Art on Prescription

aop_week3_collage_2016
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.

aop_week-4_weaving_2016
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.

slide1

 

Brand *new* Art on Prescription project

This coming Monday, Beauty and Utility Arts and Little Bird SOS will be starting a brand new partnership project.

Art on Prescription, funded by North West Leicestershire’s Staying Healthy grant, will run at Measham Medical Centre until June 2016, offering practice patients opportunities to join in one of two six week arts based projects, either via GP/IAPT referral or self referral.

Art on Prescription aims to create a safe, relaxed space for patients experiencing low level mental ill health to explore their creative side away from everyday worries and concerns.

Our project will be evaluated for efficacy and impact of arts based interventions for patients and staff within GP surgeries.

Showcase Smoothie

 

Showcase Smoothie was project managed by Beauty and Utility Arts for its first three years.

Showcase Smoothie is a major new literature and music based project, led by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) and partnered by a range of arts, health and educationally based organisations. It is Patronised by the internationally acclaimed poet and performer, Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, MBE and Championed by Lord Patel of Bradford, OBE; Dr Mohammed Al-Uzri and Dr. Peter Miller, CEO of LPT.

The project was designed to showcase the talents of people with experience of mental health problems, and has a particular focus on young black men. An artistic programme of workshops, mentoring and development, launched in March 2012.

 Showcase collage

Books in Prisons – changes to the Incentives and Earned Privileges scheme

Changes made to Incentives and Earned Privileges for prisoners has sparked a huge response from artists, writers, charities, academics, ex prisoners and many many others over the last week.

One implication of these changes is that prisoners can no longer be given books or art materials from outside prison, unless they earn or are given the money to buy them. On all sides of this debate there is agreement that books and basic art materials, such as paper and pencil, are essential for all prisoners – not least because they support safe imprisonment and effective rehabilitation. Koestler Trust statement

Feelings run high around these issues, so I can only speak from the perspective of one individual who set up a Social Enterprise four years ago with one main aim – to develop and manage creative projects with social benefits.

Over the four years I’ve worked with a wide range of individuals, groups and organisations all in need of some inspiration, motivation and support to get their message out there or just to improve their own private wellbeing.

In 2012 we partnered on the My Living Voice: Project which aimed to highlight the lived experience of the judicial system by ex- offenders, using arts workshops, materials and art work to raise awareness of issues and barriers faced with resettlement. The project culminated in a very professional exhibition containing some incredible artwork. Yes, this was a community based arts project, but all our participants were self taught in prison and in many cases it was art that gave them the strength to make changes and get through.

Now, each to their own, but I’d like to share a little bit of the feedback from that project and I hope my standpoint on this news issue is clear.

“Prior to prison I had little if no experience of art in the practical sense, and never really contemplated that it would form such a major part of my life. I have received no professional guidance and am completely self taught. I only wish that I had found art earlier in my life. The feeling of tranquillity that I experience when absorbed in this form of expression is to me unique it’s as though I have been granted a new sense of life. I am constantly learning and very much at the commencement of my journey. Through the “My Living Voice” art group I have been able to expand my comfort zone and have been able to push my boundaries into new materials, methods and disciplines. I have so many new avenues to explore.” A – member of the Art Group

Outcome: Increased confidence and well being in participants. Increased skills development in participants.

“The project has given me a focus – something to achieve and helped me get back into something I haven’t done for a while. It has given me a chance to look back at my life and get things in perspective. Also it ties in with the fact that I am going into rehab quite soon. I do have a chance to change things and this project has helped me to see that. It has given a focus and purpose back into my life.” J – member of the Art Group

Outcome: Reduced likelihood of misuse of substances/deterioration of health/mental wellbeing.

The Exhibition – An exhibition of the work produced by the Art Group took place in December 2012 at St Nicholas Church in Leicester. The poster for the exhibition and its title, “The Man Inside”, were ideas and designs from group members. Over 200 people came to the exhibition. The art work was available for sale with profits partly going to the artists and partly to fund a continuation of the art beyond the Innovation Challenge Programme. A number of exhibits were chosen to go on display at New Walk Art Gallery, Leicester.

Outcomes: Public awareness raised of personal experiences of judicial system and barriers to resettlement of ex-offenders via a number of open events.

“My Living Voice gave residents the opportunity to channel their feelings and thoughts, of their experiences of the Criminal Justice System, into paintings, sculptures, installations and scripts. It has also given them the opportunity to develop their confidence and attain new skills. The supportive environment within which the programme was delivered allowed residents to not only be within a learning environment but also to build positive peer relations. “ Viv Michell, Regional Manager Adullam

Launching our You Tube channel on Alcohol Awareness Week …

Beauty and Utility Arts now has a You Tube channel so we can share even more of our Arts and Health work with you.

The launch has tied in nicely with Alcohol Awareness Week ( 18th – 22nd November) and the release of a piece of work we’ve been busy with since the Summer on the topic of alcohol misuse.

