Creativity Works

Creativity Works Newsletter
December 2015 
Directors Blog

I, like most people I am sure, can't quite believe how quickly this year has gone. I'm not sure if I've even had the time to tick off everything on my January to-do-list! It does seem that our lives are increasingly busy these days, which is why taking the time to have some form of Creativity in your life is essential. This is something I will definitely be trying to do more of next year. There is a distinct irony in running a creative organisation but having little time for it oneself.

I have recently hugely enjoyed doing some basic pottery using air-dried clay and I think I will try to advance my skills in this area next year: watch out for updates and pics of my exploits throughout 2016!

It has been another bustling, creative and meaningful year here at Creativity Works. The Mental Health Creative Support Service continues to flourish, as does Fresh Art, a strand of that work that continues to blossom. We were very pleased to welcome Nat into our team in March, whose idea it was that initially sparked the Fresh Art@ movement. I think it demonstrates the power of our work and methodology that Nat can progress so successfully and end up as a key member of our staff.

Our Elders work expanded this year to include creative delivery and training for staff in Care Home, Day Centre and Alms-house settings. We not only provided socially engaged projects, relevant and in-depth training but also gave residents the opportunity to have their work seen and heard at a variety of spaces including Bath Artists' Studios and the newly opened St John's Bubble.

We also delivered a fantastic project, 'Journey to Wellbeing' alongside Adults with Learning Disabilities at Sirona's Cleeve Court, creating a toolkit for communication around matters of wellbeing. I understand that this has been hugely successful and the toolkit is now being used with a variety of different groups.

Our co|Create programme not only delivered essential training for socially engaged artists in aspects such as Creative Facilitation, Fundraising and Mindfulness, but through our Creative Conversations we also explored questions such as "Can Artists Really Change the World?" led by Jocelyn Cunningham and "What is Socially Engaged Art?" led by Hannah Hull. We also presented our first ever International Residency led by Mammalian Diving Reflex from Canada. "Imaginative Interventions in Public Spaces" took many of us to places we never thought we would go, as Darren O'Donnell led us through the streets of Bath and into the extraordinary world of Social Acupuncture. Few us will ever forget the experiences we encountered!

At the end of this year we will be saying goodbye to our Enterprise Development Manager, Ailsa. She has been with us for over three years and in that time has developed high profile projects, most notably Home Service and our new social enterprise, Food For Thought, but has also been instrumental in progressing our fundraising, evaluation and working methodology. We will greatly miss her expertise and wish her all the best for the future.

As ever, we would like to thank the myriad of partners, professionals, artists and volunteers who make our work possible and the participants whose creativity drives what we do and inspires us every day. I would especially like to thank the staff who have again put in a huge shift this year, in sometimes very difficult circumstances. Their work is greatly appreciated.

Have a great Xmas and a happy new year from all of us at Creativity Works.

Me and Betty are off for a mince pie!


(Director, Creativity Works) 
Christmas Creativity from Creative Perspectives
Creative Perspectives (a peer support group we work with) have helped us get into the seasonal spirit with a lovely contribution of Christmas images - take a look below!

Creative Perspectives is a new visual arts Creative Peer Support Group running in Bath weekly on Friday afternoons at Bath Artists Studios. During November the group have been print making  including lino printing and mono printing and over the last couple of weeks they have been helping us get into the Christmas spirit with these lovely images below - thank you Creative Perspectives! 

If you or a friend would be interested in joining the group in the coming year do get in touch with - we would love to hear from you!

Contact to book or for more details. 

What would you like to do?
Let us know if there is a particular art form / creative project which could benefit the wellbeing and mental health of you or someone you know, living in BANES? Feel free to get in touch - if we have enough people interested we might be able to put on a course!

by Alexander John Reid

by Sarah Copland

by Sarah Ward
by Sarah Ward 

by Steve Hedley

by Anna Bater

by Steve Hedley

Poetry from Writing Space
Writing Space, a peer support group we work with have kindly shared a few of their favourite pieces written recently at the group with us, for our final newsletter of the year. 

