Create Trustee and long-standing supporter reflects on Create

Long-standing supporter, Trustee and Development Council Chairman, Alistair Johnston reflects on why he supports Create:

Johnston (Alistair) 13Dec02“Create’s proposition is that the creative arts can play a key role in helping people, especially those who are disadvantaged and vulnerable, to deal with stress, allay fear, reduce shyness, communicate better and broaden horizons. From my own experience, I know that during a turbulent plane journey the only thing that will distract my mind is drawing and designing, which is why I always fly with a sketch pad and pencil to hand. Likewise certain music has the ability to alter my mood with selected pieces being played time and again over the years for this purpose as opposed to the straightforward enjoyment of the music or the lyrics. So if the arts and creativity can be useful in this way to me surely they can be equally or even more useful to some of the most disadvantaged people in our society, struggling with loneliness and despair, fighting with an inability to communicate or relate, or suffering from stress?

Three years ago I agreed to support art:links, a multi-artform programme for vulnerable older people.  This has now consolidated around an annual 10 week project for users of the Miranda Barry Centre in Kensington, London. By using art, a combination of art and music, or even a mixture of art and words, Create’s professional artists have worked with these older people to break down the barriers, unlock energy and in some cases uncover talent. I have seen first-hand the change that can take place in a person’s mood or involvement as the workshops progress. If these sessions can change lives for the better for a short time or preferably, as Create has demonstrated, for a sustained period then they are worthwhile.

Create’s approach is a “lateral thinking” approach to helping with some of the most intractable problems in our society. By applying the power of the creative arts we do move the goalposts. It works for me and I’ve seen it work for others. On reflection, that is why I support Create. ”

To read Alistair’s recent article “Playing a fulfilling role as trustee” in Charities Management, click here!