New Suffolk arts programme to tackle rural isolation through creativity

Suffolk arts charity awarded funding to bring free creative get-togethers to people in rural Suffolk. Image by Caroline Gervay

Suffolk Artlink announced the launch of their new Friends Around the Table project, which will see a programme of free creative get-togethers take place in locations across East Suffolk during the coming year, as well as online.

Carrie Phoenix, Suffolk Artlink Project Officer explains: “During Friends Around the Table sessions, we are inviting people to explore food, culture and nature. Together, we’ll have the opportunity to meet new people, and improve our physical and mental wellbeing through inspiring activities. We particularly welcome adult family carers and adults living in rural locations.

“Food and nature are such wonderful topics to explore and bring people together. We look forward to kicking things off at the Museum of East Anglian Life this month, and by offering remote sessions during the winter, we hope to create a new, more inclusive community. Online delivery will allow us to cater for those that aren’t able to travel, or prefer to enjoy taking part from the comfort of their own home.”

image by Jemma Watts

The programme will visit at least three hubs across East Suffolk as well as offer online creative get-togethers during the winter. The project begins with a workshop series in Stowmarket and soon after, one in Woodbridge. Next year, the programme will be expanded to include one additional rural hub and Suffolk Artlink are also making plans to head out on the road with the Rural Coffee Caravan to reach extra rural towns and villages on their rounds.

The first series of weekly Stowmarket events are taking place at the Museum of East Anglian Life on Wednesdays, between 10 November – 1 December, and will feature sessions led by artists, foragers and food experts. Some of the activities participants can enjoy together include making natural inks from foraged plants, vietnamese cooking and poetry walks.

To read more about the project, for an up-to-date timetable of creative sessions and to find out how to book visit 

Friends Around the Table has been made possible thanks to generous funding from the Realising Ambitions (East) fund, through Suffolk Community Foundation.

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