possible community possible. Most of the programme was delivered locally, in community spaces, public spaces and in front gardens, whilst other parts were delivered in partnerships with our hospitals, the Herald Newspaper and local businesses.
The programme was made up of eight strands of activities, many with specific groups across the town, to forge new connections and provide safe and creative ways for people to socialise, these included:
a doorstep duet
Working in partnership with New Adventures, we took specially choregraphed duets to 22 outdoor locations across the town, performing directly on doorsteps, and the most local community spaces including Farnham Hospital courtyard, Beldham Rd Park, Sandy Hill Field and care home courtyards.
More details on these performances can be read in our press release.
high hopes gift
Being kind to the people around felt particularly important in spring 2021, emerging from lockdowns, in a world full of challenge and uncertainty. We created small gift boxes to spread a little joy to a friend, neighbour or someone within the local community who might have needed a pick me up, connecting to others or deserved some recognition. Nominations have now closed with all packages delivered by the nominator or anonymously by Farnham Maltings.
willow weaving with space2breathe
We teamed up with space2breathe to run willow weaving workshops for parents with a creche for children running alongside. Space2breathe has been providing support for families with home schooling and giving parents time and space for themselves. Workshops, taught by Judith Needham, have taken place at Hale Community Centre, and with live willows at space2grow community garden.
high hopes arts packs
We teamed up with our local NHS to gift creative packs which support those leaving hospital. The packs contained activities and prompts to help people through those first days at home and encourage them to reflect and find joy.
high hopes on Spotify
This playlist was created to lift spirits, put a smile on faces and get people dancing, and features in several of the High Hopes projects.
the extraordinary times
A supplement distributed with the Farnham Herald, carrying messages of hope, creativity, curiosity and renewal. The Extraordinary Times was published on Thu 15 April, read it in full here.
The JukeBox Telephone Line
From Tue 06 to Sat 10 April 2021, we ran a virtual jukebox manned by volunteers, aiming to bring people together over a shared love of songs and stories. Anyone could ring the line between 5pm and 7pm and ask for a song and engage in conversation about the song they’ve requested.
Read more about this activity in this news post.
High Hopes has been developed by Farnham Maltings with investment from Arts Council of England.