Through their award-winning podcast series, Armchair Adventures, GMSEN member Made By Mortals are on a mission to help children and their families understand how to support themselves and others with feelings of loneliness.
The Tameside-based CIC has been awarded £25,000 by the Department of Culture, Media & Sport, to continue its inspirational community work, which started at the beginning of the pandemic. This phase builds on work funded by the Robin Estill Community Fund from Action Together.
Paul Hine, co-director of Made by Mortals, who are based at Ashton Old Baths, said: “Our Armchair Adventures project is about helping people understand what to do if they or others experience feelings of loneliness. It's about raising awareness of aspects of well-being and health that can impact on somebody's loneliness and doing this through fun and creative methods. It’s also about challenging the stigma surrounding loneliness and helping people identify it in themselves and others and know what to do to help as early as possible.”
Co-director Andy Smith added, “Our aim is to reach more than 50,000 people with the second phase of Armchair Adventures and create an even bigger impact! The funds will allow us to work with more groups of people and reach even more people via our digital channels. We are creating more connections and moving the stigma away from feelings around loneliness – at a time when it’s very easy to feel isolated.”
The Armchair Adventures podcast is produced by older people in Tameside, for children and families, using their imaginations and life experience. The next three episodes to be created are about tackling youth loneliness and exploding the myth that loneliness is just an issue for older people.
There will be a free family activity pack which will be made available to local schools and libraries and interactive workshops delivered by older people with the support of a drama practitioner.
So far, Armchair Adventures has had 33,000 listens, received a letter of commendation from HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and won an award for ‘Best Podcast’ from Manchester Publicity Association. It was also recommended on BBC Radio 4 as ‘a positive podcast for 2021’.
During Phase 1 of the Armchair Adventures podcast, there were more than 500 activity packs distributed, online activities for more than 2000 children and more than 90 health and social care key workers supported with skills so they could help people with feelings of loneliness.
To find out more about Made by Mortals, visit: https://www.madebymortals.org/