Never too young for art
The Friends of Manchester Art Gallery support all aspects of our work, such as our important families’ programme. Did you know that Manchester Art Gallery is one of the first places that brand new Mancunians get to visit?
We work with Sure Start, the Manchester Health Visiting Team, MMU Children’s & Childhood Research Group and local nurseries to give new babies their first creative experiences.
After lockdowns, we reopened on 19 May 2021 with a brand new creative family space, The Lion’s Den- Clore Art Studio! This is colourful and exciting place where new parents can meet with each other and local Health Visitors at Baby Stay & Play sessions. Providing health clinic services in the gallery and combining them with creative and sensory experiences is having a real impact, improving the outcomes and life chances of children and families across the city.
The Lion’s Den was due to open in May 2020, but was delayed due to the pandemic. Despite closure, we continued our work for families via zoom. During the pandemic new parents and babies have needed even more support, at a time when everyone has need lots more support and reassurance. A lack of early intervention and face-to-face interaction can lead to isolation and an increased risk of post-natal depression. Many babies born during lockdown have yet to see another baby.
During the first lockdown, we sent out 100 sensory baby boxes to families. They were so successful that Manchester City Council Children’s Services commissioned us to make 3,000 more sensory baby bags that were distributed via 30 local Sure Start centres. You can read more about this here.
This is just one of the many projects the Gallery runs for Manchester residents. It’s work that often goes unnoticed by the majority of our visitors, but it has a huge impact on participants. It’s the kind of work we would be unable to do without external funds. If you can, please join Manchester Art Gallery Friends for just £33 and support us to do more.
Supported by the Clore Duffield Foundation and the Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust