Category Archives: Events & Activities

Brighouse Arts Festival launches Art Challenge

In response to the amazing art that people have been displaying in their windows to support key workers, the organisers of the Brighouse Arts Festival wanted to find a way to boost community art work in the borough.

Therefore, for the whole length of June, the new Creative Art Challenge is open for submissions. A fun artistic challenge to create artwork inspired by our amazing NHS, key workers and/or your response to the current lockdown. 

Submitted artwork must create a fantastic spirit of optimism which unites around our shared emotions and gives us hope for the future. Your inspiration might be the NHS or it might be the wonderful spring flowers in gardens and open parks, or indeed anything that captures your imagination in a positive way during the lockdown. Brighouse Arts Festival will then share works on their online gallery and on their social media.

Ten of their favourite entries will be selected to be exhibited as part of the Brighouse Arts Festival in October (virus regulations permitting). Not only that, one lucky entrant will be selected as a winning entry and they will win a framed version of their artwork to keep.

Send Brighouse Arts Festival a photo of your art work and they will exhibit it online. Don’t forget to include your name and contact details.

It’s free to enter so start now, your art may be chosen for the festival exhibition!

Email your submissions to:

Festival website:

Creative Minds website:

This project has been supported by Creative Minds, an NHS charity hosted by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SWYFPT) and is open to anyone, of any age, from Calderdale and Kirklees who want to boost their well-being by taking part in this challenge.

Singing for the Brain – online or by phone

The Alzheimer’s Society has launched weekly Virtual Singing for the Brain sessions for people with dementia and their carers.

Singing for the Brain brings people affected by dementia together to sing a variety of songs they know and love, in a fun and friendly environment. They also do fun vocal exercises that help improve brain activity and well-being.

The Virtual Singing for the Brain sessions are now up and running weekly on Wednesdays from 4pm to 5pm. The sessions use Zoom but can also be accessed by telephone if individuals do not have access to or are comfortable with the relevant technology/internet.

Sessions are open to people with dementia and their carers across Calderdale.

Find out more and see a live singing event

To access these sessions please contact Alzheimer’s Society via or ring 01422 352789.


Join in the VE Day 75 anniversary celebrations from the safety of your home!

8 May is the official VE Day 75 anniversary celebrations and although public events have been cancelled, it is still a unique opportunity to reflect on the enormous sacrifices, courage and determination of people during World War II.

The Royal British Legion is calling on people across the UK to join in a moment of reflection and remembrance at 11am on Friday 8 May, the 75th Anniversary of VE Day, and pause for a two minute silence.

Later in the day, you can also join with others across the nation to raise a glass to the heroes of World War II.  At 3pm on Friday there will be a toast to the many millions at home and abroad that gave so much to ensure we all enjoy and share the freedom we have today.

With the weekly “clap for our carers” becoming a regular event of national pride in our NHS and our key workers, here is another important moment to join with your neighbours on your doorstep and say thank you.

The Royal British Legion are still encouraging solo pipers and town criers to continue to mark the occasion from a safe and suitable location.  In Calderdale, Bankfield Museum is showcasing objects relating to the war all week on their Twitter account and on Friday their website will feature all the photos and information.

Things you can do
Despite the need to maintain social distancing, you can still join with others in a mass celebration – even if you live alone.

Tune into national media – the BBC is broadcasting throughout the day, have a family party or picnic on your lawn or outdoor area or even join your neighbours in a “stay at home” street party.

There are plenty of ideas on the official website:

  • Tell the story of VE Day by entering Dan Snow’s VE Day Challenge. Ways to get involved include writing a short story, song or poem, making a short video, designing a newspaper page etc.  Entries close on Wednesday 6 May.
  • Make your own bunting to display in your windows. Download everything you need from the official VE Day 75 website or from the BBC VE Day web pages.
  • Decorate the outside of your home in red, white and blue
  • Bake cakes and make party food. Decorate cup cakes with red, white and blue icing or try special commemorative recipes such as Nadiya Hussain’s Preserved Lemon Traybake or Pru Leith’s Muscovado Flapjacks

And on the day:

  • Dress up in 1940s vintage clothing
  • Play music or sing along to favourites from the wartime era. Vera Lynn’s “We’ll meet again” has never been more appropriate
  • Have a picnic in your garden or on your doorstep.

