A COMMUNITY arts venue has launched a new project to help residents cope with the difficulties of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rural Arts, Thirsk, is working alongside fellow county-wide charities North Yorkshire Sport and North Yorkshire Youth, and the initiative will join the organisation’s skills and audiences to create a vibrant and wide-ranging suite of both online and offline resources.

Building on the success of each organisation’s response to lockdown, the project will offer a variety of activities and resources for all ages, locations and needs. Access to arts and sports equipment, and accompanying digital resources, will be a core part of this strategic solution to promote health and wellbeing, strengthen communities and reduce loneliness.

Rural Arts director Max May said: “At Rural Arts, we want to make access to arts easier and more inclusive. We’re so thrilled to be running North Yorkshire Together, connecting people across the county with activities and information to ensure we all feel as happy and healthy as possible entering what will undoubtedly be a very difficult next six months."

“Whether that’s though a physical activity pack or online arts workshops, Rural Arts, North Yorkshire Sport and North Yorkshire Youth are here for communities of all ages, right across the county.”

The project seeks to provide essential resources to the county’s most vulnerable and isolated individuals.

“During the pandemic it’s been hard to reach the young people we usually support, as many of them had trouble accessing the internet, or were focused on adapting to online learning”, says David Sharp, CEO of North Yorkshire Youth. “This new project enables us to provide essential resources and information to our young people, so they can still get the most out of our services, whether online or in person.”

CEO of North Yorkshire Sport David Watson adds, “Our sports and activity packs were a great success during lockdown, so we’re excited to continue providing these through North Yorkshire Together. Making keeping active easy – whether through physical exercise, games, or activity packs – is one of the great things we can provide to those who need it most.”

For more information about North Yorkshire Together, please visit www.ruralarts.org/NorthYorkshireTogether.