VOLUNTEERS at Worcester Arts Workshop are celebrating after the group secured a £9,858 National Lottery Awards For All grant to fund a well-being project which kicks off next month.
The cash boost will enable the workshop to create a participatory programme of visual arts, music and dance entitled Open Space, Open Minds.
The aim of this scheme is to improve the well-being of people who have been affected by or are living with mental health issues in Worcester by providing workshops covering three areas of the arts – visual arts, music and dance.
Experienced arts therapist Claire Hilton will be running a Wellbeing Open Studio for 30 weeks, helping participants to use art practice to reduce stress and improve concentration, along with developing skills.
“I’m really excited to begin supporting our Open Studio participants with their creative practice,” she said.
“My hope is that by attending regular workshops, the people involved will not only feel the benefit of taking some time out for self-care and relaxation, but they may also develop their artistic practice to be able to hold exhibitions and sell their work.”
Music workshops will be provided by Worcester Arts Workshop’s regular artist tutor, Kay Mullett, who has a background in social care. Kay will be running DJ/VJ in the Vaults, a series of 10 weekly workshops for participants to learn more about DJ-ing and VJ-ing and an opportunity to showcase their skills.
And finally, resident dance company Translucent Dance will create a piece of work for young people, exploring the devastating effect of mental health issues and the network of support available. Translucent Dance will tour this work to local schools.
Director of Transformation at Worcester Arts Workshop, Hannah Philips said; “One of our aims at WAW is to give everyone who interacts with us an opportunity to be imaginative and expressive within a safe and supportive environment.
“Depression and anxiety is on the rise and creative endeavour is proven to have a positive impact on mental health.
“It’s imperative as a centre for arts in the centre of Worcester we are providing opportunities for everyone to improve their well-being. The wonderful variety of workshops available, thanks to funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, will enable us to deliver that with Open Space, Open Minds.”
Visit www.worcesterartsworkshop.org.uk for more.