Hidden Gems in Manchester

The ‘Hidden Gems’ project has brought together people and places, connecting Justlife with four cultural venues in Manchester and the culmination of art work is now on display at Beswick Library.

Over a period of 4 months, Justlife service users visited Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Museum, The Whitworth Art Gallery and the People’s History Museum with project co-ordinator Ruth Edson. Each venue inspired questions and conversations on the theme of Nature and how we feel about the environment around us. During each visit, the group responded creatively, through drawing and photography. Following each visit, a creative response session took place at Justlife, introducing creative techniques enabling people to express their ideas and opinions.

Each activity has helped to increase confidence, enabling project participants to access cultural places independently and use the Justlife centre more fully, to broaden their horizons with new ideas and creative stimulus and have their own skills recognised and enhanced. All of these outcomes have helped to reduce isolation in the short and long term.

The display at Beswick Library is made up of 288, 5×5 inch square creative responses to each Hidden Gems visit. We are hoping that the project is taken further afield throughout Manchester’s cultural places.

This project was funded by an ATLAS:Mcr grant with a view to Manchester Community organisations piloting creative work in partnership with Cultural Organisations and staff including researchers at the University of Manchester to address social isolation together.