‘Wave’ creative arts club helps young people to develop a healthy mind

Wave is a creative arts club that uses both knowledge and understanding to help young people to develop a healthy mind and is being supported by the Rochester Riverside Community Board.

Established in October 2018, by Xtina Lamb, the club is specifically for young people aged 15-24 years as a suicide and self-harm prevention project. It provides a ‘safe space’ for them to come together and work creatively on zines, printmaking, bookbinding, music, badge making and window installations. Activities do not directly focus on a suicide prevention message; instead a new skill of bookbinding could lead to writing down positive thoughts in a hand-stitched decorated pamphlet book, or a zine could lead to sharing thoughts on triggers for desperate feelings etc.

Xtina Lamb commented: “Club members have fun together, while feeling that they are better understood at Wave than in other peer groups. It is much easier to talk about difficult things if your hands are busy. Often the activity itself is less important than the club members having a reason to spend time together. Typically, they may struggle to make friends or feel listened to in their daily lives, and this age group has increased pressures such as exams and identity issues.”

Social distancing could have seen the project crash but Xtina has not allowed covid-19 to hamper the progress. To ensure that the members needs have been catered for in uncertain times Xtina moved the activities online. Weekly meetings have been facilitated via Zoom, along with making deliveries of creative materials to some of the members when requested.

Intra Arts is the organisation which runs Wave, which is a not-for-profit, community arts organisation offering creative classes, education, wellbeing workshops, family events and exhibition. It supports a large cross section of the local community including home educated children, schools, adults with learning difficulties, people with illness and physical disabilities, older people, young people who are NEET, artists, students, and graduates.

The organisation is based at INTRA, a Medway-based arts venue and makerspace which has been named after the high street that connects the towns of Chatham and Rochester. Home to a whole host of independent traders, creative groups, cafes, restaurants and more, INTRA sits in the very centre of the high street. Hyde recently moved their offices to Doust Way in the Intra area, adjacent to the Rochester Riverside development.

The Rochester Riverside Community Board is delighted to have funded the Wave art club and see it move from strength to strength, despite the challenging circumstances.

Story posted: 2/07/2020

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