Promoting and supporting the arts in North Yorkshire and East Cleveland rural arts MAILING LIST Join now

Art On Your Doorstep, Celebrating Age

Art On Your Doorstep, is a 2-year action research project using innovative ways to increase the participation rates of people aged over 75 in both our ‘ON Tour’ and Courthouse creative programmes. Activity will take place at the Courthouse in Thirsk, North Yorkshire and within a 10-mile rural catchment area in Hambleton District. We will work from the grassroots up, testing and delivering a range of creative interventions. The outcomes of this project will be used to influence commissioners to develop a model of delivering ‘Arts and Culture - On Prescription’ by embedding it in clinical healthcare plans.

Rural arts provided through the project 1 to 1 sessions, which brought artists to older people so they could enjoy a series of creative sessions within their own homes, helping them overcome the barriers they may face when taking part in arts activities.

The Art Café is hosted once a month on a Thursday between 10.30am - 11.30am. Up to 25 people have attended at one time who come to enjoy an hour of creativity activity and a cup of tea in the relaxed, social atmosphere of The Courthouse in Thirsk. Activities so far have included painted birdhouses, pressed flower suncatchers, painted pebbles, festive stars and decorations, painted pebbles, seascapes and many more.

In a number of different village halls around Thirsk, we have offered a monthly programme of 1.5 to 2 hour group sessions of creative activities delivered by professional artists, sessions included pottery, painting, mosaics, print-making and many more.

Free transport was available throughout the project through our partner, Thirsk Community Care and through our partnership we were able to provide a Creative Supported Shopping Service, where musicians joined the group on the bus inviting them to sing along to live music.


Comments from participants of Art On Your Doorsteps’ focus group:

I have happier thoughts, and have something to look forward to; I like being appreciated. I am more motivated to get out and about. My greatest joy is sharing my love for music. I am feeling more involved, with Rural Arts, with the village and with my daughter and am feeling better about life, especially in the last few weeks.”  Norman, aged 96.

Rural Arts has provided me with the opportunity and inspiration to find a direction for my fledgling art interest.  Advancing years, 84, and now living alone means it is sometimes difficult to develop new contacts and interests.  At Rural Arts I have been able to sample a wide variety of art disciplines in very friendly and stimulating surroundings to the point where I now have greater confidence to explore and pursue new experiences. The future is still exciting!”  Geoffrey, aged 84


Recently our Director Angela Hall wrote a blog piece for The Baring Foundation, read it here.



How can you get involved?




If you are an older person in Thirsk or in a 10 mile rural catchment area and want to get involved, contact us!

There is a number of opportunities avaliable, all of which are free of charge. No previous experience is required and all abilities are welcome, along with carers or friends and relatives.  Workshops are delivered by professional artists, experienced in working with older people. All materials are provided.

To find out more, to sign up, or to enquire on behalf of someone you know, give us a call on 01845 526536, email, or pop in and see us at Rural Arts, The Courthouse, Westgate, Thirsk, YO7 1QS 





Come along and take part in an artist led session or just have a go at painting or drawing! All materials provided.



Stillington Village Hall (York)

Wednesdays once a month, 10am - 12 noon

Wed 27 June 2018 

Wed 29 August 2018

Wed 26 September 2018

Wed 31 October 2018

Wed 28 November 2018


Ampleforth Village Hall

Wednesdays once a month, 2 - 3.30pm

Wed 25th July 2018 

Wed 29 August 

Wed 26 Sepember

Wed 31 October 

Wed 28 November 


Borrowby Village Hall (Contact Val Stephenson 01845 537702)

Wednesdays once a month, 10am - 12 noon

1st August 2018 

5th September 2018 

3rd October 2018 

7th November 2018

5th December 2018

9th January 2019


Sessay Village Hall, Sessay, Thirsk, YO7 3NQ (Contact Carole Trow 01845 501141)

Mondays once a month, 10.30am - 12.30pm

13th August 2018 

17th September 2018 

15th October 2018 

19th November 2018 

10th December 2018 

14th January 2019 

(as part of Community Fund)

21st January 2019 

28th January 2019

4th February 2019

11th February 2019

18th February 2019

 25th February 2019


Kilburn Institute, Kilburn, York, YO61 4AH (Contact Julie Harron 01347 868359)

Mondays once a month, 1.45 - 3.45pm 

13th August 2018 

17th September 2018

15th October 2018

19th November 2018

10th December 2018

14th January 2019

(as part of Community Fund)

21st January 2019

28th January 2019 

4th February 2019

11th February 2019

18th February 2019

 25th February 2019 


Husthwaite Village Hall, The Nookin, Husthwaite, YO61 4PY (Contact Lynn Colton 07810 263346 or 01347 86092)

Thursdays once a month, 10.30am - 12.30pm

Thursday 6th September, 2018 

Thursday 4th October 2018

Thursday 8th November 2018

Thursday 6th December 2018

Thursday 10th January 2019

Thursday 7th February 2019


Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall, Front St, Topcliffe, Thirsk, YO7 3RJ (Contact 01845 577911)

Tuesdays once a month, 1.30 - 3.30pm

Tuesday 2nd October 2018 

Tuesday 6th November 2018

Tuesday 4th December 2018

Tuesday 5th February 2019

Tuesday 5th March 2019 


Call us on 01845 526536 for more information.