For almost 20 years Box Hill Community Arts Centre worked with Scope Eastern to facilitate the Recharge Program of art activities for adults with disabilities living at home with their parents. The aim of the program was to provide respite for parents and an enjoyable, creative and social outlet for the participants. This program was held once a month on a Sunday. For six hours adults with a disability would come to the Centre to enjoy a large range of art activities in the Wetcraft Studio and share morning tea and lunch with friends, carers and BHCAC tutors.
Over the years a core group of participants and carers came regularly to the program. Friendships were formed and amazing artwork created. New participants were always welcomed by the regulars and made to feel special and creative. Although many of the participants needed assistance to create their work, the ideas, composition, colours, in fact all elements of their piece were their own. Other participants needed no assistance and came along for the chance to use the materials in a studio environment amongst friends.
A themed art activity was offered each month including ceramics (probably the most popular), painting, collage and textiles. Over the years ceramic birdbaths, lanterns, name plaques, works on canvas, artist books, decorated bags, mobiles, crazy collages, Easter and Christmas cards and gifts were created. Every December a Recharge Christmas bar-b-que was held and enjoyed by participants and carers alike. In the early years the Centre hosted an annual exhibition of work created during the year and some of the participants entered their favourite pieces into other shows and competitions and received awards and remuneration for their work.
All of the tutors who worked on the program enjoyed the experience immensely and considered it a privilege to work with such a wonderful group of participants and carers. There was never a dull moment, much laughter and some truly amazing work was created over the six hours. Parents enjoyed seeing what their family members created as pieces of work were proudly taken home each month.
Sadly with the onset of Covid 19 and changes to the disability sector under the NDIS, Scope is no longer holding the Recharge program. This program will be greatly missed by tutors, carers and participants alike. Hopefully the Centre will get the opportunity to host a similar program for the disability sector in the years to come.