Connecting Community through Creativity

Hawkesbury Remakery has expanded their current services with funding received from Wentworth Healthcare, provider of the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network (NBMPHN) under the Well-Being Grants initiative.

The Remakery opened in 2019 and now has 8-10 volunteers on a regular basis, with an additional 9 who help with the repair café which runs on weekends. They also host an array of weekly workshops and welcome a variety of people through their doors. Visitors include regular experienced makers, to people who aren’t necessarily naturally creative but are interested in trying something different.

The new activities start this month, with the C.L.A.S.S: Creative Lifestyle and Sustainability Skills project one of the first to commence in-house. The focus is to build social connectivity in the Hawkesbury, increase wellbeing awareness and provide training opportunities through a hub for creative and sustainable craft practices. The project will up-skill staff, makers in residence and volunteers in mental health literacy and understanding, as well as provide their volunteers with Mental Health First Aid Training to increase their capacity to support members of the community who may be struggling.

The Makers in Residence Sponsorship Program which will also begin this month will be a key component in encouraging participation. Five new ‘makers’ will call the Remakery home, with Remakery organiser Liz Germani hoping to recruit a variety of residents ranging from experienced creatives to high school graduates.

“The idea is for them [Makers in Residence] to be seen to be making so it inspires people. And also for that emotional connection to a maker, to see people actually making, and to be mentored. To develop their making in terms of their own personal vision for what it is they’re doing,” said Ms Germani.

In addition to the new in-house activities, The Remakery has developed an outreach service which is being delivered in the Colo area. The program is similar to that of the in-house C.L.A.S.S project, but is able to provide services to those who may be more isolated or unable to travel to town. Sessions started in early February and are available on the first Thursday of every month.

“We recognised that not all residents can access our Windsor location and developed this outreach program to help create activity in other locations within the Hawkesbury. Hopefully this can expand to local markets and sales opportunities in the Colo area too,” said Ms Germani.

Wentworth Healthcare CEO, Lizz Reay said the Well-Being Grants initiative has enabled many community groups and organisations to support their communities during difficult times.

“We’ve seen some really positive community connections being made as well as improved awareness of both existing and new services. Initiatives and projects like these are so important to encourage connectedness and enhance wellbeing, particularly during times of adversity,” she said.

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