The talented guests of The Bridge Homelessness to Hope got together to host a Christmas exhibition at the Melton Street facilities on 16 December 2022.
The exhibition was an opportunity for guests who have attended the charity’s creative sessions, including arts and crafts, creative writing and music, to showcase some of the amazing work that they have created over the past year.
As well as the exhibition, The Bridge Band also put on a special musical performance, playing a range of original compositions and famous cover versions.
Cathi Rae led the charity’s guests on a creative writing programme for six months in 2022, funded by Midlands4Cities. Cathi explains:
“We held a weekly class to provide literary support to guests and staff. Our aim was to show guests that even if they’re shy or dealing with disadvantages, they can still produce writing at a very high level. We value everyone’s work so it’s a safe entry into the world of writing. The poetry that the group produced for the exhibition ranged from thoughts about football to the birth of one individual’s daughter. We’ve created an anthology of the poetry which will be self-published in February 2023 and sold as a fundraiser.”
Luke Broughton is the creative lead for arts and music at The Bridge Homelessness to Hope. They said:
“It was great for the music group to play to other guests. We’re always coming up with projects and teaching different skills. The guests learn songs, analyse dynamics and gain performance skills by playing at local festivals and venues. Next year, we’re looking to bring out a record of original songs composed by the collective and secure funding for transport to take us to venues. We’re looking to bring visibility to the community, allowing them to express themselves and have a voice."
Dr Susan Smith, a trustee of the Carlton Hayes Hospital Charity, which has contributed funding to support some of the creative sessions, said:
"I was delighted to be able to attend the Christmas exhibition, to hear the band (and sing along at times!), read some of the poems, and view the art work. I was impressed by the quality of the work produced and wish the groups every success as they seek to showcase it further in future."