Dial In – creative activities to build connections

A graphic poster promoting our project Dial. There is written information and an illustration of two people talking on the phone.


Dial in – we’re here to help!

Tired of talking about the pandemic? Out of practice in making conversation? Looking to connect?  Fancy getting creative?

Designed for use over the phone, in person or via video call, Dial In is a booklet of activities created by artists from Greater Manchester – chock full of fun games and creative activities to activate your imagination and help you build connections.

The booklet’s activities range from fun games and storytelling to drawing, writing poems, and building fantasy journeys that allow us to escape to new worlds and revisit old ones. None of our activities require internet access and have been designed with telephone conversations in mind.

This booklet has been designed for use by:

• Curious individuals looking for activities to do with family, friends and neighbours

• Community groups who like to get creative

• Busy community and voluntary sector workers looking to connect with their service users

• Care home staff looking for ways to get creative with their residents

The activities are suitable for all ages; however, they have been created with older people (over 60s) in mind.

Download your copy of the Dial booklet here.

What inspired us to put this booklet together?

Last summer, we paired 5 Greater Manchester artists with 25 elders from across the region with the simple aim of connecting with one another. We called this project Dial as it took place over the telephone between 2 people.

Through Dial we wanted to reduce isolation for participants who might not have the digital skills or internet access to take part in online activities. Over 150 hours of conversation took place before our creative collective hung up their phones to one another. During that time, they laughed together, sang together, drew portraits of one another, wrote poems, talked politics and pandemics, shared life stories and recipes, created maps and imagined fantasy lands together.

At the end of the project, our artists and elders shared how much they enjoyed their creative conversations and how the activities had helped lift their mood and keep their imaginations alive during lockdown – so we decided to share some of the activities we enjoyed the most!

Can I print this booklet?

Yes. The booklet can be downloaded by following the link here. The booklet has been designed so that it is suitable for home printing. If you would prefer not to use up your colour ink simply choose to print the booklet in black and white.

Who put this booklet together?

This booklet has been created by Art with Heart. The 5 artists who put the activities together for you are:

Ella Otomewo

Chelsea Morgan

Joe Gilmour-Rees

Roma Havers

Alice Proctor

This booklet has been designed by Studio Baba.

With thanks to our project funders