As the Olympic Torch arrives in Cumbria tomorrow, it will be welcomed by the now customary cheering residents, some of which will have engaged in a unique Olympic art project alongside local students.
All this week, an exhibition is running at Carlisle City Council’s Civic Centre, showcasing artwork by University of Cumbria students and locals which celebrates the Olympic Games.
The drawings, paintings and photographs were all created at Students’ Union-led workshops which were funded by a grant from the NUS’s Be a Champion scheme.
The seven-week course – which ran earlier this year – saw students link up with members of the community, including adults with learning difficulties, in a bid to produce the artwork and promote the Olympic values of friendship and respect.
Kati Brown, Volunteering Facilitator at the Students’ Union, said: “It has been rewarding to use our fantastic facilities to give the local residents a unique opportunity to try new things such as drawing, painting and photography.
“For most of our students, this was their first taste of volunteering and, although nervous initially, they developed confidence and built their communication skills, putting themselves forward to run a number of activities.”
Carlisle City Council Leader, Councillor Joe Hendry, is also full of praise for the successful way in which the students have engaged with the local community.
He said: “This project has taken the spirit of the Olympics and created some excellent relationships and artwork too.
“We are delighted to be linking up with the University in this way, tying in with the Olympic Torch coming to Carlisle.”
The artwork went on display on Monday, and ahead of Wednesday’s arrival of the Torch in the city, the students will come together to view their work tomorrow afternoon.