Art on Prescription

Card making in week three

Together with Little Bird, Beauty and Utility Arts recently collaborated on an Arts on Prescription evaluation project in North West Leicestershire. We are delighted to share our report conclusions with others in our sector, to further support the case for arts as a social prescribing tool for patients with low level mental health difficulties.

Art on Prescription North West Leicestershire, took place at Measham Medical Unit between April and June 2016, funded by the North West Leicestershire ‘Staying Healthy Partnership’ grant and provided structured Arts and Health interventions for twelve patients experiencing low level mental ill health across two six week blocks of workshops.

Weaving in week 4

Using the Public Health for England, Arts for Health and Wellbeing evaluation guidelines (2016) for measuring outcomes, we used the WEMWBS, PHQ-9, GAD-7 scores and qualitative feedback, pre and post intervention and were able to demonstrate project outcomes as having a positive impact on the wellbeing of patients participating.

Click on the image below to read the report.



Creatives wanted for new workshops …

Beauty and Utility Arts is currently looking for more artists, crafters and creative writers to deliver a programme of quality, creative workshops for adults of all abilities to be held at our base in The Atkins Building, Hinckley throughout 2013, starting w/c 4th March.


We would like to receive expressions of interest for one off workshops that can be repeated or a series of workshops using a range of artistic mediums and techniques. We welcome applications detailing proposals for sessions, providing two references on max. one side of A4 to be sent to Katherine Brown, Beauty and Utility Arts, The Atkins, Lower Bond Street, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 1UT or


If you would like to deliver workshops in March or April, please send proposals by Monday 14th January, 5pm latest.


* Workshops should be 3 hours long with a half hour, mid point refreshment break, provided by Beauty and Utility Arts. Please state on your application whether workshops are for beginners, intermediate or advanced.


* Workshops are to take place on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays 10am – 1pm, 2pm till 5pm or 6 – 9pm. Please indicate on your application dates and times you are available between w/c 4th March and w/c 26th August.


* Artist fee is £120 and materials must be included. Administration will be handled by Beauty and Utility Arts.


* Customers should feel part of a quality, value for money arts activity with at least one item to take home with them.


* Marketing will be handled by Beauty and Utility Arts, but artists will be involved in promoting activities, including writing at least one guest blog post, taking photographs and gathering customer feedback. Please note workshops need between 8 and 10 people to run.


* Artists must be experienced enough to run workshops independently within our workshop space. We may suggest a taster workshop for artists who have less than two years workshop facilitation experience.


* PLI up to £5 million (essential) and a CRB check is desirable

Guest blog – Rikke Digerud

As part of the Leicestershire County Council funded Innovation Challenge phase one funding, managed overall by Community Catalysts, I had the pleasure of working with artist Rikke Digerud.

Rikke took over as the artist on a reminiscence quilt project for older residents developed by North West Leicestershire Council. The project was tight, with a lot to do and Rikke rose to the challenge amazingly. Taking some feedback from participants at the celebratory event at Snibston showed just how much people had enjoyed working with Rikke.

Here’s her story:

The Art of Reminiscing project.

I have been working with residents in 9 different sheltered housing complexes in the North West Leicestershire area for the last 5 months, creating a large patchwork memory quilt. The residents at at each centre chose a colour for their textile squares and we set about sewing them together. The blank pieces of calico in between had old photos from their area transferred on to them as to tell a story/history of that particular area.
As the artist on the scheme I took all the 9 finished quilt pieces home and sewed them all together and put a plain calico backing on it. The sheer size of the quilt (3.2m long and 4m wide!) made this quite challenging but the more satisfying when it was finished! It is a formidable piece of art work.
On the 5th December 2012 we had the grand opening of the piece at Snibston Discovery Park, Coalville. The residents, who of course were the makers of the quilt, were invited to lunch and the event was attended by the Chairman of North West Leicestershire and other dignitaries and I think they felt part of something out of the ordinary, something creative and important. It has been a real pleasure for me to work with such lovely older persons and taken part in the reminscing about their past.

Rikke blog photo 1 Rikke blog photo 2 Rikke blog photo 3

Rikke blog photo 5 Rikke blog photo 6 Rikke blog photo 4

Project press release

Hello there,

I’m delighted to say that a project where Beauty and Utility Arts and Participatory Artist Winsome Ruddock have been partners with Adullam Homes Housing Association is even closer to its final exhibition stage now.

Here’s a link to the news section of Adullam’s website and below is the copy:

Ex-offenders artwork to go on display

Artwork created by ex-offenders is to go on display in Hinckley and Leicester.

The exhibition, The Man Inside, hosted by Adullam Homes Housing Association Limited will showcase art created by ex-offenders from the East Midlands. The exhibition will be open for public viewing from Wednesday 5 November until Saturday 8 December 2012 at the St Nicholas Church in Leicester with free entry.

A private invite viewing will be opened by Carmel George Commissioning Adviser – Social Justice Team National Offender Management Service, Commissioning Strategies Group.

