In the Garden – The Lantern House

We were delighted to be contacted to ask if we would like to be part of this community project – we were very excited! 

Here is what the project is all about:

Taking Lanterns to 8 Care Homes this Autumn

The Lantern House is pleased and proud to announce that we have been awarded an Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant.

The Project

We are taking a selection of our lanterns and placing them in the gardens of 4 homes from Thursday 29th October to the 5th of November. The following week, we take the lanterns to a further 4 homes from the 5th November to the 12th November.

We are working virtually with staff by sending them a lantern pack so that they can make a star lantern with residents that hangs inside the front window of their care home until Spring. There is an additional online video tutorial to help them.

A bright hope, a little light for the future and while our lanterns are in their garden an entertainment and a talking point.

We are sending pre-stamped postcards of the lanterns so that staff and residents can share their experience with loved ones and neighbours.

The Lantern House have pulled together a trusted team of professionals to help deliver the project.  Supporting freelance professionals as well as care homes during this trouble period.

Sarah Parsons, partner, The Lantern House said:

 “We had the idea for the project back in June when we saw the situation that had occurred during lockdown for care homes. We knew the likelihood of a similar scenario coming back in the autumn for them and we wanted to do what we could to bring some fun and light to people who couldn’t go out to find it. We are so pleased and grateful to the Arts Council for supporting this project.”

Jo Coles, partner, The Lantern House added:

About The Lantern House

We (Jo & Sarah) have been freelance artists for over 20 years, working for many arts organisations, making both small & large scale structures for and with the community. Sarah manages large projects such as Burning the Clocks and the Brighton Festival Children’s Parade for Same Sky. Both have won awards and have pieces in museums and galleries. Jo has an MA in ‘Sequential Design and Narrative Illustration’. 2 years ago, we set up The Lantern House. Our aim: to continue to develop our skills and love of lantern making by creating lanterns for hire for events. We were looking forward to the next year of wedding hires, parties, festivals and events; and then Covid hit.

Both of us have a history of working in care homes as artists and staff and are aware of the isolation, sense of abandonment and risk to health and community disenfranchisement that people in these homes have felt during the pandemic, along with their families and staff. 

Further information is available The Lantern House website and social media.



Virtual Visit Helen Whately – Minister for Care

We were thrilled to be contact by the Department of Health and Social Care to ask if we would have a virtual visit with Helen Whately, Minister for Care to discuss the positive things that we have been doing and also have the opportunity to ask questions. 

Myself and Alan were joined by Debs and Lucy (Manager and Deputy), Alison, a relative of a resident and Mike, pharmacist form Upper Beeding Pharmacy.

This is what Helen had to say on a Tweet following the meeting – we look forward to receiving the script from the meeting that we would also be happy to share.

Thanks to ⁦‪@valeriemanor⁩ #carehome for my virtual visit today. Really good to hear how they have been providing outstanding care through these difficult times & their close working relationship with the local pharmacy. Thank you #careheroes

BBC Radio Sussex and our Visitors POD! Also a huge thank you to our wonderful volunteers!

This morning we were visited by Sam from BBC Radio Sussex – what a lovely man but not good with a hammer!!! Thank you for coming along and seeing what James and his team of volunteers are up to for our residents and relatives of Valerie Manor.

There are so many people to thank from our local community providing refreshments and support since Thursday – here are some of the volunteers and Companies who have helped already……..

  • Timber Rooms – Of course our project leader James!
  • Bench March Windows
  • Gardener and Scardfield
  • Steyning Rugby Club
  • Southdowns Flooring
  • Ashley Dawes
  • Martina from Amore – Yoga Chef

Below is a link to the radio broadcast at 1hr 28 mins and 45 seconds to be precise……….and again at 2hrs 29 mins and 28 seconds!

Visitors Pod Update

Wow! – In just the space of a few days the volunteer team from the local community has really pulled together!

The residents and staff have enjoyed watching the progress and over the weekend wanted to thank everyone for giving up their time and materials for this project.

What a wonderful community we are part of!

Please also follow the project on Facebook & Twitter