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Welsh Rural Pubs Invited To Apply For Free Craft Boxes To Help Locals Get Creative

Pub is The Hub and Creative Lives are offering rural pubs in Wales the opportunity to get a free creative community box, full of art and drawing materials, to help encourage self-led creative activities in their pubs.

The boxes, which are being provided through funding from The Royal Countryside Fund, offer a good way for publicans looking for new ways to increase engagement with people living in their local area, as well as helping to connect people with others and keep customers entertained.

The craft boxes contain a variety of arts materials for drawing and painting, along with a selection of suggestions for creative activities for using them. The ideas are featured in Welsh and English, and a  range of activities included so that even absolute beginners can get started.

Gareth Coles, Wales Director of Creative Lives, said:
“The idea is that the box is there for groups or a couple of people to use without the need for someone being there each week to run a group or session. Publicans could look to encourage people along during a set-time each week to engage with crafts in the box. One group meeting in a pub saw success from meeting fortnightly at 11am for games, lunch and then craft box activities.”

He adds: “There are extensive proven benefits to communal participation in creative activities, including increased social connection, improved mood, physical and mental health.  Taking part in regular creative events is a wonderful way to develop new skills or rekindle an old artistic passion.”

This community craft boxes idea is based on a project Creative Lives ran in Cardiff, in pubs, libraries and community centres.  One participant said: “I think this is a brilliant idea, because it’s easier to talk when you’re all making something as the activity helps to drive conversations.”

Creative Lives found through the Cardiff project that the creative activities helped to reinvigorate venues and encourage more people to visit. In some cases, the artwork created was put on display, and one group organised a wonderful exhibition of their work.

Malcolm Harrison, Pub is The Hub’s regional advisor for Wales, said:

“We are really excited about being able to offer pubs in Wales these fantastic craft boxes, which offer a simple way for publicans to help bring people together at the pub. It is exciting to see more pubs becoming creative hubs.”