Creativity Works run arts and health projects in BANES and Bristol, offering creative activities and courses to inspire and empower mental health wellbeing.
As a Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, Creativity Works, gives communities with low engagement and vulnerable people access to the arts. Over the past 30 years, Creativity Works has provided people experiencing mental illness with high quality artistic provision.
Working with a range of partners, Creativity Works helps artists and practitioners lead groups in a variety of creative practices including writing, journaling, visual arts, digital arts, dance, craft and more.
These skills give more vulnerable members of society the chance to explore, develop and grow – and combat feelings of anxiety, isolation or stigma. As well as raising self-esteem and confidence, people are encouraged to work on skills that will help them get back into work.
Oliver Jones, Director, says: ‘Creativity Works has proved itself time and again to be a company of true worth. We make a genuine difference to people’s lives through creativity and engagement with the arts.’
How Creativity Works has been helping communities
The team at Creativity Works collaborates with different groups, including health practitioners, the Criminal Justice Court and local authority, using the arts as a means of rebuilding confidence and providing a forum for self-expression. [EB1]
Creativity Works invests in their artists through the Co/Create development programme. This offers artists training and professional opportunities as well as access to resources and work.
My Time, My Space
Many women across the UK suffer from post-natal depression. It’s a condition that is often poorly understood, meaning women don’t always get the support they need. My Time, My Space works with women referred by health visitors and Children’s Centres. While their children are cared for by a professional crèche, the women have a safe place to do something just for themselves. They can explore their creativity and expression – and make new friends in the process.
One of the Health Visitors commented: ‘I don’t know why art works but I can see it in action. I can see the lifting of spirits. It has had so much impact on so many lives I just wish I could offer it to more women.’
The Networks project works with groups of women involved with the Criminal Justice System or facing mental health issues. When partners had to withdraw, the sustainability of the project was threatened. Thankfully, Creativity Works provided ongoing support to strengthen relationships and signpost opportunities for everyone involved.
Creativity Works has the awards to prove their success
At a time when there is growing recognition of the arts sector’s contribution to the wellbeing of society, Creativity Works inspires and empowers people through providing access to arts.
In the past 12 months the organisation has:
- Won the Mental Health and Criminal Justice category at Breakthrough’s National Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards and been ‘Highly Commended’ in The Arts, Wellbeing and Mental Health category
- Been recognised for the support given to peer-led groups through the Mental Health Creative Support Service by winning the Arts and Health South West Arts Award
- Received an award from Bath and North East Somerset Council for their Outstanding Work with Children and Families and been honoured at a civic reception.
To find out more visit www.creativityworks.org.uk
My Time My Space project at Creativity Works. Photo © Jill Carter / Creativity Works