Creativity Works

Creativity Works Newsletter December 2019
We hope there is something that appeals to you in this month's issue. Please do share this newsletter with a friend or colleague who might be interested. Thank you!

We will all very soon know the result of the general election and my hope is that whichever party is successful on Thursday, they keep to their promise of investment in the arts and culture. In a recent interview for BBC Points West, I pointed out that all the parties have been wildly over-promising on their commitments to us the people once they get their feet tucked behind the desks of power. If it is a Labour victory, I will be holding out for them to stick to their manifesto promise of £1 billion of investment in cultural infrastructure as part of a new charter for the arts. If the Conservatives are returned to government, I hope they won't reverse their commitment to seeing the arts premiums for secondary schools implemented immediately. I am sure Arts Council England, the sector support organisations, and all of us who work in the arts will be keeping a very close eye on those pledges and advocating for the power that the arts can play in people's lives.

It is my yearly Ground Hog Day statement: 'I can't believe we are at the end of the year already!' Is it just that as I get older, the year goes quicker? Anyway, as ever we have had another successful year with highlights including the magnificent Fresh Art@ Exhibition at Bath Artists Studios in May, and the continued work of the peer-led groups who meet regularly, participate in meaningful creative activity, and support each other in their wellbeing.

The work that they produce, be it writing, photography, visual art or craft is exceptional. Similarly, My Time My Space has continued to have a remarkable impact on the Mothers and Mothers-to-be who have taken part in the project, and who have themselves created such beautiful work.

2019 was the third year of the Creative Wellbeing Challenge, our on-line creative programme over August, that has been growing year on year and is now very much part of our creative calendar. This year we interacted with over 200 people who shared their inspirational creative work inspired by the Five Ways to Wellbeing.

Our co|Create programme of support and development went from strength to strength with some truly inspiring and motivational sessions. We also piloted our first ever Enterprise Works course supporting emerging and established artists with their business skills with the focus on them as social entrepreneurs. This was a real success and we have already scheduled our next course for April 2020. Similarly, we piloted our Creative Resilience course and delivered to groups of artists and social entrepreneurs. We will continue to develop and deliver this programme in the future as we have had tremendous feedback from participants.

All of this creative activity would be impossible without the endeavours of the Creativity Works staff team along with our artists and volunteers, who work unremittingly to bring about positive change to people's lives throughout the year. My thanks go to them for their dedication to the cause. Thanks also to our board of trustees who patiently steer our ship, or at least do some of the navigational chart work! Similarly, thanks to our partners and funders for catalysing the work that we do.

Finally, we are delighted that Michael Whitcroft has agreed to be our new Chair. We are all extremely excited to work with Michael in the future as he brings with him a comprehensive skillset, and a genuine passion for the arts and for the vision of our organisation.

I hope you all have a peaceful holiday.

Director, Creativity Works

Welcome  to Michael, Our New Chair
We'd like to extend a very warm welcome to Michael Whitcroft who joins us as our new Chair of the Board of Trustees. We asked Michael a few questions...

What made you want to join us as our Chair?
I am immensely proud of the fact that the Trustees and Oliver Jones, the Director, have asked me to be a Trustee and their Chair of the Board. I have been passionate about the Arts all my life and have had previous experience as a Trustee at The Sulis Trust (which helped people with mental health issues find employment) and Julian House who help the homeless. Working with Creativity Works has combined my two passions....the arts and helping to overcome social disadvantage and social disengagement.

Tell us a bit about you...
Although I trained as an art historian and did a brief spell in arts administration, I had a marketing and business career for over 40 years, working in a range of sectors which included baby food, the NHS and publishing. When corporate life and I parted company I eventually ran my own business for 15 years. My wife and I live in Bath, have two sons and we recently became grandparents.
Cultural experience that's inspired you
I have never forgotten going to a Henry Moore exhibition at Tate Britain in the 1960s while I was at school...that and the enthusiasm of our school's art master really inspired my love of the Arts.

Best piece of advice you've ever been given 
'Listen...and learn!'

Artist Call-Out: Love Letter to Radstock

Creativity Works are commissioning a piece of socially engaged art inspired by Valentine's Day for the town and community of Radstock, where Creativity Works is based.

The commissioned project must include the audience/participants in the creation and presentation of the artwork.

The audience/participants must be able to engage and interact with the artwork, participate in artistic activity and become an integral part of the artwork itself. We aim to create high quality artistic output, social interaction, and to bring a sense of playfulness and wonder to Radstock. Essentially, it must be a metaphorical 'love letter' by, with and for the people of Radstock.

The project commissioned will be of the highest artistic quality and include the following outcomes:
  • serve as a catalyst for social interaction
  • promote civic togetherness and pride
  • encourage participants to engage in further artistic practice
Any resulting pieces of art will be offered to the locality for further engagement and the process will be recorded and placed online as an inspirational legacy.

