Arts and culture

The power of arts and culture led to our foundation after our founder John Belcher saw the groundbreaking film Cathy Come Home and was inspired to set up Sheffield Family Housing Association. Arts and culture also have a huge impact on our happiness – that’s why providing opportunities for our customers to learn, grow and flourish is as important to us as providing people with a safe place to call home.

Moments of Joy

We first developed our Moments of Joy programme after we were awarded funding from the Paul Hamlyn Fund. Since then we have worked in partnership with a number of brilliant and creative organisations including Yorkshire Artspace, Museums Sheffield, Potclays Limited, Doncaster Community Arts (darts), The Art House Sheffield, Cardboard Citizens, Theatre Delicatessen, and freelance artists, too.

These collaborations have seen us deliver a huge range of activities including dance and music sessions, theatre workshops, film screenings, ceramic workshops, theatre performances, gardening redevelopments, unique art commissions and more!

Dance and music sessions at darts

Over 50 of our most vulnerable customers experienced interactive workshops with musicians and dancers, which incorporated styles from traditions around the world.

Yorkshire Art Space pot sessions

Customers spent several enjoyable sessions with artists from Yorkshire Artspace to design, create and then paint their own pots.

Fired Arts Commissioned projects

Throughout the last few years we’ve worked with artists on a project especially for individuals at the start of their arts careers. The artists created one-off pieces inspired by our customers and led workshops for customers to develop new skills. As part of this exciting project the finished pieces are showcased in the Millennium Art Gallery before being proudly displayed in many of our schemes.

Cardboard Citizens – Age Better in Sheffield and Cathy

Cardboard Citizens are a national charity who embrace theatre to help bring about positive change in society. We’re really fortunate to have worked with Cardboard Citizens on a number of projects focusing on homelessness, and on a theatre production capturing the history and lives of people living of Sheffield.

Arts and Culture in every day life

Alongside our Moments of Joy programme we embrace opportunities for the arts and culture in lots of other exciting ways, and we’re really proud to support many other creative activities in our communities including:

  • Neighbourhood grants for children’s craft groups
  • Christmas carol events
  • Guitar sessions for people living in our 911 accommodation
  • The annual Dementia Exhibition to showcase our extra care scheme’s ‘Twiddlemuffs for Dementia’
  • Tickets for performances at Sheffield Theatres
  • Commissioned artwork in our new developments
  • Planting flower meadows in our local communities
  • Training community journalists with photography, filming and writing skills

Our teams of key workers, occupational therapists and wellbeing facilitators also support people to embrace the arts and culture every single day. From baking to flower arranging, singing to painting, clay modelling to drawing, cultural trips out and more, our teams help people to express themselves with brand new skills and to rediscover passions from their past.

“Janet arrived for our dance session at DARTS visibly distressed after a particularly bad morning experiencing anxiety. At first Janet felt too unwell to take part in the dancing, but after a cup of tea and some words of encouragement she joined in the session. What followed was a complete transformation – within the space of an hour Janet ended up laughing and dancing around to Christmas songs with the rest of the group. Watching her walk out of the session felt like magic had happened in front of my eyes – she was floating on air and looked a million miles away from the frightened woman who had arrived at the start of the session.”

The Making of ‘Who Are Yer’

At the end of 2017, Cardboard Citizens and Age Better in Sheffield created a collaborative performance that had never been seen in Sheffield before!