Creativity Works

Creativity Works Newsletter December 2018
Read all about our current work, get in touch for more info and please share with a friend or colleague to help us spread the word. 

Photo by Sarah Fox from the Keynsham Photowalkers Group. One of our Snap & Stroll projects from 2018.

In assessing the highlights from this year, it is hard to look further than the exquisite lemon and raspberry cheesecake petit-four that I enjoyed at our staff Christmas outing on Monday. In fact, it's also hard to look past the truffled chicken sandwich, but I will try. In fact, this year has been an extremely busy year with many ups and downs, as I am sure we have all experienced. Most notably, we were awarded our National Portfolio Organisation status again, this time for a period of four years, and are proud, as ever, to be the only organisation in Bath and North East Somerset to achieve this.

Our work in mental health and wellbeing continued to thrive amidst a sea of uncertainty within the sector. The success of this endeavour is testament to the hard work and dedication shown by our Creative Wellbeing Manager, Philippa, and our Fresh Art@ Worker, Tash. The year was full of workshops, events and exhibitions, and we are expanding our service next year into Somerset with new partnerships, and also delivering new My Time My Space commissions in B&NES. This work is of course ably supported by the other members of our team including our Marketing and Comms coordinator Morwhenna, our Finance Administrator Stuart and our new recruit Stacey, who is already making a huge impact on the organisation, as Office and Projects Assistant.

We delivered three further commissions this year. Firstly, we partnered with Somerset Libraries on their Engaging Libraries project [ See t he film about this project in this issue] . Our two artists Luke and Colin worked alongside two different groups of adults with learning disabilities and created some incredibly engaging work, culminating in exhibitions in both Street and Bridgewater Libraries. 

Much of our time was taken up this year with our Arts Development commission in Foxhill, working in a consortium with Kilter and Bath Dance. We engaged with over 800 residents, a chieved audiences of over 1200 who saw live dance, theatre and installations, and worked with 21 artists. It is a crying shame, and those who have read my earlier blog regarding this will know my views, that this commission which was due for a second year has been cancelled due to council cutbacks.

The work in Foxhill was supported by our third commission, that of being Cultural Producer for both Arts Development commissions in B&NES. We have cultivated and supported two co-producers' groups who we will continue to support after the end of the present contract, with the ambition of having two highly skilled and committed community groups producing and co-ordinating arts activity in their communities of Foxhill and the Somer Valley.

Our co|Create programme has been supported by a group of 15 artists through our steering group who have helped us re-define and model the future of the programme. Next year promises to be a step change in our approach to supporting and developing artists working in social practice. We will be delivering four interdependent strands that will ensure artists are equipped to work in the ever- increasingly pressurised environment of socially engaged arts, including: Creative Resilience, Creative Inspiration, Enterprise Works and Safe Practice. 

Other highlights of the year included our Creative Wellbeing Challenge, and the special charity gala night with Little Men and guests.

Finally, I would like to dedicate this newsletter to the memory of Clive Haynes, a Creativity Works participant, volunteer and trustee whom we sadly lost in 2018. He is much missed by all of us here at CW.

Wishing you all a happy festive season,

Director, Creativity Works 

Some highlights from our projects in 2018
Snap & Stroll
Keynsham Photowalkers - Feelin Good
Some of the beautiful images captured by Keynsham Photowalkers this year.
Our Snap & Stroll photography project has grown from strength to strength and has taken place in Keynsham, Foxhill, and central Bath linking in with No 1. Royal Crescent Museum and Beckford's Tower. Under the guidance of artist facilitator Sally Collister, participants have learnt new skills in digital photography and explored local environments together.  

Each project has resulted in an exhibition of the participants work and we are already looking forward to running more Snap & Stroll projects next year. Both Keynsham Photowalkers and Foxhill Happy Snappers have continued to meet on a regular basis after the official project has come to an end. If you'd like to join either of these groups please get in touch with Philippa Forsey - for more information.

Just some of the feedback from participants: 

"The positive, supportive atmosphere in the groups and the shared enjoyment of photography 
is what kept me coming back"
"3 best things: socialising, sharing skills and seeing other peoples' photography 
(which shows how their point of view can differ from mine)"
"The course supported my wellbeing by giving me a bit of breathing space 
from rather stressful home situation."

My Time My Space

Anxiety and low mood in pregnancy or after the birth of a child can leave you feeling isolated, lacking in confidence or feeling like the demands of being a mum are overwhelming.

My Time, My Space is a group for women to have time and space for themselves, safe in the knowledge that their babies are being well-cared for nearby. Each session is facilitated by an experienced artist and supported by a local Health Visitor or Children's Centre worker and creates an opportunity to learn new creative skills, meet others and have fun.