It is important to spread the word and include neighbours who may be too vulnerable to get actively involved.  Chat with them safely in advance about your plans. Discuss safely sharing food and decorations, so you can all enjoy the celebrations.

See the Government’s latest advice on social distancing.

What are the media doing?
The BBC will be covering VE Day 75 with dedicated programming across radio, TV and BBC IPlayer.

11am: “The Nation Remembers” – a two minute silence.

2.45pm: BBC One will broadcast Sir Winston Churchill’s famous victory speech in which he addressed the nation to announce the end of the war in Europe, which he made from 10 Downing Street on 8 May 1945.

3pm: There will be a specially created film to celebrate and remember Sir Winston Churchill’s famous radio address that he made to the nation on VE Day. This will be a poignant and emotional piece, reminding both those who were there and subsequent generations of this monumental day in our history. Throughout the event, stirring music from military performers will evoke the wartime spirit and the joy that music could bring even in the darkest of days.

8pm: BBC1 in partnership with the Royal British Legion will host a musical celebration, VE Day 75: The People’s Celebration.  The aim is to unite the nation in front of the television to salute our World War II generation.

9pm: A special address from Her Majesty The Queen – the exact time her father spoke to the nation three quarters of a century ago.


INFO: The Artworks – learning and creativity at home

Distance learning opportunities and free materials are now available from Artworks.  Established in 2008, Artworks are a not for profit arts organisation that believes art has an important role to play in all our lives and we should all be able to take part.

With their school and gallery temporarily closed they have been busy finding ways to support creativity at home – take a look at the new online and distance materials they have been working on.

Distance Learning – Study in your own time at your own pace
Graphic Novel Writing
Introduction to Illustration
Drawing and Painting
Youth Art

Online Courses – attend weekly classes with study materials for your own time
Drawing for Wellbeing 
Writing for Artists 

Free Worksheets suitable for all ages and abilities.

And finally you can also take part in their two campaigns #DrawingMatters and #Renew- Recycle- Reimagine!

EVENT: Read your way through the lockdown on World Book Night – 23 April

Tomorrow 23 April is World Book Night, an annual celebration of reading, intended to inspire everyone to spend time with books.

World Book Night, run by The Reading Agency is for everyone, whether you read regularly or less often, it is the perfect opportunity to celebrate books and the difference they make to your life.

It takes place on the UNESCO International day of the book and what is believed to be the birth and death date of William Shakespeare.  It was born out of the success of World Book Day, celebrated every year by schools in the UK and Ireland.

The Reading Agency says: “World Book Night is for everyone, whether you read regularly or less often, it is the perfect opportunity to celebrate books and the difference they make to your life. There are so many ways that you can get involved.”

Suggestions for getting involved include:

  • Reading a book during the reading hour – between 7 and 8pm
  • Sharing your reading or audio book ideas with friends and family
  • Holding a virtual party with a literary theme.

Looking for ideas of what to read or listen to?  Discover the world booknight booklist here:

And if you do use social media, why not share what you’re reading using #ReadingHour and #WorldBookNight to join the online celebration.

Meanwhile yesterday the BBC reported that libraries across England are experiencing a surge in online borrowing during the coronavirus lockdown as the nation seeks escapism and comfort in e-books.

Libraries Connected said: “Loans of online e-books, e-magazines and audiobooks were up an average of 63% in March compared with last year.

“And 120,000 people joined libraries in the three weeks after lockdown began, said.”

It is hoped this increase in popularity will change how people use libraries when lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Find out more about how you can get involved in World Book Night.

Read our information on accessing Calderdale libraries online.