Fergus: And now here’s Jasmine, who’s come to tell us about this week’s charity.
Jasmine: Hi Fergus. This week I’m going to talk about Forward thinking and their plans for the Colville Centre.
So, in the recent years people have realized how useful the arts can be within healthcare. (11) The idea behind Forward thinking is to use the arts to promote wellbeing. The charity develops projects for people with special needs and health problems, and also delivers training to healthcare professionals in using the arts, as well as supplying them with information and advice. Forward thinking doesn’t just run art and craft classes to distract people who are ill, or recovering from illness, but arranges longer-term projects and courses, as it’s been shown that the arts can bring all sorts of positive changes in patients, including (12) benefits such as shortening the length of stay in hospital and reducing the amounts of medicine they need.
Fergus: I see.
Jasmine: Forward thinking has experience of working with a broad range of people from young adults with learning difficulties to older people in homes or daycare centres, and people with physical disabilities.
The organization’s been around since 1986, and it gradually expanded during the 1990s. Then, in the new millennium, it was decided to find a memorable name, (13) so it’s been operating as Forward thinking for several years, er, in fact since 2005.
It’s quite a locally based charity, mainly for people in (14) the southern part of this region, which includes all rural and urban communities outside the city of Clifton, which has its own organization. There are of course some similar charities in other parts of the country, in London and so on.
Fergus: Mm. And what’s the present fundraising in aid of?
Jasmine: Yeah. Well, the charity needs funding in order to buy the Colville Centre. This is a former village school, which was built in 1868. It was modernized and refurbished by the present owners last year, so (15) it’s ideal for art classes and for small social events, performances, seminars and so on. Forward thinking is fund-raising to purchase the building so they can use it to continue running classes and so on for the general public and eventually also for some of the people they help.
Fergus: Right, so can you give us a few ideas about what classes people might do there? Is it all art classes?
Jasmine: Um, well, there are some very good art classes, but there are lots of other things going on as well. So, for example, there’s ‘Learn Salsa!’ with Nina Balina’s team. They say that salsa is an easy dance to learn. It’s also an excellent form of exercise, according to Nina, and (16) that class is for both men and women, of course. It’s ideal for beginners and what they call ‘refreshers’. That’s £100 for ten sessions.
Then another class is called ‘Smooth Movers’, it’s with Kevin Bennett and (17) it’s for you if you don’t have the same energy levels as you used to when you were a teenager, it’s a gentle exercise class, geared to the needs of whoever is in the group in a particular session. And Kevin is qualified to teach classes to people getting over injuries and so on, and balance training. That’s £60 for ten sessions.
Then there’s a day called ‘Art of the Forest’, with Jamie Graham, where you discover Upper Wood, a short walk from the Colville Centre, and learn how to design in 3-D with natural materials. It’s an unusual and exciting way to be creative.
Jamie is an artist, with a background also a country park ranger. (18) For this day, youngsters must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and the costs are: adults £40, under-14s £10, but it’s best value at £80 for a family of four.
The next one is ‘The Money Maze’, and this is (19) a series of talks by Peter O’Reilly, an independent Financial Adviser. He gives advice on family finances, things like everything parents need to know about managing the costs of bringing up children, sending them to university, and actually, also, about care for elderly relatives. It’s £10 per talks, which will all go to support Forward thinking.
And as a final example of what’s on offer, there’s ‘Make a Play’. (20) That’s for 8-14s and this activity is such a hit that it usually sells out within days of being announced. Basically what you do is write, rehearse and perform a play in just two days and it doesn’t require any previous experience. I gather there’s lots of fun and silliness along the way and the best bit perhaps is that there’s a performance for family and friends at the end. It’s just £50 for two days.
Fergus: Pretty good range of activities, I think. And all raising money for a good cause.
Jasmine: Yes! And the all-important contact details are: or write to me…