Hope in a Box

How the arts can help tackle loneliness and isolation

We recognise that loneliness affects a huge proportion of local people, so, with funding DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport), we have produced a programme of activity across our residencies, designed to address the issues of loneliness and isolation.

We've partnered with Luton community groups and we're collaborating with local artists, bringing you a wide range of free workshops, activities and hands-on experiences for all generations of Lutonians to participate with.

From cooking competitions and live radio sessions on Inspire FM Luton, to singing and music production by local artists, repair workshops, arts and crafts sessions in Marsh Farm and an audio arts project based around women’s experiences of walking for wellbeing and change-making, there is something for all.

Programme line-up

Bury Park Residency:
A Date to Share. Connecting communities through faith, food and reflection

26 April - 24 May 2021

In this project, 50 households across Luton have been given a pack of dates: everyone was invited to pit then cook, bake, juice or add their own creative twist to a British or family favourite recipe using the date fruit as the main ingredient and enter a cooking competition judged by celebrity cook book author and TV presenter, Shahnaaz Ayub.

Listen to: A Date to Share radio series with Inspire FM, every Monday, 10am - 11am, 26 April - 24 May 2021. Each week Shemiza Rashid will invite 2 guests to share their favourite recipe and its family connection.


Artwork: That’s not all! Artwork will be created by local artist Era (@eratheartist) using the date pits from the recipes and exhibited in Bury Park. This special art piece will be celebrating human spirit and community during Ramadhan in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Marsh Farm Residency

Three projects: Sunflower Seedbombs, Repair/Makery Workshop and Choir Singing
Every Thursday throughout May (6th, 13th, 20th, 27th)

Venue: Fidel Gastros Bar and Restaurant covered outdoor area at Marsh Farm Outreach, Marsh House Community Centre, Bramingham Road, Marsh Farm, Luton, Beds LU3 2SR.

Note: All activities take place in a covid-safe covered outdoor area. Participants must dress appropriately for weather and workshop conditions. There is space for 6 people to attend each session on site, further participation can take place via the live stream. Suitable for ages 18+ - 60+

Sunflower Splash – small crafts and plant growing workshop

Every Thursday throughout May (6th, 13th, 20th, 27th) 10am – 12pm

A workshop to learn how to create and nurture Sunflower “seed bombs”; make eco-friendly plant pots from toilet roll tubes to decorate and grow sunflowers in from seed to seedling on your windowsill. The new Seedlings will be planted across the estate in May ready to bloom in the summer.

Coz We Can Makery – Small crafts and home repairs workshops

Every Thursday throughout May (6th, 13th, 20th, 27th) 12pm – 3pm

Make or repair small household products or give a new lease of life to old tools; from spice racks to shoe racks, ironmongery and gate repairs, tool refurbishments and much more, learn some new skills and save money too! Anything can happen at ‘The Makery’.

All tools and materials will be provided. Should you wish to bring something for upcycling or to fix please call 01582 345555 to confirm suitability with the workshop leader.

Voices with Soul – choral singing workshop

Every Thursday throughout May (6th, 13th, 20th 27th) 4pm – 6pm

A musical workshop making magic with your voices, where harmonies and musical tones are weaved together in a way that allows everyone and anyone not only to take part, but to sound amazing and to feel great being part of making something so special together.

Young People’s Programme

One Sound, One Voice Zoom Workshops

Tuesdays and Thursdays during May 6pm – 7.30pm, on Zoom, ages 16-25

One Sound, One Voice is a series of music workshops designed for creatives who have a desire to compose original music material who might not otherwise have the resources to do so themselves. These workshops will be delivered by Lavz (Lavine Reindorf) and do not require previous experience, just a willingness to collaborate, learn and grow with others who share an interest in music.

Participants will have the opportunity to write, record and perform their pieces at a virtual event in May 2021, recording in the Marsh Farm Music Studio and having the songs created featured on a mixtape. One Sound One Voice is about connecting young people who have a passion for music and creating a safe and collaborative space for them to express themselves in a productive way.

Listen In My Shoes Workshops

May 3rd, 7th, 10th, 13th, 17th and 20th May, 7.45pm – 9.15pm on Zoom, For women and anyone who identifies as that gender, aged 18-30

Walks were a common theme throughout the last year but how safe do you feel walking around Luton?

This exciting audio arts project explores this key question and the way walking can be a tool for both wellbeing and change-making. Participants will take part in creative online workshops and professional recording sessions, with the opportunity to be a part of the Hope In A Box Mixtape. Working with artist Lizzy Fretwell, a writer, performer and theatre maker based in Luton. She believes the arts are a tool to connect communities and start important conversations. Her audio arts project, ‘We’ve Chosen Here’ explored places in Luton that spark memories of lost loved ones.

Connected Event:

Listen In My Shoes Workshops

Connected Event:

One Sound One Voice Workshops

Connected Event:

Coz We Can Makery Workshops

Connected Event:

Voices With Soul Workshop

Connected Event:

Sunflower Splash

Connected Gallery: A Date To Share
Join the revoluton