About us

Meet the team that loves to play

Creative Homes supports families to give children the best start in life.

We take a playful and positive approach to helping families identify and overcome challenges in their daily lives where we can achieve the greatest impact – at home.

From toothbrushing to healthy eating, toilet training to reducing mess and clutter, we’re here to help reduce day to day stress in the home. We offer a range of simple playful solutions which give families a helping hand towards building lasting, positive routines. Our group sessions help families connect and support each other on a local level to strengthen communities and our pathways service helps families to access further support around them.

“All the fun things you did were a tremendous help. Now I ask him if he wants nappies and he says no! He used to love them”.
-Cherie, Viridian resident and mum of two


Vision

Creative Homes aims to change the way society thinks about and acts on early intervention. We believe the more time and money invested in children early on in the life, the higher the cost saving to the government purse later into adulthood on health, housing and happiness.

“Early Intervention investment has the potential to make massive savings in public expenditure, reduce the costs of educational underachievement, drink and drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, vandalism and criminality, court and police costs, academic underachievement, lack of aspiration to work and the bills from lifetimes wasted while claiming benefits”

– Graham Allen MP, Early Intervention: The Next Steps. An Independent Report to Her Majesty’s Government


Training

Creative Homes is delivered by trained artists who are positive, playful and non-judgmental in their approach. Our team come from a range of creative backgrounds including: dancers, designers, early years specialists, musicians, sound artists, storytellers, chefs and visual artists. They are experienced at working with families with complex needs and at working directly in family homes. We have a small but dedicated core team and collaborate with a varied network of talented freelance artists to suit each project.

We have developed our own training and supervision programme that ensures our staff can deliver quality family experience as well as manage their interventions safely.

We adopt an open policy to artists interested in our work and hold regular artist sharings to disseminate our practice and findings.

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Origin

Creative Homes is the brainchild of Sally-Anne Donaldson, who already runs successful sister company, Tea Dance for Little People. Back in 2013, TDLP ran a successful creative play project for families called “Build your Own Play Town” with Affinity Sutton Housing. After conducting some evaluation interviews in family homes, we really could see how our work was having an impact on how families communicated and played at home.

“Imagine what families could achieve together if we worked directly in their homes and helped them find playful solutions to real life home issues that face a growing family?” said Sally and Creative Homes was born.

In March 2016 we will release our first impact report as a result of 2 year funding and support as a finalist of the Knee High Design Challenge. With core funding from Guys and St Thomas Charity and support from Design Council, New Economics Foundation, Narrativ, Southwark and Lambeth public health we have developed a successful, evidence-based service that proves that arts and creativity can improve health and happiness, the earlier the better.


Research and Social Impact

Creative Homes are dedicated to building an evidence base that proves that our service works.

As part of the Knee High Challenge we have worked hard since 2013 to build a theory of change that has an affinity with the wider missions of public health and housing organisations. We value the support of New Economics Foundation, Design Council and Narativ in developing an impact model with us over 2015.

We strive to integrate impact measurement into our daily practise and are constantly designing new ways to gather and communicate the change we bring to family lives. This is challenging as not only a high proportion of our families have English as a second language but also some of the children we work with are pre-verbal! But we see this as a creative challenge; how we gather and interpret quantitive data through to how we tell real family stories of change.

We are proactively looking for research partners to measure components of our theory of change. From 2016 onwards we want to measure:

  • Specific public health outcomes around dental care, continence and nutrition.
  • How building resilience in families at home can give children the best start in life so they can start school ready to learn
  • The wider impacts of early intervention and the arts.

 

If you are a research-based organisation or individual and are interested in our research mission please contact sally@tdlp.co.uk


Commissioners

 

Research and support


Our Team

Creative Homes is a young company, set up by Sally-Anne Donaldson in 2014. Sally also runs Tea Dance for Little People, a social enterprise providing exciting, creative play experiences for families with young children.

Our belief in the importance of shared family experiences is at the heart of both Tea Dance for Little People and Creative Homes. We are committed to improving the wellbeing of families in creative ways, which encourage a playful approach to home life and routine. We seek to help families build new ideas, songs and physical responses into their daily lives and always consider the long-term impact of their time with us.

Our early intervention service is delivered by highly trained, experienced artist working in early years. Our staff are positive, playful, non-judgemental and equipped to work with all families. They are highly experienced working with families of all backgrounds and especially those families who are suffering from stressful living conditions.

The Creative Homes team is a collective of dancers, designers, early years specialists, musicians, sound artists, storytellers, chefs and visual artists. We have a small but dedicated core team and collaborate with a varied network of talented freelance artists to suit each project.


Sally-Anne Donaldson

Creative Director

Helen Maier

Lead Designer and Hub Manager

Sarah Walker

Visual Co-ordinator

Sophie Martin

Junior Designer

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