Senior Friendly Craft Activities Around Wigan

Keep your seniors active and creative with these fun craft workshops and classes in Wigan that will help older people with memory, coordination and socialisation.

An old saying is that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. Like many old sayings, it’s largely hogwash.

The truth is that you can never be too old to learn new things, and one thing that older people are constantly doing are things we typically associate with younger people, whether learning how to drive or learning how to skydive. One of the easiest and most overlooked skills older people can learn are often simple creative things, such as how to stitch blankets, bake cakes, or how to paint portraits.

As you get older it becomes even more important to keep yourself engaged, and few activities are more beneficial for this than learning a craft. Fortunately for people living in Wigan, there are a large range of craft-based activities to choose from in the area.

In Haigh Woodland Park just outside of Wigan, just off School Lane, the Haigh Stables Gallery was initially conceived of as an arts and crafts marketplace. It eventually developed into a place where anyone can experiment with their creative side, with various classes being offered to visitors of all ages.

While access to the Haigh Stables Gallery itself is free of charge, including admission to their on-site shop, art classes are offered every Wednesday for adults. Here for a small fee they are taught some of the basics of drawing and water painting by the Gallery’s resident artist, Phillip Davies.

The site is fully accessible to visitors with wheelchairs, including specially made benches and tables in their picnic area and a green lift that allows access to the upper floor of the Stables building. Should you wish to take your seniors for lunch while there, benches and accessible footpaths can be found across the Gallery’s picnic sites, plus there are two lovely cafes in the immediate area along with the Haigh Kitchen Courtyard food court and Two Left Feet Tap & Brewery pub.

Mindfulness Painting for Relaxation

Offering a place for its attendees to declutter their minds and find a sense of inner tranquillity, the Mindfulness Painting for Relaxation class takes place at the teacher’s home in Horwich, not too far from Wigan itself. In addition, the teacher can travel within 20 miles for private lessons if three or more people wish to attend.

It is often the case that physical health is linked with mental health, so the laid back, go-with-the-flow sessions can be great for assisting elderly relatives improve both their mental and physical wellbeing. It can also be of great benefit for people with cognitive impairments.

The goal of the class is to offer mental and spiritual healing and relaxation through artistic mediums, such as painting, drawing or sketching. Offering charcoal, acrylics, oils and watercolours, Mindfulness Painting encourages its attendees to let themselves loose and explore their own creative side in these peaceful two hour lessons, which cost £40 a head with all materials provided. Find it on Gloucester Avenue in Horwich, less than half an hour’s drive from central Wigan via the B5239.

Fired 4 U

A timeless arts and crafts classic, pottery has long been enjoyed by people of all ages as an accessible – if not always easy – way to learn a new trade and hobby. This class is about 30 minutes away from Wigan via the M6 so easily accessible to locals.

Fired 4 U is great for getting elderly people to work more with their hands and get the opportunity to do something creative and involving. While it does require some dexterity and coordination to do properly for some tasks, something to keep in mind, the course is welcome to people of all abilities and its main purpose is to provide a fun evening above all else.

The team at Fired 4 U takes people of all ages and guides them through the process of pottery and related disciplines, from basic clay forming to painting and enamelling. For seniors with more limited dexterity, the foam clay workshops are an easy and accessible option to join in. Class prices vary from £10-£35, depending on the type of activity and how much equipment you’ll need to rent out on the day.

Fired 4 U adopts a very relaxed and welcoming approach to its pottery, channelling the spirit of Bob Ross in adopting the motto: there is no such thing as a mistake in art, just a unique creation. As such seniors can expect a warm and encouraging atmosphere even if they’ve never attempted pottery or ceramic crafts before. Find the studio on Hennel Lane just off the A6 Walton-le-Dale roundabout.

Chinese Painting Class

Returning to art briefly, another regular course offered online is the Chinese Painting Class. Based in Leigh, the course leader travels within the local area, including Wigan, to provide materials and lessons that will help get you started with classical Chinese painting techniques. For £24-£26 per guest you’ll get all the equipment and materials needed for the class, in addition to protective gear such as aprons.

The class is accessible to people of all ages and abilities, and at the end of it your seniors will be able to take home a piece of work they’d be happy to hang up on their wall for everyone to see. The class is welcoming and easy to get into, with the teacher all too happy to guide new practitioners down the path toward their first masterpiece.

It’s a very relaxed and go-at-your own pace sort of class, which makes it ideal for seniors who want something quiet, contemplative and slow-paced. The classes are available primarily for group lessons numbering at least six or so and up, so this is a great opportunity to get together a few friends and relatives for a fun activity that all ages can participate in.

Wigan Steam Pottery Night

Another one for pottery fans. Guided by an experienced ceramist, Wigan Steam Pottery Night takes people onto an introductory course on the finer arts of pottery – specifically the hand built kind, rather than thrown (so no pottery wheels to worry about here), which is ideal for older people.

Led by friendly ceramicist Emily, Pottery Night seeks to encourage people to get into grips with the art and craft behind clay shaping, hoping that everyone comes away with a new talent and appreciation for all things relating to ceramics. Suitable for people of all ages and levels of experience, it is very wholesome and messy fun.

The course runs frequently on Mondays and tickets cost £15 per head, which covers not just the lesson but materials and tools as well. Ideally, you’ll want at least two sessions in order to make a complete pottery piece. The workshop is completely wheelchair accessible, and there’s plenty of help on hand to guide people through the steps as required. Find it at the Old Courts arts centre in Wigan on Crawford Street, not far from Wigan Wallgate station.

Arts and crafts are an activity everyone and anyone can enjoy, and are a fantastic way to get your seniors working with their hands and engaging in mental stimulation. Whether it’s just to keep them occupied or to provide a fun and accessible activity to help with cognitive conditions, Wigan has plenty to offer for the budding artisan no matter how old they are.

Learn more about supported living with a carer, find out whether home care in Wigan could be the right choice for your elderly loved ones, by getting in touch with our local team today.