We are offering 1 x commission:  £2000
5 x days planning & engagement @ £250 per day
1 x day delivery @£250 per day
Materials: £500
(if you would like to arrange these delivery days differently, please state in your application)              
  • Mentoring and support from Creativity Works' team
  • We will also offer the successful artist or collective the paid opportunity to deliver a co|Create session for other socially engaged artists about the project and their work. The fee for this will be £250. (co|Create is Creativity Works' programme of support and development for socially engaged artists)
We are looking for an innovative and exciting socially engaged art project. We will consider any art form for the commissions however it must display a high level of social engagement.

Areas: Radstock and Westfield, North East Somerset
Creativity Works will be responsible for the marketing and promotion of the project with the input of the artist/s.

Application process opens: 
Application closes:                                
Successful commissions awarded:    
Commission delivery:                            
Wed 11th December 2019
Sun 12th Jan 2020 (midnight)
Friday 17th January 2020
Friday February 14th (plus any additional days deemed appropriate)

Please download an application form HERE  or alternatively email and we will send one to you.

We will accept submissions from individual artists, partners or collectives.
For an informal chat regarding the project, including any possible locations, venues and partners, please email Oliver with a contact phone number and he will get back to you.

Job Opportunity: FreshArt@ Bath 2020
Deadline for applications: Sunday 5th January 2020
Fresh Art@ Support Worker Role

This is a 3 year post to support the 'Fresh Art@' project that runs in Bath & North East Somerset. The post will be based at Creativity Works in Radstock and at Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) at NHS House, Bath and working across different clinical sites in the community.
Please send an application letter explaining how you meet the criteria outlined in the person specification and job description in no more than 2 sides of A4 (approx 600 words) and your CV.

FULL DETAILS please download the following documents:

Closing date for applications: 5th January 2020, Midnight

Send details to Philippa via email:
For further information contact Philippa or ring 01761 438852 until 2pm Thursday 19th December 2019 or visit
Photography exhibition at the Guildhall, Bath

Just a few of the beautiful photographs on display at the Guildhall, Bath by members of The Foxhill Happy Snappers 
and Keynsham Snap and Stroll Photography groups. 
Photos by Adrian Wyatt

Martin Kendrew from the Keynsham Snap & Stroll group
"I don't think any of us realised how proud we would all feel with our images on display."

Escape the busy shopping streets of Bath this month and pop along to the Guildhall to enjoy a wonderful photography exhibition by the Foxhill Happy Snappers and Keynsham Snap & Stroll. For the first time, two of our Peer-led photography groups are exhibiting together to share some of their favourite images. 

Where: The Guildhall High St, Bath BA1 5AW
When: opens on 15th December 2019 and runs to 15th January 2020
Sea Themed Exhibition at the RUH, Bath

Artwork by Mary Marchant and Anna Newman is currently on display at the RUH near the Friends Cafe
Photo by Tony Smith RUH
Mary Marchant and Anna Newman, who met at Creative Perspectives, a Creativity Works peer-led group that used to meet at Bath Artists Studios, have joined forces to put on a sea themed exhibition at the RUH in Bath.

Both Mary and Anna have continued to express their creativity since the Creative Perspectives group decided to disband. Anna is now part of the Get Creative group that meets weekly at Odd Down. Their exhibition will be on display until the end of January 2020, so if you are visiting the RUH we'd encourage you to seek out their artwork and be inspired. And if you'd like to find out more about our Get Creative Group - please see the Peer Group section in this newsletter.

