2012 Archive

December 2012: Congratulations, James!

James FurzeA huge thankyou to James Furze, a DJ at Wight Island Radio, who ran the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon on December 23rd for Independent Arts.

This was James's first ever marathon, and he says,

"I managed to finish it (and didn't even come last!!). Here's a photo of me just after I finished with my medal. Very tired now, but worth it. Merry Christmas!

Funds raised will go towards our SingAbout project which provides free 'singing for wellbeing' clubs for older people on the Isle of Wight.


IA 25th anniversary logoDecember 2012: Grand Prize Draw

As part of our Silver Celebrations in our 25th year, Independent Arts held a Charity Prize Draw to raise funds for our work. Thanks to everyone who supported the charity by buying tickets, and to all the local businesses which donated prizes. The draw took place on Thursday 13 December. Founder and patron Carol Martys visited the island to draw the winning tickets.

Congratulations to Hayley Lemon, who won first prize of a pair of tickets to Bestival 2013!

December 2012: Independent Arts featured on Isle of Wight Radio

In early December our project manager, Caroline Ash, popped in to Isle of Wight Radio to update Heather McCallum on Independent Arts' 25th anniversary, including the grand prize draw, Memory Mornings exhibition, and the latest on SingAbout. Listen here:

December 2012: Memory Mornings exhibition in Newport

Memory Mornings exhibition posterA fascinating Independent Arts exhibition, which records the collected memories arising from our Memory Mornings, is on display at Lord Louis Library, Newport (ground floor), throughout December.

During 2012 Independent Arts hosted a number of Memory Mornings in towns and villages across the Isle of Wight. These events tied in with the Reminiscence sessions we deliver across the Island as part of our Workshops for Wellbeing programme.

Our Memory Mornings were co-delivered with community and social organisations. Everyone attending brought along memories of the area with them in the form of photographs and artefacts, as well as sharing their memories verbally.

Come along and see what people remembered about their lives on the Isle of Wight.

October 2012: New venues for Ventnor SingAbout

From October 2012, our Ventnor SingAbout group is alternating between two new venues in central Ventnor on Friday mornings: Byrnhill Grove and Knights court. Details here.

October 2012: Jeni walks backwards for Independent Arts!

Our workshops co-ordinator Jeni Saunders walked – backwards! – for 2.6 miles from Sandown to Shanklin, on Saturday 27 October, to raise money for Independent Arts.

Read more about her walk in this feature on On The Wight.

UPDATE: Jeni achieved her goal, raising over £200! See this feature in the IW County Press. Thanks to everyone who sponsored her.

August 2012: Independent Arts featured on Isle of Wight Radio

Our project manager, Caroline Ash, and Workshops Co-ordinator, Jeni Saunders, popped in to Isle of Wight Radio to talk to Heather McCallum on August 1 2012. Hear what they had to say about Independent Arts' 25th anniversary, and our work in island care homes:

August 2012: update on our Memory Mornings Project

Our Memory Mornings Project is now in full swing, and having delivered three sessions already (Shanklin, Whippingham and Newport) it seemed a good time to update everyone with how things are going.

Our reminiscence practitioner, Viv Reece, along with Project Manager, Caroline Ash have met some amazing people and heard some fascinating tales since getting involved with the project. Caroline said, "People are taking this project to their hearts, and seem to be relishing the opportunity to come together and share their memories of the Island. It feels really special when people remember the same event or local character, and so several people's points of view can build a picture and really bring Island history to life."

As well as sharing their memories, those attending also bring along old photographs and artefacts to share with everyone. After just three sessions, it is clear to see that the Memory Mornings exhibition planned for the end of 2012 will be a fascinating and unique event.

July 2012: Independent Arts' Birthday Party

IA birthday cakeThroughout 2012 Independent Arts celebrated our Silver Anniversary, marking 25 years since the charity was launched in 1987. Along with ongoing birthday fundraising and events throughout the year, we celebrated our 25th anniversary in style with a party at Newclose Cricket Club on Friday 20th July.

The party was attended by a good mixture of supporters past and present, practitioners, trustees and representatives from some of the care homes we work in. Entertainment was provided by some of music practitioners who work with Independent Arts, and all guests were invited to draw their own self-portrait to support the charity and attend the event.

The celebration was funded by a donation from the late Peter Thipthorp's memorial. Peter was a long-standing trustee of Independent Arts who died in 2010. Hs widow, Wendy, continues to support the charity and attended the event.

The event was also attended by people who had been involved with Independent Arts right from the very beginning, and assured us that the initial aims and ethos for the charity are still very much present in the work which we continue to deliver.

The party was a perfect way to celebrate all the hard work which has been put in over the years by staff, trustees and friends, past and present, to ensure that Independent Arts continues to thrive and deliver meaningful therapeutic arts activities for Island residents.

