We believe in the power of letters, words and visual arts to bring people together. We run artist-led activity that focuses on self expression through creativity with a view to improving how we feel, challenging assumptions, building empathy and connecting as equals. In our imaginations, anything is possible.
If you love letters and getting creative, you've come to the right place. Right now there are two ways you can get involved with what we do.
WORDS ON WHEELS
Across the winter months, we'll be working with our friends at the Claygate Centre for the Community to send creative activity packs alongside Meals on Wheels deliveries to people living alone in our community. We're inviting you to create your very own pack that will bring colour, joy and comfort to someone else's day. You can send your packs to us by 31 October to
FREEPOST INYBB. Full details below.
As part of our Lost Letters project, in partnership with Surrey History Centre, we're inviting you to take part in ten creative challenges. You can download them all on this page. Five of the challenges are also available in an accessible format and also free to download below. We'd love to see your creative responses and include them in the Lost Letters exhibition. Letters, poems, stories and artworks will then be gifted to the Surrey History Centre archives so future generations can learn from how we lived in 2020. We can post copies of each task, free of charge, to anyone who is not online. Please write to us or email us if you would like copies posted anywhere. firstname.lastname@example.org FREEPOST INYBB
Lost Letters is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Mundane Memoirs Challenge 1 (pdf)Download
Kindness is Contagious Challenge 2 (pdf)Download
Technology in Lockdown Challenge 3 (pdf)Download
Missing You Challenge 4 (pdf)Download
Picture Poetry Challenge 5 (pdf)Download
Pocket of Hope Challenge 6 (pdf)Download
I love this because... Challenge 7 (pdf)Download
Notes for Newlyweds Challenge 8 (pdf)Download
Sanctuary Sketches Challenge 9 (pdf)Download
Borrowed Words Challenge 10 (pdf)Download
LL Accessible Activity General 1 - Ordinary Things (pdf)Download
LL Accessible Activity 2 - Writing Through Time (pdf)Download
LL Accessible Activity General 3 - I love this because... (pdf)Download
LL Accessible Activity 4 - Multiple Choice Postcards (pdf)Download
LL Accessible Activity General 5 - Smile in my Pocket (pdf)Download
At It’s Not Your Birthday But… we’re all about the power of connecting with others through letters, words and visual arts.
We work in a range of community settings from care homes to schools, hospitals to hospices, prisons to wellbeing groups. We place artists in each setting to inspire others to share what’s important or helpful to them through creativity.
We aim to ensure everyone we work with is given a platform to be well and truly heard in the wider community. We join up different parts of a community who would not otherwise meet. We hope this leads to greater understanding, empathy and continued engagement between people or groups who may otherwise walk past each other on the street or assume they have nothing in common. We challenge the labels society puts on us as mass groups (the vulnerable, the elderly, NEETs, the hard-to-reach, young offenders, the terminally ill to name a few) to share individual stories of the humans who have these labels and accompanying narratives put upon them. We share real stories told by human beings.
We give people space and support to engage with their own creativity, imaginations and words and share the results with others. Words and images that enable them to share what’s important or helpful to them, connect with others, build imaginary worlds and explore new pathways.
We run stand-alone workshops as well as programmes of work in single or linked settings. It's important for our work that it is artist-led, as we believe that arts and creativity can be a liberating and enriching experience for everyone. We work with writers, poets, visual artists, designers and theatre practitioners who share, not just their work, but aspects of themselves and their lives to inspire others to do the same. We draw out what we have in common and highlight positive human connections.
We're based in Hinchley Wood and most of our work takes places in our local area across North Surrey and the London Boroughs of Kingston-upon-Thames and Hounslow. We're focused on building sustainable local partnerships that enable us to help our community develop its creativity and come together.
At a time when human beings are tweeting, refreshing, scrolling, uploading and searching for connection and engagement through digital devices more than ever before, we celebrate the power of the handwritten word to truly connect people in meaningful and positive ways.
Whatever we’re searching for on our devices (connection, acceptance, attention?) we don’t always find it. Some words, a letter, an artwork or a small act of kindness can sometimes be a much better way to understand others and connect with them.
Why are we called It's Not Your Birthday But...? Why wait for birthdays to communicate by post and let people know what they mean to you? An unexpected letter, card or painting sent on a normal day can mean so much more.
Drawings by Erika Flowers
Sign up to our mailing list to keep in touch with what we’re up to here and ways to get involved.
As we’re all about letters, the best way to get our attention is to jot us a line and pop it in a postbox to
It's Not Your Birthday But...
The Old Bank House
26 Station Approach
Surrey KT10 0SR
It’s Not Your Birthday But… do not share your details with any organisation. We take your privacy seriously and are aware of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
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