Where:  Royal United Hospital [RUH] Combe Park, Bath, Avon BA1 3NG. Near the Friends Cafe.
When: Now until end of January 2020
Creativity Works Peer-Led Groups Highlights
During one of their sessions, The Radstock Wellbeing & Loving Life group, created decorations that are being displayed as part of the Christmas Tree Festival at the Methodist Church in Radstock - Why not pop in and see if can find their tree and enjoy the festive experience! Photo by Sarah Brown
For all of our Peer Groups 2019 has been a really successful year. Some of the highlights include:
  • The Writing Space group, which has run for 5 years, is about to launch another Anthology and will be able to continue their wonderful project thanks to another successful funding application (thank you Quartet Community Foundation!). Some of the comments from the group this year include "The fact that [WS] exists in the first place supports me in being able to come out and do an activity I enjoy. I like the fact that I can come along to the group and it's acceptable that I have lived experience in mental health problems." and "I feel much happier sharing my experiences with others - there is a great deal of mutual support from everyone. Even though our own life challenges are very different, we learn from each other. Writing down and exchanging our thoughts makes it possible to gain new insight into the difficulties that other people have had to face."
  • Get Creative were also successful in gaining funding and have made fantastic links to the Holburne Museum. They have been producing wonderful work around mosaic and the use of line (inspired by Matisse). Thank you to BAPP at the Odd Down Community Centre to providing them with an art cupboard to store all their provisions. One of the group members was invited to, and attended our recent AGM where they talked brilliantly about their experiences and the supportive art group. Another member told us "The group can improve self-image and help to form friendships with fellow artists. Art gives an important focus and helps to prevent stigma"
  • The Radstock Wellbeing & Loving Life Group will be continuing into the New Year and have had a wonderful artist supporting them for a 6 week course during November and December. They took part in the Christmas Tree Festival in Methodist Church and have decorated a tree with the theme of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'. Volunteer Sarah Brown told us "Alicia [the Artist] is fantastic, she has become one the group from the word go - we've done pottery, indigo dying, painting - all based on wellbeing"
  • The Foxhill Happy Snappers and Keynsham Snap and Stroll photography groups are holding a joint exhibition of their work in The Guildhall, Bath, which opens on 15th December and runs to 15th January. Both of these groups have been running successfully supported by amazingly dedicated community volunteers, volunteer photographers and occasionally professional photographers provided by Creativity Works.
We are so proud of the hard-work and achievements of all our group members and volunteers and we look forward to supporting them to have another successful year in 2020. If you'd like to join any of our groups - please get in touch with us!
Stories of Change
As part of a new series called Stories of Change, we're interviewing people who've been involved with a Creativity Works Project to hear how it's helped them make positives changes to their life. These interviews will include participants, partners and volunteers.
Our second interview is with Adrian Wyatt who has been a part of the Keynsham Snap & Stroll peer-led group since January this year and who has also been on a range of our co|Create courses.  
One of Adrian's Mindful Images from his Light and Shade series.
"I know that if I hadn't done it I would have cracked  up"
How did you become involved with Creativity Works?

Through the Keynsham photography group.  I had just been for an interview for a job and I always go to Costa Coffee, but for some reason that day I thought No, I just want somewhere different. So, I went to Coffee One in Keynsham. And there, on the table, was the leaflet for the photography group. I looked at it and I thought 'I'm in the right place!' I'd always been heavily into photography since my granddad gave me an old camera when I was 8 or 9 years old so I contacted them and ended up going to a get together.

What difference does being part of Keynsham Snap & Stroll make?

Massively improved my confidence and a big thing about identity. It's also something about not being alone. You're not alone in how you feel, you're not alone in how you think and realising that creativity is not in opposition to, but a benefit to mental health.

What other Creativity Works courses have you taken part in?

I've done a few now. I did the Mental Health Awareness Course you ran in Bath and it was an epiphany moment. In fact, I was quite teary because it was like all parts of my world had suddenly fitted together. It was like they were no longer four or five jigsaws. I had one jigsaw. And for some reason, all of a sudden, I could just put everything together.

Also, the Journaling one with Jill Carter. You learn if you can create something that's completely and massively outside your comfort zone, it's really fun to do. When I started journaling it tended to be writing and some photographs and had to be neat as that's how I wanted it to be. Now, I've got all these bits of magazines and all that sort of stuff, that I never would have before. I've got arrows going all over the place and all of a sudden it feels far more personal. So, it felt like it gave me a chance to experiment with trying different things. On my Christmas list is a calligraphy writing pen with an old fashioned inkwell!
What impact has taking part in Creativity Works courses had on you personally?

For 35 years, I had been in the Police force doing jobs that I never would have applied for. From being a community beat bobby in St. Paul's after the 1980s riots, part of the CID team in Southmead, to working in family liaison and child protection. I was also a minister and had worked at a church in Gloucestershire. I'd thought about retiring but didn't really know what I wanted to do as it had never been something I'd actually stopped to think about.

Doing some of the courses has been a real eye opener about what creativity really means. One of my favourite films is Flashdance, and there's that line in it, Take your passion and make it happen. That's it really. That's exactly what my journey with Creativity Works is really about. I've been able to explore photography and creativity in a completely different way.

It's taken nearly 11 months to identify what the sort of issues were. There's two forms of PTSD; one that's caused by a one-off incident and one that's caused by lots of different things, which is very difficult to deal with. And for the last year or so it has been quite difficult for my wife. And, all of a sudden, since being part of the Keynsham photography group and taking these other courses with Creativity Works, she sees a light at the end of her tunnel as well. Because I'm not someone who's banging my head against a brick wall trying to work out what it is I'm supposed to be doing. I now know, for me, it's about photography and mental health.
What would you say to someone who's thinking about joining a Creativity Works course?

Go please! Especially if you're a man!

