Making Time

Older people theatre


We have a long-term commitment to the Making Time initiative, originally developed through our Get Together local programme, with support from lottery funds. In 2017, the Company was inspired by the Campaign to End Loneliness to extend the programme to involve new participants in a Day Trippers group; bringing in new people to the actacentre, for a hot meal (a partnership with Fareshare), with minibus transport and a volunteer team to support. The two projects later merged to offer a new extended Making Time arts project at the actacentre in recent years.

We are looking for new participants and volunteers to join us from September 2021. We meet every Tuesday lunchtime, from 21st Sept. Take a look at the information flyer here, and contact us for more information, or to book your place: [email protected]

What is Making Time?

20 – 25 participants from across Bedminster come together at acta to share stories and a hot meal, and to be creative. Making Time created their very own puppet show, Phoebe’s Adventure, which performed to local schoolchildren in Spring 18. There have been a whole series of intergenerational workshops and initiatives developed with the local schools in recent years, and Making Time members report how much they value these opportunities to interact with the children:

We started as strangers and now we’re friends. That really means a lot…

We all got such a lot out of it… What came across for me [in the feedback from the children] was that the whole group mentioned it really was a group performance… I was impressed by how the children reacted; I didn’t expect that, it surprised me. They didn’t expect it to be so professional…I think the kids were wonderful, they really reacted…

“It brought me out of my shell. I get a big glow from the lot of you, from coming here. I’ve never been in a place like here. I thank you…This journey’s not over yet; we’re going on to do great things; this is just the beginning.

During 2020, we stayed connected with participants through lockdowns with doorstep conversations, postcard exchanges, food parcel deliveries and much, much more! Read more about our Creation in Isolation project.

In 2021, we extended lockdown creative support through the Holding On project: Read more about this here. Holding On culminated with an intergenerational Exhibition of Hope in May 21 – community artwork, poems and messages of hope, created by the Making Time group and local school children, displayed at acta for all to enjoy; for free. Check out the Facebook event here.

What next?

Our latest project is supported by St Monica Trust Community Impact. It will enable a whole new group of older people to join acta alongside some of our existing members who will become peer-mentors and support the new participants in their journey with us. We can’t wait to welcome them into the acta centre, sit down with them for a hot meal, and start to tell stories together and make some theatre – all starting September.

Additionally, we are very much looking forward to working with new and existing partners who will further support the participants by providing their services alongside the running of the group. Our aim is to empower older people to support themselves and each other and to experience theatre, creativity and culture in a supportive, friendly and fun environment, improving their wellbeing and reducing isolation and loneliness.

Participant highlight

Working together and putting on the play and making the children happy…I have made some lovely friends and enjoyed everything that we do, I like the plays we have done.

Find out more