Anxious thoughts can be more difficult to escape in sustained isolation, such as the widespread lockdown measures due to the coronavirus pandemic, but our service users have shown that completing arts and crafts activities have helped to distract from these feelings.

The scale of the pandemic and its impact in limiting physical contact with others, has meant that many of our service users have used the activities that were delivered to them in the Ekta Care Packs, to keep themselves occupied.

The Arts and Craft activities help as they require focused attention and forces us to be completely immersed in the moment. Being engrossed in a creative project temporarily allows us to stop worrying about the future or dwell on the past. Using time purposefully has also been linked to lower depressive symptoms.

Julie Seaborne-Trustee of Ekta Unity said: “We have been delivering care packs to over 200 of our service users over the last 12 weeks. Each care pack contained arts and craft supplies, including pens, pencils, paper, crayons and a scrapbook, as well as knitting and sewing accessories and items which they can plant in their gardens. It has been almost three months since the Government announced lockdown, and sadly all our activities at St Paul’s Church remain closed. However, it is heartening to see that many of our service users have been keeping active at home during this difficult, challenging times and overcoming the isolation that they are feeling”

Ekta Unity has been helping our service users to lead creative lives during the lockdown. We know that being creative teaches them new skills, as well as increasing their overall happiness and boosting their mental wellbeing and confidence. Never has the liberating and transformative power of arts and crafts been more needed than now during the lockdown.

In the photographs below – our service users Sarla Tahim and Narabdaben Gosai have been keeping active and have completed various arts and craft and knitting activities during the lockdown.

Julie Seaborne
Ekta Unity