This year My Time My Space has delivered 4 projects in Radstock, Keynsham and BathAfter 15 years of delivering this project across B&NES it is now part of a pilot NHS service to deliver maternal health services across B&NES for women with mild to moderate mental health needs. The pilot is offering a range of services including group work, one to one support, telephone and on-line advice and peer support which will be provided flexibly and effectively by third sector organisations.This is an exciting step forward and will benefit many more mothers, children and families.

Fresh Art@

'Collaborative Quilts' inspired by the Fresh Art@ group's visit to The American Museum.

It has been a busy year for Fresh Art@, an innovative partnership project where Creativity Works has partnered with Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust (AWP), The Bath Museum Partnership and Virgin Care to offer a unique opportunity for individuals living with mental health challenges to explore their creativity, improve wellbeing and increase independence and cultural connections.

Fresh Art@ started in 2014, the idea originated from service users, nurses and others working on the ward who wanted to bring some colour to the walls of the clinical environments and enliven hospital spaces with meaningful artwork. The project has been developed over the years, and 2018 has been a colourful one indeed!

This year's bright and bold collection of work was created over the course of 12 weeks, where the Fresh Artists' met to work alongside lead artist Barbara Disney, Fresh Art worker Tasha Bee, volunteer Carolyn Trippick and museum staff. They spent 4 weeks at each of the museums, where they were able to explore, learn, create and be inspired.

"The Fresh Arts@ project is an incredibly inspiring project; it's a unique opportunity that allows individuals with mental health issues to engage in art, within a highly supported and relaxed setting.  
The museums provide inspirational environments and collections that encourage creativity and positive cultural engagement," Carolyn Trippick.

With the new year ahead, we are looking forward to the next Fresh Art@ project beginning in February and are currently taking enrolments. This project is a unique opportunity to support people in B&NES with mental health challenges. If you would like to to know more about taking part please contact Tasha The deadline for enrolments is 21st Jan 2019.

To read the full article on the Fresh Art@ Project and see more of the artwork created please click here.

Artwork created on ward 4 with artist Sophie Rae.
Peer-Led Groups Highlights
Writing Space
Writing space, one of our peer-led groups, has been running for over 6 years and this year the group has been supported by volunteer facilitator Sara Firman.  Sara and some of the groups participants share their highlights with us:
"We've contributed to a number of creative writing events this year; from an engagement session at Bath Artists' Studio as part of Fringe Arts Bath, an Open Mike Night at Bath Museum of Architecture in support of Bath MIND, a Poetry Fundraiser Night at Komedia and as part of World Mental Health Day, hosting our second annual evening of readings and poetry at St James' Wine Vaults, Bath.

Several of us took part in 'The Art of Creative Journaling' with Jill Carter and a 'Doodle Well' session with Morwhenna from Creativity Works, along with a series of afternoons hosted by Victoria Art Gallery inspired by Grayson Perry's artworks during November and December.   We also had the joyful experience of going on a summer outing to a beautiful private garden in Penselwood near Wincanton. All of these experiences have inspired the groups' creative writing."

Writing Space has a presence on Creativity Works website where you purchase their latest Anthology : Anthology purchase link and and read more of their work : Writing Space.

Our core group still has space for new members interested in exploring and sharing their own creative writing - if you would like to know more please contact Philippa Forsey -

It has been a year of challenges for me but there are also many highlights to look back on,  especially since I joined the Creative Writing Group last December and gained new inspiration from many like-minded friends.  
Now as the holiday season approaches,  there will be an opportunity to spend the *Twelve Days of Christmas*  recalling the last 12 months and practising new ideas of Free-Writing and playing with words - just like mind-mapping or the Map of Days.  It will also be time to catch up on reading, as books are always top of my list to Father Christmas!  However,  as an avid bookworm, it would be difficult for me to pick out a favourite choice this year or even a top ten!  (I remember Clive saying he'd never seen so many books in one small flat)  But although I've tried to *declutter* once I've read a book, so many stories are like hidden treasures that I can enjoy over again - like meeting old friends or sitting in a comfy chair by the fire in your worn-out slippers. 
Perhaps I will start with *A Christmas Carol*  and remember my own three ghosts - *Recollections of the Past* - *Observations of the Present* - and *Reflections on the Christmas Yet to Come*.
But unlike Scrooge,  I hope that everyone will have time to enjoy the season of goodwill in whatever way they choose.
From The Old Fossil of Radstock
Creative Perspectives
Lynda Tweedie, long term volunteer of Creative Perspectives, our visual arts peer-led group, created the collage below to highlight just some of the wonderful artwork they have created this year. The peer-led group's artwork has gone on show at both the RUH and Bath Artists' Studios where they meet weekly.

