Reconnecting with local older adults through ‘Get-Togethers at Pott Street’


Between July – October 2022, Magic Me delivered a monthly creative workshop with 31 older adults (aged 50+) at St Hilda’s East Community Centre and Pott Street, Magic Me’s  base in Bethnal Green.

Led by artists, Chuck Blue Lowry and Amanda Mascarenhas, workshops supported Magic Me to:

  • Reconnect with older adults in East London – finding out what people’s priorities and concerns are right now
  • Test out creative workshops in the community hall at Pott Street for the first time

What did we do?

Participants explored the theme of ‘Our Neighbourhood’ thinking about real and imagined places they would like to spend time in and characters who might live or work there.

Over three months, using clay, collage, and drawing, two groups of older adults created a model which included…rivers, lots of green spaces with seating, wheelchair-accessible pavements, a treehouse, affordable office spaces for community organisations, sculptures & public art, an outdoor wellbeing space, sustainable housing with solar panels, good public transport.

What did we learn?

People enjoyed:

  • Connecting with one another through a mix of making and discussion
  • Building new connections with people they may not otherwise meet 
  • Using art forms that might be out of the ordinary e.g. model making with clay
  • Taking part in activities that ‘stretched imaginations and inspired curiosity

Important ingredients:

  • A welcoming and supportive environment that allows those that need it the space to build confidence over time
  • Ongoing opportunities to reflect and give feedback from a participant’s perspective
  • Activities that encouraged participants to collaborate
  • Additional support to attend workshops e.g. transport provision, on-the-day reminders and check-in calls
What next?

This series of workshops will feed into the development of Magic Me’s intergenerational arts programme in East London, providing local older and younger people spaces to connect, make and discover.

Project funded by the French Huguenot Church of London Charitable Trust and The Charity of Sir Richard Whittington.