OASIS, our pilot project created to ease social isolation and loneliness by connecting participants with art, creative activities, and communities of like-minded people, kicks off in Guildford & Waverley.

The OASIS project aims to place meaningful artworks, specially produced by artists for individuals, directly into people’s homes and to enable eligible participants to make new social connections through a range of guided conversations and group activities.

Initially launching in the Guildford and Waverley area, OASIS is a way for people battling with social isolation and loneliness to get together to explore new creative and cultural experiences, while lending a supportive ear or offering advice to others experiencing similar struggles.

Loneliness and social isolation are growing public health concerns in our ageing society. 50% of people over 60 are at risk of social isolation and one-third will experience loneliness later in life.1 Research shows that loneliness is associated with poorer physical and mental health amongst older people. In particular, loneliness is associated with depression, and older people with a high degree of loneliness are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as those with a low degree of loneliness.2

To deliver the OASIS pilot project, Paintings in Hospitals has partnered with Reconnections by Independent Age. Reconnections support over 65s who feel lonely or isolated.

Drawing ducks with a non-dominant hand

This first outing and activity saw participants enjoy a bit of fresh air on a group walk and have a go at sketching the local ducks with a non-dominant hand. Practising drawing with your non-dominant hand (your right hand if you are left handed, or your left hand if you are right handed), can be a useful way to experiment with mark making without worries about the finished result holding you back. It also exercises a different part of your brain than when using your dominant hand.

Trying out some digital photography with the OASIS group 

The second and most recent outing was a photography workshop at a local beauty spot. Participants met up for a cup of tea, followed by a walk to the lake to explore photography with smartphones, try out a chest harness GoPro, and go old school with some cameras and a zoom lens!

Some amazing results from the first OASIS photography workshop

Find out more about the OASIS project...