Velcro Collective's Creative Outdoor Events

The Arts Society Corinium provides funding support to the Velcro Collective with the first of its outdoor events for visually impaired children in 2023

There appears to be a lack of creative opportunities specifically for visually impaired children and families in Gloucestershire so with funding support from the members of The Arts Society Corinium, Kemble based The Velcro Collective CIC (TVC) has created outdoor activities enabling families to meet each other around a shared experience of living with VI. 

TVC’s work seeks to address these gaps in provision and their work has been co-designed over the last few years with visually impaired dance artist and facilitator, Holly Thomas and more recently with visually impaired actor, Dougie Walker, to develop and deliver events and performances. 

TVC’s first event working with The Arts Society Corinium took place on 17th June at the Forestry England site, Westonbirt Arboretum. The day was sunny and families gathered together starting with games and giving time to connect and get to know the space. The photo below shows two families and facilitator Linzy playing a game, balancing different woodland items on themselves and each other. The next challenge was to move around without the items falling off! 

The families then went on a journey around Westonbirt Arboretum!  Along the way, the children were given bags to fill up with different fallen woodland treasures. They came to stopping points and took part in different creative activities led by artist facilitators, Louise, Linzi & Dougie. The activities are tactile and sensory led giving people an opportunity to experience nature in engaging and accessible ways. 

This photo above show the group creating an installation of miniature bird puppets which they made using sticks, woodland items, coloured ribbons & bells. We also used the bird puppets for a movement game. 

At lunchtime, families enjoyed picnics and free time to explore Westonbirt.

The day finished with tea and juice and time to chat. During this time, parents had time to get to know each other and children played and talked to the artists. This is an important part of the day as it helps to build a sense of community for the families attending. All children, parents and carers who took part said the event made them feel happy and commented they found the event inclusive for everyone in their group.

The children told us:

Parents told us:

On behalf of all the children and families attending Westonbirt Arboretum in June, The Velcro Collective would like to say thanks to all the members of The Arts Society Corinium for the funding support that allowed this exciting and creative day to take place.  

Louise Brown, Artistic Lead & Michelle Lee, Community Engagement Producer 

The second outdoor event supported by the members of The Arts Society Corinium will be taking place on 30th September 2023, when Velcro will be returning to Westonbirt Arbortetum.  Local VI families are welcome to join the event. 

Please email to register your interest.

Images credit: The Velcro Collective