For our 30th birthday year we have looked back to the archive and sought out previous participants. Helena took part in one of our schools projects 20 years ago – the experience had a lasting impact:
Helena first got involved with Magic Me when she was at school in Tower Hamlets 20 years ago. She was 11 years old when she took part in a project called ‘A Stitch in Time’ where the group made an animated film from stories told to them by older people living in Silk Court care home. She says of it:
“I don’t remember very much about what the film was about – I do remember running around Tower Hamlets and being in a phone booth wearing a silly hat! I think I was quite anxious at the time, and was aware that this, the care home, was an unfamiliar and unknown space. Looking back as a facilitator myself now, I am aware that the artists working with us were very effective in making the space feel comfortable and a climate for creating. The making of something gives you a lightness of being.
At the end of the project we were given a VHS of the animation and I recall feeling that our creation was something of quality, something valued.”
Helena now works for London Bubble on the Creative Elders Programme (you can read about her work there here).
… I’m sure the intergenerational projects I did with Magic Me were significant in taking me to the work I do now. The project I facilitate involves delivering theatre based workshops in sheltered housing units in Southwark. These might lead towards creating performance where there is interest from the group, or other creative products and forms