Ability Arts gets creative to continue running art programs for people with disabilities

Photo: Supplied.

Photo: Supplied.

Local community art club, Ability Arts, have had to get creative to adapt their program during the coronavirus crisis.

The Chorus program normally offers social, art and music programs to people with disabilities in the Peel region.

They are usually based out of a fully equipped building with access to a skilled team of volunteers, but with social distancing rules in place, have successfully changed the way deliver such activities.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the group moved to offering one-on-one sessions with participants.

They were also awarded a COVID-19 Response Grant from Neami National to continue delivering their arts program to the club in an effort to support community mental health during the pandemic.

The funding has helped the team send out 'art boxes' to participants in self isolation, as well as extend the project to 43 people in the Mandurah, Rockingham, Baldivis and Kwinana area.

The free kits will be sent every fortnight containing all the materials they need, including access to instructions and online tutorials so they can get creative from the comfort of their own home.

Chorus social support group facilitator Elli Moody said the program helped so many members of the local community so it was important to keep it running in some capacity during the pandemic.

"Our groups offer local people living with disabilities the opportunity to get creative, try new things and be sociable and make new friends," she said.

"We were really keen to keep the program running in some way to offer our participants social contact, continuity and routine and an opportunity to be creative during these different and uncertain times.

"It's been great to see how much it means to our participants to get out of the house, get creative and have a chat and catch up with our team members."

Ms Moody said many of the participants had found their interests, tapped into their talents and developed their skills through Ability Arts.

"One of our artists, Hayley, has been using her one to one sessions to learn to play the ukulele and has just bought her own uke which is really exciting," she said.

"We have another artist who is developing his skills to work on larger scale murals which is challenging and very rewarding.

"As an artist myself, I know that being creative makes me happy and I love the fact that we can offer a space which encourages people to be creative."

For more information about Ability Arts, visit their Facebook page.