"2018 started with our exhibition in the central corridor at the RUH, and we've spent this year producing artwork for our next exhibition. The theme is above and below the sea and we have enjoyed exploring different techniques to depict our theme. It will be held in the south corridor of the RUH in March/April, please come along to see it."

Members from Creative Perspectives and Writing Space played a key role in the Community Matters project and you can watch that film here: Community Matters

Get Creative
Thank you to Julie, one of the Get Creative members, for sharing the groups highlights with us:

"During 2018 Get Creative arranged a 6 week sculpture course to promote our group and attract new members. We were successful with both of these aims! We used different materials each week including cardboard fabrics and all kinds of recycling.... with great results. We ended with an installation in a large room just using masking tape, creating webs and spiders it was inspirational and fun! 

We have taught ourselves to crochet progressing from making simple squares to flowers. For the Christmas season we created Xmas material wreaths, which are very effective. We are in the process of applying for funding to continue the group, so if we are successful we will relaunch the group again in 2019." 

The Get Creative Peer-led group meet weekly in Odd Down.  If you've like to know more about joining this group, please contact Philippa -
Well Wessex
After the launch of Well Wessex last year; Creativity Works, Heads Up, The Balsam Centre and CIC Chard WATCH, have been working together to develop a new Wellbeing Programme that will be rolled out as a pilot across Somerset in 2019. 

Called Futures Bright, the concept is based around positive psychology using the Five Ways to Wellbeing: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. It will be designed to feel like a fun and inclusive social and community group promoting useful tools and ideas

"We have been collaborating for more than two years as 'Well Wessex.' Each organisation works to reduce health and social inequalities through community based projects and specific programmes of work with a focus on mental health and wellbeing," said Philippa Forsey.

"The method and approach that we use is activity based, using the arts, creativity and skills development as a medium to inspire and empower people to explore, develop and grow." added Philippa.

The combined impact of the work by the locally embedded charities has been considerable in terms of helping around 1,000 people each year to develop social networks, new friendships and opportunities to continue to meet and become peer supporting. 

If you'd like to know more about this project, please contact Philippa

"I used to feel I was invisible, now I talk to people and they talk to me !"
"I've learnt a lot about myself, how to help myself and find perspective from others."
"Now I feel as if 'my voice' is important as part of a supportive group."
Engaging Libraries Project in Somerset
A short documentary about Somerset Libraries and their Engaging Libraries Project which Creativity Works are proud to have been a part of. 

Working with a group of adults with learning disabilities using creative and imaginative ways to re-imagine the library, its design, use and importantly how the library may better meet the needs for people with disabilities. This documentary film shares the story of the project, including footage of the launch of the public exhibition. 

Engaging Libraries Project in Somerset
Made in Foxhill
"I did wonder if Made in Foxhill would be the kind of project that simply provided a couple of pleasant activities and that was all.  It's much better than I hoped because it is about empowering residents to come together and share their skills.   

I have enjoyed this project, it's been lovely working with people who recognise how much the arts can enrich the lives of individuals and whole communities.  It would be great if Made in Foxhill became a fixture in the area and regular activities took place with residents taking the lead in organising events."

Nola Edwards, Co-Producer for Made in Foxhill.

Co-producers Jake & Nola during a making session at the Made in Foxhill celebration day.
Generations Workshop Foxhill #Madeinfoxhill
Generations Workshop Foxhill #Madeinfoxhill

For more images from the Made in Foxhill project visit the website: Made in Foxhill
As 2018 draws to a close, we'd like to say a huge 'Thank You' to all our wonderful Partners, Artists, Volunteers, Participants & Trustees who we have worked with throughout  2018. Working in collaboration makes us all stronger and you all continue to inspire us . ;-)

Arts Council England, AWP, Balsam Centre, B&NES Council, B&NES Wellbeing College, Bath College, Bath Artist's Studios, Bath Fringe, Bath Mind, Bath Spa University, Creative Perspectives, Community Links Team, Children's Centres, Curo, Virgin Care, Genesis, Heads-up, Health Visiting Teams, Quartet Foundation, Royal United Hospital, Somerset Community Foundation, Somerset Libraries, South West Foundation, St. Mungo's, The Holburne Museum, No.1 Royal Crescent, The American Museum, University of Bath, WATCH, Wellbeing College, Writing Space, Youth Connect, What Next?

