A PROGRAMME developed by an Alloa charity is helping people build connections with others through creativity.

The Potentia Collective project, taken forward by the community team at Resonate Together, has been helping participants reconnect with both others and themselves since restrictions eased.

It started earlier in July and has been awarded funding for a second round, which started this week and will be running through to Christmas.

The programme is designed to support people who feel lost, disconnected or lonely.

Angela Watt, founder at Resonate Together, said: "We created a community questionnaire, which we linked to Scottish Government policy and through to the Sustainable Development Goals.

"In short, we asked local people how Covid was changing the way they were viewing their lives, what they now considered to be of importance in their lives and what their aspirations were locally and for the world."

There was an overwhelming response to the questionnaire and the Potentia Collective programme was born.

Dani Ovens was one of the participants who signed up for the first programme in July.

She said: "Coming out of Covid and getting back into reality has been a challenge for most, but for myself, I was feeling anxious and forgetting the basics when socialising."

However, being able to connect through creativity in a supportive and positive environment with like-minded people brought benefits.

Dani added: "Each week I made new friends, built connections and had fun."

The second running of the programme at Resonate was awarded £40,000 from Inspiring Scotland's Creative Communities Fund and means activities will be delivered free of charge.

Mary Banks, another participant, said: "Being isolated has been very difficult and the Potentia Collective project has helped me reconnect with myself, my arts passion and given me the boost I needed to take the step and join the college again.

"It has been a deeply meaningful way to connect with others and build those links we all need for a positive community."

Colin Partington, a Resonate Together team volunteer, added: "Learning to connect with ourselves and with others is the way forward to build a strong and resilient community.

"The creative interactions with local nature give us an energy and grows understanding that we are not separate from nature, put all part f it together – it has been inspiring to see all the participants making transient art works out of leave and flowers, and learning to weave with ivy has been fascinating."

Those interested in taking part can either visit Resonate Together on Facebook or email hello@resonatetogether.org.uk for further details.