The exhibition is a result of an art programme called ‘My Living Voice’ developed by Adullam Homes who succeeded in gaining a Bursary Programme Fund of £10,000 from Leicestershire County Council. Adullam Homes are working in partnership with Community Catalysts, a community interest company who have experience of creating such projects.

The work displayed will feature sculptures, paintings and installation art, with a selection of the original artwork and prints being available to purchase.

This Tenant led project is collaboration between three Adullam projects: RDGS Leicestershire, Norman House and the Leicestershire Offender service, in partnership with Katherine Brown, an independent Art and Health Project Manager and Community Artist Winsome Ruddock.

Workshop facilitators Katherine and Winsome, said: “We have been working on an arts based reminiscence project, named by participants as My Living Voice, with Adullam since May. Time has been spent exploring reminiscence themes around homelessness, experience of prison and other judicial environments and looking at how to express associated feelings through a variety of artwork mediums.”

Poets and writers Sue Mackrell and David McCormack have also been working with the group, encouraging participants to explore in words and images the effects of location and environment on emotion and mental health.

Many of the group have a strong interest in art and writing and together we are working towards building confidence and new skills.

We very much look forward to supporting the group with their two 2012 exhibitions in September and December.

Raisa Turner, Rent Deposit Guarantee Officer from Adullam Homes said: “This programme provides our service users with the chance to display their creative pieces of art and this partnership project facilitates that opportunity. A key outcome of the project is the improved confidence and self-esteem of the people involved in the project along with increased employability skills around people making decisions and working as part of a team.”

Helen Turner, Project co-ordinator of Community Catalysts said: “My Living Voice is a project that builds on the talents and assets of a small group of people being supported by Adullam Homes. It involves working with community artists and writers to create a visual and creative record of their experiences before, during and after a period in custody to raise awareness of the experience of ex-offenders in Leicestershire.”

To find more about this art exhibition or an invite please contact, Raisa Turner


Arts sessions with families experiencing homelessness.

Last Wednesday artist Rikke Digerud and I did an arts session at an East Midlands Housing Association venue over in Melton Mowbray with three families experiencing homelessness.

The children involved were so excited about getting all the arts materials out and making their own version of a desert island and once again their talent and enthusiasm rubbed off on the adults in the room, so in the end everybody was having a go!

Below are a few photos of the work produced, which will be displayed for all families to see and I’m sure you agree, there’s some definite artistic talent emerging.

During the second half of the session Rikke worked on hand casts with everybody and once we;ve started decorating them in the next session, I’ll get some more photos up.



Upcoming exhibition …

Please find below a poster designed by men with experience of the judicial system and/or homelessness involved in ‘My Living Voice,’ a series of workshops for Adullam Homes Housing Association, partnered by Beauty and Utility Arts and WB Arts.

Its another of the amazing Innovation Challenge projects, funded by Leicestershire County Council and managed overall by Community Catalysts.

If you have the time to pop in to one of the public viewing days, I promise, you’ll be bowled over by the artistic talent of this group, most of whom are self taught.

National Poetry Day – October 4th


Just a quick reminder that Emmy Award winning Kwame Dawes ( will be at the Everybody’s Reading Festival this coming Thursday ( just before ‘Showcase Smoothie’ launch their debut anthology ( It’s going to be an exciting day peeps, hope some of you can make it!

Guest post – Andrew ‘Skatz’ Scattergood

I am a songwriter and actor and I am starting an Arts Council funded project about individuals who’ve inspired the lives of people living in Leicestershire today. With that in mind, I am organising meetings early in 2013 with groups of people from all parts of the community to hear and collect their stories.

With these stories, I will create an interactive performance (called ‘Father Used To Say’) using songs, stories and pictures which I will take into Community Centres, Social Centres, Libraries, Museums and other places where communities meet so that everyone can hear each other’s stories and hopefully show how our diverse communities share a common humanity.

I was recently invited by Katherine Brown to visit her ‘Points Of Interest’ group and talk about my project with a view to running a story gathering session when the project begins. I sang a song for them about one of the people who have inspired me, Leicester’s Joseph Merrick (a.k.a. The Elephant Man), which moved one member of the group to tears. Then we talked about who has inspired the group.

Their enthusiasm was infectious. I was told a few stories, one of which stood out as an excellent example of the sort of inclusive and inspirational stories I’m looking for; it was about an American who spoke many languages including those of some of the Native American tribes whom he befriended.

I am looking for more people and groups to tell their stories. Also, instead of charging groups to have story gathering sessions (which could exclude a lot of people) I am organising a prize raffle, which will also help with my funding application. So I am looking for people to help sell tickets and donate good prizes for this. The first prize will be £250 cash and I already have donations of a meal for two and an aromatherapy session.

I have a website at where I can be contacted and anyone can leave their stories too.

Andrew ‘Skatz’ Scattergood
07890 741883