We wish you, our valued newsletter readers, a joyful festive season and look forward to a 2019 full of positive transformation, openness and creativity.

From all of us at Creativity Works - Olly, Philippa, Morwhenna, Stacey, Stuart and Betty (the CW office dog!)
Ready for 2019? Here's what's coming up...
Start the New Year with some Creative Inspiration!

Walking, Creating and Connecting

Would you like to explore ways of walking to inspire your creativity, connect with your senses and create a deeper understanding of your relationship to place?

Led by artist Christina Sanders, this three hour 'Walkshop' explores a range of approaches to walking, drawing on surrealist games to playfully imagine and interpret your surroundings, linking personal memories and associations with landscape, whilst introducing new ways to capture your impressions. It offers an invitation to walk consciously, with awareness, taking in sights, smells, sounds and textures; to be aware of memories and associations that arise with each step.

Participants will have the opportunity to try out a number of different approaches, using walking as both inventive and reflective practice.

At the end of the 'Walkshop', we will come together to share experiences and discuss ways to use and develop them in your work.

Date: Thursday 24th January
Time: 10am-1pm
Venue: Bath (tbc)
Price: £30.00

Book your place: Creativewalkshop Tickets
Self-Portraiture as Visual Activism

Led by artist Noe Warren, this captivating and stimulating workshop aims to inspire artists and their socially engaged practice through an exploration of self-portraiture as a tool for visual activism.

Through a mix of self-reflection, conversation, photography skills-learning, and ultimately a unique and intimate portraiture session, it will encourage participants to create visual manifestations of themselves using photography and performance.

The workshop will also include a fascinating introduction into the work of leading photographers that practice self-portraiture as visual activism. 

Noe Warren is a multidisciplinary artist and workshop facilitator. They have photographed performances all over the UK and worked with a vast range of independent performance artists and performance venues such as the Shakespeare Foundation and the Marlborough Theatre. Their workshops focus on experiences of resilience, transition and empowerment. 

Date: Friday 15th February
Time: 2-5pm
Venue: Bath (tbc)
Price: £30.00

Book your place: Self-Portraiture Tickets
Creative Resilience Programme Survey for business owners

The Creative Resilience Programme has been developed by enterprise and creative experts with the aim of supporting businesses with the personal resilience of their employees, leading to an increase in employee wellbeing in the workplace, increased productivity and increased staff retention.
If you are a business-owner, run a business, or work in a business managing staff, we would very much appreciate your time in completing this very short survey to help us further develop the initiative:  Creative Resilience Survey

Voices of Creativity Works - We want to hear your stories
Have you taken part in a Creativity Works Project and would like to share the positive impact it's had on your life?

We are taking part in the Somer Valley FM's 6 week challenge in January and would like to hear
from any participants, volunteers and artists who have taken part in any of our projects over the years.

We are going to be creating an hour long radio programme called 'Voices of Creativity Works' for Somer Valley FM and we'd like to hear YOUR stories.

If you'd like to know more about this and get involved please tell us about a Creativity Works Project you've taken part in and how it has helped you. Email to Morwhenna -  

To find out more about the challenge and to sign up yourself visit: Somer Valley 6 Week Challenge

Other Opportunities & Events
Free Mental Health training: Connect 5 Places still available

Connect 5 training is available to anyone working in B&NES but will be of particular value to anyone who wants to be able to talk with others about their mental wellbeing. It is a modular course with up to 3 sessions available. How many sessions you cover will depend on your role?   Places are available as follows:
Session 1  - Introduction
9th  January 2019             13.00 - 16.30      Community Space Keynsham

6th  February 2019           9.30  - 13.30        The Aix en Provence Room Guildhall Bath

Session 2 - Understanding stress and distress and skills to support others
18th January 2019            9.30 - 16.30        Curo, Lower Bristol Road, Bath

19th  February 2019        9.30 - 16.30        Community Space Keynsham

Session 3  - Further developing skills to support others over time
17th January 2019            9.30 - 16.30        The Aix en Provence Room Guildhall Bath

8th February 2019            9.30 - 16.30        The Kaposvar Room, Guildhall Bath
Book your place:

The course is accredited by the Royal Society of Public Health and courses are delivered by a range of locally accredited trainers. For further information please see flyer attached.
Simply click through Give as You Live every time you shop online to raise money for Creativity Works

Thank you for reading our newsletter. If you would like to follow our updates in between newsletters remember that you can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest

With Best Wishes,

The Creativity Works Team

For more information:
Tel: 01761 438852    Email:  

Supported by Bath & North East Somerset Council and Arts Council England

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