Digital Makers: creating a difference through communal making
Digital Makers is a pioneering creative arts programme that will use digital design technology to bring older people together in North Belfast to make new friends and expand their existing skills.
Older people in North Belfast are more likely to have a poor quality of life compared to the rest of Northern Ireland – with out-of-work men aged 50+ particularly vulnerable to social isolation.
The ‘digital divide’ adds to this sense of loneliness, as some older people distrust the online world and its opportunities for connection.
Digital Makers will provide a practical way to ignite their creativity and build new relationships. Through the project, groups of older people will be invited to get making in a local FabLab – a digital design fabrication laboratory. They will be open to all older people, but men-only sessions will ensure the needs of this hard-to-reach group are met.
At the FabLab older people will learn to make just about anything through computer-controlled digital making technology – from 2-D artifacts to 3-D models and beyond. The atmosphere will be friendly and supportive, with local artists getting involved to challenge and inspire older people to take their work in a new direction.
Nominet Trust is providing funding to help Digital Makers launch the project at several sites across Belfast, including mobile ‘pop-up’ FabLabs.
Once up-and-running the project will showcase the power of communal making to connect older people through the thrill of creating something new.
Ashton Community Trust has been approved for funding from Nominet Trust. Funding is subject to successfully completing our project initiation process.