Children from North Wales’ Syrian refugee community have been taking part in a series of online art workshops designed to help build community cohesion and tackle social isolation.

Fourteen Syrian refugee children from three counties across North Wales joined the Drawing Connections project, organised by Engage Cymru and led by artist Wendy Connelly of i-RAW Studios with support from Tŷ Pawb.

As part of the project participants were also taken on a virtual tour of The Tŷ Pawb Open, an exhibition celebrating lockdown creativity.


Building skills and improving wellbeing

As well as helping to improve community cohesion and well-being, the workshops are designed to help participants towards gaining an Explore Level Arts Award – a national qualification that supports young people who want to deepen their engagement with the arts and build creative and leadership skills.

The project has also acted as a pilot for Arts Award training online for young people with English as an additional language.

Drawing Connections has been funded by Arts Council of Wales, Wrexham County Borough Council Community Cohesion Team, business partner Wales and West Housing Association and Arts & Business Cymru through the CultureStep programme.

Engage Cymru would also like to acknowledge additional support from Wrexham Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, Wrexham EAL Service and the British Red Cross case worker teams across Denbighshire, Wrexham and Conwy.

A great example of Tŷ Pawb working with other organisations

Cllr Hugh Jones, Wrexham County Borough Council’s Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, said: “The Drawing Connections project is another great example of Tŷ Pawb working closely with other organisations to support communities through the arts.

“Throughout the pandemic Tŷ Pawb has continued to offer an excellent arts service remotely, the aim being to help people stay connected through these challenging times. This has included distributing art packs to local families, offering free activities for families, online training and commissions for artists, live streaming music performances and an excellent virtual tour of the new Tŷ Pawb Open exhibition.”

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