Heather is a theatre maker/director and artistic director of Frozen Charlotte Productions – a leading company producing work for and with young audiences in Scotland.Heather is delighted to be back working with Starcatchers having co-created Peep, a performance installation for babies, directed The Attic for children aged 3-6 and delivered Creative Skills sessions across Scotland.
Naomi O Kelly makes socially helpful art. She works across disciplines, with a focus on theatre directing, story-collecting, storytelling, and making playful, nourishing, interactive experiences. Her aims are to bring people together, support wellbeing, ask profound questions, and really laugh. With Ronan McMahon, she is co-artistic director of Two Detectives.
Creative Kin is a 2-year pilot project funded by the Scottish Government Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention Project Fund and delivered in partnership with Children 1st, Scotland’s National Children’s Charity.
Creative Kin is designed to draw from other Starcatchers’ models of practice – our pioneering Creative Skills Programme and our Expecting Something programme that provides consistent creative engagement with young parents – to offer an artist-led programme to support Kinship Carers and their families in Ayrshire and in Moray.
Working strategically with Children 1st, we will offer a programme that builds on carer’s parental capacity, strengthens attachment and contributes to positive health and wellbeing of both the carers and their children aged from 0-11. This programme will complement the other Kinship Care services being provided by Children 1st in these communities.
Creative Kin is an initiative that builds on the learning and evaluation that Starcatchers has carried out during key programmes over the last few years. Our Community Engagement work is designed as a vehicle to improve outcomes. It enables participants to engage with their innate creativity, empowering them to understand and use arts and creativity regularly, both during facilitated sessions and also afterwards in the home environment.
This working has proven to improve attachment. The approach the artists take, creating safe, open spaces that respond to the needs and interests of the participants and engage both adult and child in positive shared experiences encourages connection and communication between children and their parents/carers. It supports play and early development and subsequently our evaluation has consistently shown that there are increases in attachment for both children and parents/carers.
The arts are a transformational vehicle for change and Starcatchers has found through delivery of our previous projects that our artist-led approach has a positive impact on participants. It facilitates opportunities for attachment, connection and self-expression that participants often do not display through other programmes and creates a positive, safe space where vulnerable children and their carers can engage in creative activities that are relevant and interesting to them.
Key to the success of the approach is the consistent contact between participants and the lead artists who develop and deliver the programmes with them. The artists are flexible, creative practitioners who have a breadth of skills and expertise that provide innovative experiences that respond to the needs and interests of the participants, which in turn, contributes to the increase in confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing.
Children 1st is Scotland’s National Children’s Charity. They help Scotland’s families to put children first, with practical advice and with support in difficult times. And when the worst happens, they support survivors of abuse, neglect, and other traumatic events in childhood, to recover. For more information visit their website at www.children1st.org.uk