July 2012: Charlotte Hofton sings praises of Independent Arts in IW County Press

We're pleased to see Charlotte Hofton recognising the value of Independent Arts' work in her column in the Isle of Wight County Press (6 July 2012 issue).

"In a society which seems so often broken, Independent Arts gives hope and enjoyment to those who might otherwise be ignored, and its wider benefits are immense," she writes.

To Read Charlotte's full article, click here.

July 2012: SingAbout Ventnor launched

We are delighted to announce that our fourth regular SingAbout group is launching on 9th July in Ventnor. With our three existing groups (Freshwater, Newport, Ryde) going from strength to strength, Independent Arts has been able to secure additional funding to begin delivery of a fourth weekly session. We are thrilled that SingAbout is growing in both popularity and size across the Island, and it is really exciting to be able to launch a new group in the South Wight.

The session will run every Monday from 2-4pm at St Margaret's Hall, Lowtherville Road, Ventnor, If you are interested in attending or volunteering at the new session, please contact Caroline on 01983 822437 or at [email protected]

Here's an article Ventnor Blog ran about the new SingAbout group.


May 2012: Independent Arts wins Community Action Award

Community Action AwardWe were delighted to win the "Older People" category at the 2012 Isle of Wight Community Action Awards at the Riverside Centre on 18th May, in recognition of our community SingAbout project which has expanded hugely in the past year. Thanks to everyone involved for making it such a success.

Independent Arts was presented with a certificate and a cheque for £250.

The overall winner across all categories was The Isle of Wight Food Bank. Congratulations to them and all the other category winners. Very well-deserved.


Spring 2012: Community support sought for memory mornings

Throughout 2012, Independent Arts is hosting a number of events to tie in with our 25th anniversary.

One strand of events we are hosting ties in with our Reminiscence sessions we deliver across the Island within our Workshops for Wellbeing programme, and is entitled Memory Mornings.

Our Memory Mornings will be co-delivered with community and social organisations, and will take the form of a coffee morning with a twist. All those attending will be asked to bring along memories of the area with them – this could include photographs and artefacts, as well as sharing with their memories verbally.

We will provide a reminiscence practitioner to facilitate the session, and collate the memories. This will then lead to an open exhibition of all the memories generated through the sessions at the end of the year.

We are currently looking for community organisations who would be interested in co-hosting the Memory Mornings with Independent Arts.

If you have regular community meetings or events, why not use one of these to co-host a Memory Morning?

To find out more, please contact Caroline Ash at Independent Arts on 01983 822437 or by email at [email protected]

April 2012: Independent Arts has moved!

See our Contact Us page for our new office address.

Our phone number will remain unchanged: 01983 822437


March 2012: Independent Arts features again on Isle of Wight Radio

Our project manager Caroline Ash popped in to Isle of Wight Radio yesterday* to update Heather McCallum on Independent Arts' 25th anniversary plans. Includes news of our Silver Appeal, and upcoming Memory Mornings. Listen to Caroline and Heather's short chat by clicking here. (*20 March 2012)

SingAbout grows with grant funding

We're delighted that the Isle of Wight Community Fund (IWCF) has awarded £2800 to Independent Arts to help take our free SingAbout sessions for older people to more towns on the island. See details of the groups in Newport, Freshwater and (new) Ryde, and read more about the IWCF fund on Ventnor Blog.

Our Supporters in 2012 included:

  • Lloyds TSB (SingAbout)
  • Big Lottery Awards for All (SingAbout)
  • Rural Communities Council & NHS Grants for Wellbeing (SingAbout)
  • HIWCF Blagrave Trust (SingAbout)
  • Daisie Rich Trust (SingAbout)
  • Woodward Trust (SingAbout)
  • Truemark Trust (SingAbout)
  • Barchester Healthcare (SingAbout)
  • Ryde Town Council (SingAbout)
  • Arts Council England (Artists' Continuing Professional Development programme)
  • Dunhill Medical Trust (Core funding)
  • The Henry Smith Charity (Core funding)
  • Southern Housing Group
  • Isle of Wight Gift Fair
  • Minghella Film Festival
  • Shanklin Lodge
  • IW Community Action Awards
  • Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival
  • Mr David Harris
  • Mrs Wendy Thipthorp

Calendar photography competition

To mark our 25th Anniversary, we teamed up with The Isle of Wight County Press to organise a photographic competition.

The theme of the competition was Reflections, mirroring the 25 years of Independent Arts.

Independent Arts Calendar 2013

The 2013 calendar, featuring all thirteen images, is available from the Isle of Wight County Press shop, Pyle Street, Newport.

Here are the winning images from our photography competition.

December 2012: Independent Arts at Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival

Our 25th anniversary Christmas tree

The tree (in St Mary's Church) celebrated Independent Arts' 25th anniversary, with images of key events from 1987 onwards and archive photographs from our early years.

Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival ran from 6–9th December.