Covid 19 has impacted all sorts of businesses and organisations, and Salford’s Poison Apple Arts CIC is no exception.
Since its inception, Poison Apple Arts CIC, based at the Broughton Hub in Salford, has gone from strength to strength.
However, due to the impact of Covid 19, they have had to rely on funding from Salford CVS and Salford CCG to stay afloat and continue providing support to the local community.
We would just like to say a big THANK YOU to @SalfordCVS and @SalfordCCG who have awarded us funding enabling us to continue our community arts work in Salford into 2021. We couldn't do this work without you, and we are so grateful to be supported during these challenging times. pic.twitter.com/BjYdK0WfCl
— Poison Apple Arts CIC (@PoisonAppleArts) October 20, 2020
It all began in 2008 with some University of Salford students who needed to start a theatre company as part of their performing arts degrees.
Founding member Quina Chapman said: “We run participatory arts projects for adults across Salford.
“Most of our work being for people with mental health needs or people who are in recovery from drugs and alcohol misuse.”
Chapman added: “We need funding to pay our staff primarily and also sometimes to pay for particular resources like a phone for the company, our zoom account, insurance, stuff like that so without that funding we wouldn’t be able to continue the work.”
“Our biggest project that we run is a monthly open mic, and it’s a dry open mic as a response to the fact that most open mics take place in pubs and bars.
“Some are not accessible for everyone.”
Since the pandemic, everything, including the dry open mic, has had to be done over Zoom.
Poison Apple had to find a way to adapt.
Chapman said: “We’ve had to get used to delivering workshops on Zoom and not being in the room with people.
“That’s had an impact on some of our participants as well who haven’t got access to Zoom so we’ve just had to keep in contact with them by phone.
“We’ve sent out activity packs by post so they can still join in with the activities we’re running without physically being in that online workshop with us.”
Despite only being able to do online workshops, Poison Apple has been able to extend its reach to a far more comprehensive network of people than Chapman and the other staff anticipated.
Chapman said: “I think we’ve had people join us who wouldn’t have necessarily joined us before.
“Also, people who’ve got mobility issues and couldn’t come out to a face to face workshop, which is great.
“We didn’t expect to get so many new referrals; we’ve had, I think, around eight new people join us since the start of lockdown which was much higher than we were expecting.”
The ongoing pandemic hasn’t stopped Chapman from planning once it is over: “hopefully, a big face to face event with something to do with the open mic.
“We would really like people to be able to get back in a room together.
“We normally have a Christmas party every year that we’ve not been able to have this year.
“Some sort of gathering where everyone can get together and play some music and have a bit of a sing-song and a catch up together.”