The Creative Wellbeing Project

12-Week Course dates:

  • Friday 7th May  10:00 – 11:45 am, 2021  FULL
  • Tuesday 21st September 7:00 – 8:30 pm, 2021 (now accepting self-referrals, limited spaces)
  • Friday 6th November 10:00- 11:45 am, 2021 (now accepting self-referrals, limited spaces)

COURSE IMPACTS: A brief overview of cohort 11

Participants described the course as relaxing, immensely enjoyable, very calming, supportive, encouraging, inspiring, engaging, playful, uplifting, educational, socially connecting and brilliant. Benefits achieved over the 5-week course included enhanced self-awareness, i.e. noticing of own needs, feeling inspired to create, letting go of the inner critic, feeling lighter and more joyful and discovering helpful meditation techniques. At the start of our third session, participants described feeling tired and foggy, tired and anxious, unfocused, good, and ok. At the end of this session, participants felt happy, relaxed, content, more alert, more focused and energised.

Self-judgement and self-criticism were common participant challenges, but a non-judgmental environment and clarification when requested led to an openness to feel curious, see what happens and not worry about the outcome. Other benefits included a sense of accomplishment when pushing through difficulties. The disappointment of missing classes eased when overviews of session/activities were forwarded.  The long safeguarding preamble felt frustrating when keen to get started. (Please note: The safeguarding and weekly course rationale calibrates participant involvement; a short delay of gratification creates positive anticipation, which also supports wellbeing).

Participants felt the course was very good, very enjoyable and life-enhancing, with no pressure to share art or disclose thoughts. The Leader’s tone was relaxing, and her ability to playback themes to everyday thoughts and wellbeing was valued. The course transformed participants’ ways of approaching art-making and created a sense of connection during times of isolation. Participants also enjoyed the conversations on ‘changing/shifting perspectives. Overall, participants would like the sessions and course to be longer and have booster sessions available.

Over this  5-week course, there was an average 24% increase in wellbeing. A sense of awe rose by 44%, enjoyment rose by 41%, meaning rose by 30%, emotional wellbeing rose by 38%, cognitive wellbeing rose by 26%, opportunities for growth rose by 19%, purpose and positive relationships rose by 18%, and physical wellbeing rose by 17%.

-Participant feedback ~

“I am so grateful to you for this opportunity and the other members for sharing their wisdom and artwork. It’s so good to feel that we are not alone.” 2021

“I have been doing more doodling and I have got my mindfulness colouring book out too. I think I am more self-aware and notice when I need a bit of time out particularly when I am at work- I am giving myself permission to do something different for just a few minutes.” 2021
“I am so grateful that miraculously, as someone who never created art for art’s sake prior to doing this course I now find that I am! I’ve been inspired to create because gladly I seem to have relinquished that internal critic that prevented me from making art.” 2021
“I really enjoyed it, I liked that although people shared certain things within the course there was no pressure to. It was great just getting to meet people through this shared experience and really not know much more about them. I thought Julia’s tone was really relaxing and I thought she had an amazing ability to play things back to people and look at what was being produced and easily identify themes, patterns, thoughts and relate that back to everyday thoughts and wellbeing – I definitely liked the changing perspective/looking at things differently conversations.” 2021
“I think the course helped me remember and reconnect with a more playful side of me and also (I hope) do away with resistance to investing myself into visual expression as that’s not likely to be an area I can excel in. It simply felt right, like it always does and the link between it and quality of life was hard to ignore.” 2021
“Thank-You so much!!! I thoroughly enjoyed the course. It has profoundly transformed my way of approaching art, and it connected me with others when isolation was dominating my life.” 2021

“Brilliant! 2021

“The creative arts sessions have been a corner of joy within myself. I have used several of the meditations in times of stress.” 2021

“Loved the posted art kit, it felt like a gift.” 2021

“Immensely enjoyable, relaxing and supportive.” 2021

“Thoughtful, playful and encouraging. Also informative and inspiring.” 2021

“I think it’s a wonderful way to connect with young people living locally outside your immediate circles, in a low-key situation! And not only were the sessions fun: they also led me to start making my own art regularly again.” 2021

“I can’t tell you how much I loved the course.” 2021

“It became a real highlight of otherwise pretty monotonous lockdown weeks! Not only did it spark my imagination a huge amount, leading me to start making art playfully for the first time in a year, but it also genuinely improved my mood. I’m a young adult carer, which has been very difficult at points during lockdown, but I always felt really happy after the Creative Wellbeing courses!” 2020

“I really enjoyed it! It felt like a small enough class to be properly involving (it felt like we were all getting lots of personal attention from Julia and time to speak to one another), but without feeling too intense, either! The posted art kit made me so happy when it arrived! The care that had gone into wrapping it, with stickers and tissue paper, made it feel like a properly special, kind gift.” 2020

“This course is the best hour and a half of my week.”

I’ve been part of art groups, but I’ve never seen anything like this offered before. This course is about hope, positivity and anchoring. It was a safe place to take risks and get past your inner critic that says, ‘what you’re doing is rubbish’.  2020

The Creative Wellbeing Project is a lifesaver, it helps you take stock when you’ve been through a difficult time and to redefine your life. 2020

For me, it was a sanctuary, something that could hold you during a difficult time and help you to carry on. The exercises weren’t just tasks; they were something you could be’.

The course was lively, uplifting and empowering.

The Creative Wellbeing Project is something that needs to be experienced. I looked forward to every class, and the exercises helped me redirect negative thoughts in more positive ways.

The course was such a pleasant surprise, I sometimes feel deadened and bored in groups, but the tutor was energetic and positive. The sessions felt like ‘springtime’ and that was really contagious for everyone.

The course gave me confirmation that it’s ok to be me, to have space to exist as I fully am. Being there brought a lot of reassurance, but it was also really exciting.

I remember feeling lighter – like my mind had been organised a bit and wasn’t all over the place. Just breaking down emotions and putting them in place really helped.

I was able to process memories that had been niggling at me. When they were drawn down they started to make sense. This helped me organise them and gave me closure. 

The group was really welcoming and it was easy to be there, I just wish it had been a little longer.

The course lightened my perspective on life and lifted my mood a lot. There was a lot of support, so I suppose I felt safe.

This course would suit people who want to find meaning in their lives.

It was something I could go to each week that would be positive and life-enhancing, whereas before my life felt quite bleak. 

I would like it if there were more classes like this available for people who suffer from mental wellbeing issues and would like this course to be made available on an on-going basis.

I  think this course could be beneficial for anyone.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our funders for making The Creative Wellbeing Project Possible.