I say to anybody now, if you do not think you're creative - You're wrong! We are all creative and what Creativity Works courses do is allow you to explore where your creativity is. You meet people who are potters and writers and all the rest of it, and it allows you to explore your creativity and gives you the confidence to do it. There's no pressure. If you don't try, you'll never know - if you don't take the step - you're always stuck in the office! 
Adrian Wyatt
Have you been part of a Creativity Works project or course? Would you like to share your story? Please contact if you've like to be part of our Stories of Change interview series.
Other News 
Snapshot of The Hub's First Birthday at Mulberry Park, Foxhill 

Over 650 people came to celebrate The Hub's First Birthday last month! Visitors to the event got involved in everything from creating animations with Angela Frankham Animation, making felt foxes with Felty Happy Creatures, shaping monsters out of bread dough with Alex Greek Cooking to singing in a choir with Pub Choir!  There was also an exhibition on display by the Foxhill Happy Snappers and two productions by Dragon Bird Theatre - Something for everyone! If you'd like to be involved with the Made in Foxhill project - please visit
 Peer-Led Groups 
 Photography Groups 
Foxhill Happy Snappers

An opportunity to experiment with photography, share stories about the social history of Foxhill / Combe Down whilst learning new skills and creative ways to express yourself. Take part in short walks and discussions. 

When: Thursdays 11am-1pm 
Where: Foxhill Community Centre.
Bring a camera / smartphone / tablet if you can. No previous experience is necessary. 

Contact Max for details and to register interest: 01225 316199 
or please contact Philippa 01761 438852
Keynsham Snap & Stroll

A friendly, informal and sociable group that enjoys taking photos and promoting wellbeing. If you've got a camera, phone or tablet and you want to walk, talk and take pictures then this group is brilliant!

When: Wednesday mornings, Keynsham. 
Facebook Page:  Keynsham Snap & Stroll

Contact Max for details and to register interest: 01225 316199 
or please contact Philippa 01761 438852 

Writing & Visual Arts Groups 
Writing Space

Writing Space is a peer-led project for people of all writing skills who would like a safe place to develop and present their writing. The group is suitable for adults who would like to support their wellbeing and mental health through creativity. 

When: Tuesday afternoons 1 pm - 4pm
Where: Central Bath

Occasionally sessions are outdoors, so please be prepared for easy walking and various weathers!  
Get Creative

Are you looking to experiment with different arts materials and techniques? Get Creative peer-led visual art group in Bath, could be just right for you. The small groups' aim is to support personal wellbeing through creativity. We'll let the group introduce themselves...

When: Tuesday afternoons 1.15pm - 3.15pm 
Where: Odd Down

The weekly group offers an opportunity to meet others, learn and share creative ideas and gain confidence in a safe and friendly environment.  All members help plan further sessions and creative activity.

Radstock Wellbeing and Loving Life Group

The group offers a safe and welcoming space to come and be inspired and to  explore your own  creativity.  
When: Thursdays 12 noon - 2pm  Dates: 
Where: Radstock Trinity Methodist Church
Cost: £2.50 per session

Please note that there is no specific mental health support at these groups, but safe, respectful space is a priority. 
If you would like to join any of the peer-led groups please contact Philippa 01761 438852 email:
Other Opportunities
New Paper Nations commission, Time to Write, breaks down barriers to writing in the South-West

Creative Writing Incubator Paper Nations has launched commissions for writers who face barriers to developing their writing and having their voices heard. The commission will support writers from under-represented groups and backgrounds from Somerset, Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, and Wiltshire.
Commissions of up to £1,000 each will provide writers with time and space to write, as well as fantastic opportunities such as mentoring from professional authors and free spaces on writing courses.

The application process is open and and runs to midnight on January 5th, 2020. Applications will be judged by a pool of experienced writers, agents, and educators. Details can be found HERE
Free Training
Making Every Contact Count (MECC) Training
There are still some spaces on the following Make Every Contact Count Training courses:
  • January 16th and 23rd
  MECC is about supporting people to make the most of every opportunity they have with the millions of people they come into contact with every day. Everyone who interacts with the public is able to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of the population by encouraging and supporting individuals to change behaviours that may be damaging to their health. Telling people what to do is not the most effective way to help them change. 

MECC is a skills-based training opportunity that encourages a different way of working and interacting to address their health and wellbeing.

Free Connect 5 Training  Everyday skills for talking with adults in distress
The Connect 5 training programme is an accessible, evidenced based course that is relevant to everyone who works or meets with the public. It provides participants with skills and competencies that build confidence in having conversations about mental health and wellbeing. It presents tools to empower others to take proactive steps to build resilience and look after themselves. Connect 5 takes the position that we don't need to be mental health specialists to support those who are experiencing emotional and mental health problems.  Booking now for November to March dates:  Click here for full course info, dates & booking

Simply click through Give as You Live every time you shop online to raise money for Creativity Works
Creativity Works | 01761 438852 | |
Leigh House
1 Wells Road
Bath, BA3 3RN
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Registered Charity No. 1075812 Company No. 3768255 Creativity Works for Everyone is a company limited by guarantee registered in England