‘Inspiring Minds’ is an Arts on Prescription service which consists of weekly studio-based creative workshops for people experiencing poor mental health ranging from mild/moderate to more severe and enduring conditions. It encourages members, aged 18 plus, to try a range of art forms to build confidence and self- esteem thereby supporting recovery, which ultimately enables people to re-connect to their local community.
The creative sessions may be focused on Visual Arts (drawing and painting), Photography, Horticulture, Ceramics, Crafts (including woodwork, print making, textiles, mosaic, upcycling and paper crafts) or Music with a professional artist leading each group.
Participants can access the service for up to 12 months and are supported through their recovery journey by a mentor who undertakes regular reviews and assists individuals to complete a Next Steps plan to help with future goals and aspirations.
The programme runs both from our central base, Brunswick House, a Grade II listed building and at our Walkden hub, The Make Space.
Learning is key to leading a full life. Our programme helps you to take control and move forwards in life.
Our art sessions allow people to try and then develop skills in drawing and painting. You do not need to have any previous experience and everyone works at their own pace in the relaxed environment of our studios.
Our photography sessions allow people to learn to use photographic equipment and enhance their camera techniques to take a great picture. In addition we teach how images are edited using software in our editing suite.
These sessions are tailored to the season as they run throughout the year, covering all basic gardening skills. They may include planting from the seed, taking cuttings, container gardening and general garden maintenance. The session take place in our beautiful garden at Start.
We run a range of relaxing craft sessions which change throughout the year, such as textiles, mosaic, paper crafts, woodwork, calligraphy and print making.
Our ceramics session are very popular, initially teaching the basic skills of using clay to create coil, pinch and slab pots, then moving on to explore more advanced techniques and glazing to create finished pieces of work.
The Wellbeing, Information & Networking Groups (WINGS) were formed following feedback from members who found the focus around the 5 Ways to Wellbeing extremely beneficial, as well as an ask from partners who were seeking support group provision for the people they were working with presenting with poor mental health, who would benefit from wellbeing information and peer networking opportunities.
WINGS are structured peer support groups that focus on a specific activity each week to encourage people to engage in one of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing; Connect, Take Notice, Keep Learning, Give and Be Active, building resilience and encouraging people to use proven tools to manage and maintain their mental health outside of the group.
"I had been referred by my GP because I am suffering from depression and social anxiety. For me, Inspiring Minds became the foundation and cornerstone of my recovery as it gave me a place to mix with other people regularly... I have now reconnected with my creative side, which has been a huge boost to my self-esteem and confidence. I feel more stable and optimistic than I did, and have started voluntary work at the Energise Centre not far away. many people around me have noticed that I am a more confident, relaxed and balanced person than I was a year ago."
"When I first came here I was very depressed. I had given up almost. This place has changed my life. It has made me feel useful again. I love this place. If I could come here every day, I would. I have never been artistic - thought I was useless at everything. How wrong can somebody be? I have shocked myself with some of the things I have made - willow baskets, silk paintings, mosaics out of tiles. I could go on forever. I will sum START up in one word. WONDERFUL!! This is the best thing that has happened to me in a very long time. The place, and the people are fantastic. I have made new friends and learnt new skills that help me relax and forget my troubles. Without this place there would be a lot more lonely and depressed people."
“The first time I came to look around I was feeling very nervous and very low. Now I look forward to coming as I have made some new friends. I still get nervous when I come, but it wears off once I get to the class. I have learnt some new things to do such as in willow weaving and glass painting and mosaic pictures. I still have days when I am depressed, but the classes have helped me as I was in a rut and now I try not to think about my problems as much."