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Community outreach: Supporting wellbeing and lifelong learning

Our community outreach programme takes inspiration from our world class architectural collections and the buildings and places around us.

Creative art workshop at the RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London. Credit: RIBA, British Architectural Library

We believe architecture is relevant to all of us and our community outreach programme takes inspiration from our world class architectural collections and the buildings and places around us. Access is free but booking is required.

We work with a range of audiences, these include older learners (those aged 50 and over), people living with dementia, and those who are blind or partially sighted. Our in-person programme is based at our London headquarters (66 Portland Place) and our team makes visits to community centres across London to work with our partners. We also reach out through digital events and via phone groups.

Explore our list of activities below and get in touch if you’d like to work with us by emailing Wilson at wilson.yau@riba.org.

Our activities

Explore and Make - our free art programme for older people

Get creative at home by booking a free place on our monthly online art workshop where you will use architecture to inspire your artwork. No experience is required, suitable for all abilities and anyone aged 50 or over.

Community group visits

We work with community groups to facilitate free guided tours of our HQ building and exhibitions and to host art workshops, all in a welcoming and social environment. We also lead architectural art workshops, discussions and walks in and around local community centres.

If you are a community group, contact us to see how we can support your group whether in-person (at RIBA’s HQ or where your users are based) or virtually. Events can take place anytime between 10am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. We provide all art materials. Please email Wilson at wilson.yau@riba.org for more information.

Phone groups

Working with community organisations, such as Open Age, we speak at phone groups and use the topic of architecture to reduce social isolation. If you have a phone group and would like us to speak and chat with your users, then please do get in touch by emailing Wilson at wilson.yau@riba.org.

Past topics have included the architecture of gardening, local places, shops, famous architects, places of entertainment and travel.

Memory Cafés

We have worked with partners like Age UK and Resonate Arts to support Memory Café sessions for people living with dementia through discussion, viewing images and art activities. We provide any art materials required. Email Wilson at wilson.yau@riba.org if you’d like us to join one of your sessions.

Art box project

In 2022, we're inviting community groups across the UK to partner with us in a free scheme to use art making to reach isolated individuals who are blind or partially sighted. The contents of the boxes will be created in collaboration with the participants. Please email Wilson at wilson.yau@riba.org if you want to get involved or for more information.

National events

We regularly take part in large scale events that celebrate the contribution of older people to our society, such as Silver Sunday and the UN's International Day of Older Persons.

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