Meet the artists combatting social isolation in a revamped shipping container

Organisers of The Container Project, May Cornet, Alice Andrea Ewing, Emily Richardson. Picture: Sar

Organisers of The Container Projects, May Cornet, Alice Andrea Ewing, Emily Richardson. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Three Suffolk-based artists are the brains behind two new projects aimed at reviving community arts and supporting parents’ wellbeing – using a refurbished container as their muse. 

May Cornet, Alice Andrea Ewing and Emily Richardson are launching Container Projects, a new creative resource for Woodbridge and surrounding areas, which provides free or low-cost workshops and events.

The space is located in one of the refurbished containers opposite Kingston playing field. 

Devised by the trio in response to issues of social isolation faced by many during the Covid crisis, Ms Ewing said of the project: “The intention was to provide safe opportunities for both the making, viewing and promotion of culture in our community at a time where access and travel to other cultural centres were restricted. 

Families were treated to free cake at the launch of 'Container Projects' , a new community arts faci

Families were treated to free cake at the launch of 'Container Projects' , a new community arts facility and new parents group. Caroline and Rose Henderson-Holmes with Claire and Noah Norman at the launch. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“In the long run, we intend to operate as a creative resource for the local community, transforming our renovated shipping container into a headquarters for the provision of high quality free and low-cost inclusive arts facilities.” 

To celebrate the launch of the project, the team hosted a socially-distanced drop-in on Bank Holiday Monday, where guests were treated to cakes.

The first workshop series launching in the space begins on May 10, and is called 'Me Time'. 

Families were treated to free cake at the launch of 'Container Projects' , a new community arts faci

Families were treated to free cake at the launch of 'Container Projects' , a new community arts facility and new parents group. Primrose, Araminta and Clentine enjoying their cupcakes. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

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'Me Time' will be a series of free online workshops for new parents who have had children during lockdown, or who have children under four.  

The purpose of the group is for new parents to meet each other to share and discuss experiences as well as being offered simple creative activities designed to support mental health and well-being.  

“As parents ourselves, Emily and I remembered our own parenting journey, leaving the city to live the dream and have children in the country only to find ourselves isolated and bereft of cultural experience and community,” Ms Cornet said. 

“During our river walks, we reflected on how it might be for new parents during the pandemic who haven’t been able to access mother and baby groups and meet other people going through similar experiences.” 

Families were treated to free cake at the launch of 'Container Projects' , a new community arts faci

Families were treated to free cake at the launch of 'Container Projects' , a new community arts facility and new parents group. Caroline and Rose Henderson-Holmes at the launch. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The team hopes to run ‘Me Time’ as an ongoing program and, when restrictions permit, intend to run the sessions from the container itself too.  

“We also recognise the positive impact that Zoom offers in terms of reaching new parents especially in rural areas who may have far to travel so we’re considering continuing to run one online and one at our headquarters," Ms Cornet added. 

‘Me Time’ sessions will run from May 10 to June 21, every Monday at 10am.  

For more information, go to the project’s main website.

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