In Ynysowen, the Invest Local group has been keeping the community connected and busy during lockdown by encouraging people to get creative with rock painting.
Invest Local Ynysowen funded local rock-painting art group Taff Rocks to produce and deliver 100 free craft packs to families in Aberfan and Merthyr Vale. The packs include everything you need to paint a colourful rock, either to keep for yourself or hide in the community for other people to enjoy.
Niki Hill, co-founder of Taff Rocks said: “I got the idea after people who attend our rock-painting workshops were contacting me and saying that they were missing the sessions. We usually run a monthly ‘Taff Rocks Tuesday’ in Merthyr Vale. We can get up to 30 people of all ages creating rock designs together, then hiding or displaying them for other people in the community to find and enjoy.”
Taff Rocks advertised the craft packs on their website, newsletter and Facebook page, and all 100 were snapped up in record time. Niki says: “We were inundated with requests for the kits – not just in Aberfan and Merthyr Vale, but from the whole of Merthyr – and beyond!”
The group hope that the kits will not only provide a distraction during lockdown, but also contribute to people’s mental health and wellbeing during the crisis. Niki says: “Creativity is a diversion for people from the current situation – art provides a moment of creativity and mental wellness in the day, even if it’s only for a tiny moment. The kits are keeping families busy too, and it’s lovely to see all the photographs of children sitting in the sunshine in their gardens painting rocks.”
As well as delivering the packs, the group have adapted their workshops during Covid19, by teaching themselves to shoot and edit films and creating a YouTube channel with step-by-step guides to painting rocks.
Find out more about Taff Rocks on their website, or on Facebook @taffrocks.