Being isolated at home can be tough, but there are lots of free resources out there to help us all cope and connect creatively.
We’ve been on the look out for activities, workshops and inspiration that will help uplift our members and help us stay connected during this difficult time. Below is a list of free resources that we think you’ll like, including fun activities to do with the kids, creative workshops where you can learn or hone skills and mental health advice. Click the orange titles to be sent to each activity. We hope you have fun!
Get Creative or Learn a New Skill:
Norwich Writing Centre
Free workshops and writing resources
Whether you’re new to writing or want to polish your skills, the National Centre for Writing has something for you. Get top tips from successful authors, tutorials on character writing, world building and self publishing. These workshops cover all types of writing, including writing for games, scripts, businesses and children. Our marketing officer is excited to have just signed up for Writing Science Fiction: World Building, a self-paced course taught by Ian Nettleton.
Online learning, music, arts and culture
Chatterpack has created an extensive list of free online resources to tackle boredom. Learn a language, take a tour of a museum or watch a concert all from the comfort of your own home. This webpage is full of great things to do. Resources include virtual tours, online learning, nature, music, arts and culture, literature, general entertainment and mental health links.
Sketchbook Revival Workshops
An online creative workshop to help you feel inspired
Running from Monday 23rd March until Friday 3rd April, this series of video tutorials aims to motivate and inspire your sketch book work, helping you feel energised while you explore different ways to approach your sketchbook, using a variety of techniques, styles and media.
Short gardening activities you can do while isolated
To stay healthy and productive it’s important to take regular screen breaks, move around and see daylight. Gardening is the perfect way to keep fit at home. Getting out into the garden, getting some fresh air and daylight, will boost your mood. Gardener’s World has compiled a list of easy things to do while you’re stuck at home, to help you make the most of those breaks from work. All the jobs can be done now, without leaving the safety of your home and garden, and for some you don’t even need a garden.
Read, Watch or Listen:
Norwich Book Hive
Spend £10 and receive a mystery book
The Book Hive in Norwich are offering to send out books they think are great to readers who want a good read without the pressure of choosing their own book. For £10 they’ll send you a ‘lucky dip’ book their staff recommends and for every £10 spent, they are making a £1 donation to Sir Norman Lamb’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund. Alternatively, tell them what books you like and for £45 they’ll send you 5 hand picked books.
Listen to free audiobooks online
Audible are providing a catalogue of free audiobooks to entertain children and adults while schools are closed. There’s no filling in bank details or signing up to anything, just click the book you like from the link above and start listening. There are books for children, teenagers and literary classics like Jane Eyre, Frankenstein and Moby Dick. Maybe its time to listen to that classic you’ve always meant to read but never got round to it?
The Social Distancing Festival
Watch performances from all over the world
An artistic online community set up by a writer after his latest musical was cancelled on 13th March. The Social Distancing Festival was made to celebrate and showcase the work of the many artists around the world who have been affected by the need for social distancing. Watch a performance through live streaming or see videos of past performances.
Help and guidance to keep you healthy
As well as your physical health, its important to keep track of your mental health during isolation. Mind has provided lots of useful information and ideas to help ease anxiety and stay healthy.
Home-based creative ways to support mental health
March Network have put together a huge list of creative activities you can take part in, including Mindful Crochet, The Feel Good Book Club, Learning Origami and Sofa Singers.
Help Other People:
Home but not Alone Campaign
Suffolk good neighbours volunteering scheme
Community Action Suffolk are linking up volunteers with community groups around the county, ensuring that those who are isolated continue to get the practical help and support they need. If you are interested in volunteering, you can read more info in the link above, or register as a volunteer here.
Artists’ Hardship Fund
Raising money for self employed artists living in Norfolk
Curious Directive, a small theatre company in Norwich, has set up an online fundraiser to help provide donations to self employed artists whose income has been affected due to the need to isolate. They’re just over half way to their goal of £1000 so if you have a few pounds to spare, you could help support the cause and in turn support an artist in Norfolk.
Keep the Kids Entertained:
Wild Things Activity book
Creative activities to do in the garden at home
If you have young children and access to a safe outdoor area, the craft activities in this PDF booklet are the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Make a fairy badge with flower petals, or paint a magic wand! Let your children’s imaginations run wild.
British Dragonfly Association
Fun educational crafts for KS1 to 3
These free PDFs provide entertainment and education for Key Stages 1 to 3. Make your own dragonflies with household items, learn how to identify different dragonfly species, discover facts about the dragonfly food chain and have fun with printable colouring in sheets.
Ten nature activities kids can do from home
The Woodland Trust have put together some simple fun activities for children and adults to do while isolating. Make a loo roll bird feeder, ladybird potato stamps or write a short story. This article has lots of ideas to keep everyone entertained and in touch with nature.
Tate Kids Gallery
Free games, quizzes and art activities
The Tate have set up an art website for kids, providing some great games, fun educational quizzes and even a section where children can share their own artwork on the site. Get a tour of the Tate Britain from Jacquline Wilson and have fun playing on Tate Paint. I have a feeling this is going to be fun for adults too!
Support for Artists
Creative Industries Federation
Six months free membership for freelancers and micro businesses
The Creative Industries Federation represents and supports creative businesses in the UK. To help creatives who are being affected by the current situation, they are offering a free six month federation membership which provides access to their business resources, network of members and industry insights. Get access to funding opportunities and jobs boards, as well as giving your profile a little boost.
Arts Council England
Emergency funding package for individuals and organisations
Arts Council England are making £20 million of financial support available to artists, creative practitioners and freelancers so they can sustain themselves and their work in the coming months. A detailed timetable for this fund is due to be released on 30th March and potential applicants need to register on the application portal Grantium by Friday 3rd April.
We’ll update this page with new links as we find them, and we’d love for you to share what you’re doing to stay creative, using #WBA2020 or tagging us on social media. If you’ve found a great online resource that has helped you out, please email us about it so we can add it to this page.