Together with Lunchbox Films Beauty and Utility Arts worked with adults within council supported alcohol groups covering Hinckley and Bosworth, Oadby and Wigston to develop short film for selected local secondary schools. In addition we’ve produced a teacher’s pack for Key Stage 3 and 4 students.

‘By combining the knowledge and lived experience of all project partners and participants we hope we have produced a piece of animation and schools training pack designed to educate, stimulate independent thinking and encourage informed personal choices around the subject of alcohol misuse.’ Katherine – Director, Beauty and Utility Arts

We’re giving you advice based on our own real life stories.’  A 

Take a look at the video here and get in touch for further details about the pack or producing something similar for your own organisation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGg4u6Qi4v4&feature=youtu.be

Libraries ain’t what they used to be ;o)

I love libraries.

The smell and feel of well handled books, the memories of visits as a child with hair still wet from the swimming baths, the potential for learning and discovering all come flowing back into my mind as I step into one.

Beauty and Utility Arts has been working closely with North West Leicestershire District Council on a number of arts and health initiatives recently and back on October we teamed up with Lisa Pidgeon of Little Bird School of Stitchcraft.

Lisa’s blogpost on her own website sums the whole experience up perfectly, so we hope you enjoy…

 

Wellbeing Hi-5 :: Bombing Coalville Library

Those of you that are regular readers of my blog will know that I am passionate about the relationship of arts/crafts and health and wellbeing.  I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Conference in Bristol earlier this year and since then have been forging my career in this direction.
Throughout the month of October, Leicestershire (my home ground) is celebrating the ways in which the arts, culture and heritage contribute towards health and wellbeing.  The ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ is used as a framework to deliver a programme of over 200 wellbeing events taking place across the shire.
In total I have been asked to deliver 3 workshops  for Creative Leicestershire and 1 workshop for Beauty and Utility Arts as part of the Wellbeing Hi-5 celebrations. This first session took place in Coalville library on 10th Oct.
Katherine Brown, from Beauty and Utility Arts, ran a session of papercrafts making bunting and flowers and, for the younger crafters, characters from Goldilocks and the Three Bears…

The Knitting Gurrillas of Birstall (KGB) were recruited to do a special yarn bomb and participants were invited to hide allsorts of little items on the bookshelves and between the pages of books.  Yarn bombing is a way of brightening up an area and, in the case of the KGB, making people smile…

Mr Hissing Sid liked the nature section…

The mice liked it in the children’s section especially the little dark corners…

The younger borrowers had fun yarn bombing…

And later we enlisted the elder borrowers to have a go at hiding woolly gifts between the pages of books.  Pink for pink lovers…

Bookworms for the classic readers…

Crafty bookworms for the craft lovers…

Since the workshop I have had a message from the library staff who to say that they have spotted people finding the knitted lovelies and that:
“It’s great to see the delight on their faces when they find something.  I hope it is bringing lots of smiles”
I think the KGB would agree that this is mission accomplished!

Points of Interest: Art on the Move

Image

Points of Interest: Art on the Move is an Arts and Health Walks project that for the past three months has met on a weekly basis to go out walking and produce some wonderful artworks.

With an emphasis on walking being good for mental health as well as physical health we visited Bradgate Park, Coventry Transport Museum, Hollycroft Park and Coalville’s Art Trail; along with the help of artist Julia Smith participants have produced artworks depicting the four walks whilst exploring different methods of art by using paint, pastels and print.

We are now exhibiting the group’s fabulous work in the Atkins Building’s reception area from June 7th until July 12th, we invite you to visit and enjoy the wonderful work made.

For more information on how to get to the Atkins Building please go to http://www.atkinsbuilding.co.uk/contact/

Check in again next week for photos, quotes and even an interview with artist Julia Smith as we celebrate Points of Interest and the unveiling of some lovely art!

Making birds

At the moment I’m working with two groups on a piece of alcohol misuse animation as an awareness tool for secondary school children.

As part of the project we asked participants if they had much experience of creating artwork and there were a couple in the room accessing art classes, but the majority hadn’t done anything since school, but wanted to! So, we took a week out to try our hand at making some birds and here are a few photos …

      Montage 1jpeg

Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival

I’ve worked with Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival on two Arts and Health projects since 2006 and have recently taken part in a podcast talking about my experiences.

Here’s the link if you would like a listen. I’m on about minute 41, but do listen to the whole podcast if you have the time, because it’s a fabulous reflection of what The Comedy Festival means to the city, its performers, audiences and those visiting.

http://m.soundcloud.com/roger-clegg/dlcf-podcast

The BrightSparks: Comedy Asylum best of show will be at The Guildhall in Leicester on Saturday 16th February between 7 and 9pm. We very often sell out, so get in touch on 07908 750187 if you’re interested in coming along. Tickets are only a few pounds.

ttfn

Katherine