Thursday, 11 February 2016

Ludlow`s Loudwater Studio: something to shout about

Nikki Hook and the team at Ludlow`s Loudwater Studio love getting messy. And they like nothing better than encouraging other local people to join in and get messy too.

`We have all kinds of ages and groups visiting us,`Nikki said, `from people with a range of visual impairments and learning disabilities to home-schooled children and careworkers who might come in for a break.`

On offer: space and support to create, build, craft, sculpt...and make music. Because as well as a huge table and other work areas ideal for creative fun, Loudwater`s got its own recording studio, complete with microphone and mixing desk.

`There`s so much here,` says business development manager Nikki,` but the sad thing is that even though we`re here for the local community, some people don`t even know we exist.`

But that`s something that Nikki, soon to celebrate a year at Loudwater, has been working extremely hard to change, spreading the word about what`s on offer by liaising with local groups, and keeping a strong presence on social media .

Behind the space is Vision Homes, providing support in Ludlow and across the Midlands. The studio has had funding from the National Lottery too, and charges visiting groups and individuals on a sliding scale, depending on their circumstances.

And despite the array of beautiful paintings, cardboard models, pom poms and even bird and bug boxes adorning the walls, it`s not all about paint and paste. One of Nikki`s latest enterprises is the Twiddle Mitt, designed especially for people with Alzheimer`s and similar conditions. `I first saw these at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital while visiting my dad, who has dementia, ` she explained. The mitts not only keep hands warm for people who might be less mobile, but provide interest and stimulation with their different textures and decorations.` 

Nikki made the mitt she`s modelling, in about a day. And now she`d love other local people to get involved by using her pattern, and any spare wool, buttons or ribbons they might have, to create mitts for other people with dementia. And apart from knitters, Nikki would love to hear from you if you can volunteer an hour or two of your time at the studio, just off Bromfield Road.

You can contact Nikki and the team on 01584 877272, read more on or catch them on Twitter @LoudwaterLudlow.

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