Jennie Rawling, Director of Nosey Hedgehog Puppetry, tells us how puppetry and mindfulness came together to support individuals experiencing anxiety.
FEAST funding enabled Penryn-based Nosey Hedgehog Puppetry to create 50 ‘Mindful Puppetry Packs’ for members of our local community to help combat anxiety.
With the Government announcing the end of shielding on 1st August, many vulnerable people in Cornwall faced incredible anxiety as they prepared to increase social interactions and spend more time outside in an area now full of summer visitors.
We wanted to do something to try to help people in this situation, so knowing how puppetry can be a great activity to focus and calm the mind, we designed our Mindful Puppetry Packs. Each pack contained mindfulness exercises using different kinds of objects, puppet-making activities and basic craft materials so people could get creative at home.
Working with our community partners, Falmouth Library, The Dracaena Centre and Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change, we were able to reach people all across the Falmouth, Redruth and Camborne area and beyond. We discovered that many people, from families to the elderly, are still shielding, and they appreciated receiving the packs as it was something fun and creative they could do in the safety of their home. Thanks to the funding from FEAST’s Re-ignition 2 Fund, we were able to offer these packs for free.
Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change also asked us to run a puppet-making workshop with the packs for their Women’s Wellbeing Group. It was wonderful to actually see people using the packs and enjoying making their puppets in the socially distanced company of their friends.
We are currently putting together an online version of the pack, which will include everything except the craft materials, plus audio tracks of the mindfulness exercises which people can follow along to at home. This will be available to download from the Nosey Hedgehog Puppetry website for a suggested donation of £3.50.
Nosey Hedgehog Puppetry is Directed by professional puppeteer, actor and writer Jennie Rawling plus a host of collaborators, from fellow puppeteers and actors, writers and musicians, to visual artists and dancers.
They are based in Penryn and Falmouth, Cornwall and through their work they aim to strengthen communities and nurture an interest in the natural environment.
Find out more about Nosey Hedgehog Puppetry on their website: www.noseyhedgehog.com