First we have two poems by Jackie Mason: "Winter's Song" was  sparked by the theme of winter and gathering ideas for a group project based around it. "An Ode to Jam" , was sparked by an assignment to write an ode to something. 

Winter's Song

Hand holding, Ham smoking
Dawn coming late.
Warm drink, paper chain link
Orange, figs, and date.
Candles lit, turkey on spit
Prepare the winter gathering
Stars shining, north wind biting
Hearts sing 'the winter's song'.
By Jackie Ann Mason ©2015

An Ode to Jam

High on the top shelf it stands
Reached with comely, ne'er sticky hand
The red innards showing
My pot of jam

I could smell the sweet about the lid
The dark sweet berries, nothing hid
To unlock her goods, I twist

With knife in hand and bread all buttered
I dip deep; willing the unbroken, much sort fruit
And with success my bread is laden

Juice' flows upon the tongue
Anticipation bourn and won, has claimed her reward
My taste buds linger on every bite,
Oh my lovely jam! 

It is with sticky fingers and satisfied heart
I replace the pot and sigh
Much comfort it has brought me
That's why I place it high.

By Jackie Ann Mason ©2015

Next we have two poems from Caroline Mason. The Beach was from another assignment, writing down ten words we associate with the beach and writing a piece about it without any one of those ten words present. Beyond the Duvet, on the other hand, was a free write sparked at the beginning of a session. Everyone found their own world beyond the duvet, some in the real world, Caroline picked fantasy. 

The Beach
By Caroline Mason ©

The Blue wall rolls
Over Yellow Castles Crumbling
Cold White Clouds Melt
On ochre grounds shifting
Purple Atmosphere catching particles
Red Scarf wrapping me
Beyond The Duvet
By Caroline Mason©

Snowy mountains stretch across the distance, beyond my lair. Warm, soft, protected, you'll find me there. Outside it's cold and grey. No switches flipped or material pulled to let in light of day.
I curl, lit torch in hand, book in the other, finding endless treasures in someone else's adventures. A bear sits with me, quiet but mumbling from time to time.
Outside the chilly wind calls, reminding me of the world beyond these cushioned walls. It's calling me to chores, calling to wake from daydreams, calling, calling.
The voice gets softer as footsteps creep nearer. My bear flops and hides his face. I hold the book over mine and shush him, 'Quiet or she'll hear.'
Then the cave melts away, stripped back, light pours in through the windows. The mountains are just pillows and my cave a quilt, beyond the duvet. 

And finally a poem from Nathaniel Burgess (Creativity Works Artist and Fresh Art@ Worker), which he wrote in Writing Space while supporting a participant to attend. 
To Write would be a grand exploration.
To think, ponder and explore.
To form a creation, not of paint, clay or stone
But of words, punctuation and tone.  

Writing Space is a peer led creative writing and poetry group for people with experience of writing who would like to meet others to share ideas and mutual support in the writing process.

If you or a friend would be interested in joining Writing Space in the coming year do get in touch with - we would love to hear from you!

co|Create:  Facilitating Creativity and Mental Well Being

Is updating your creative facilitation skills likely to be one of your new year's resolutions? Our one-day workshop on creative facilitation skills for working with people with mental health challenges could be just the bright start you need for the new year.

Packed full of creative activities and practical techniques, the workshop aims to boost people's awareness and skills to enable them to feel confident in facilitating creative workshops in settings where a number of participants are likely to face mental health challenges.

The workshop is aimed at people who already have some experience of facilitating creative sessions. It does not presume any previous experience of working in mental health settings.  Topics include: understanding mental health, the role of the facilitator, planning and  preparation, appropriate creative activities, staying safe, boundaries and group management. Attendees will come away with a toolbox of ideas and techniques to use in their work.

Wednesday 20 January 9.30-5pm
Widcombe Hill, Central Bath

For more information and to book, visit

 Join in Burns Night Celebrations with Food for Thought
Download poster here.
Imogen Mascall, a founding member of Writing Space, presented at Edge Hill University's Arts, Health & Wellbeing Symposium 

Creativity Works aims to support participants through a process of initial engagement (usually as a participant in a creative workshop), onto a journey of creative exploration and further involvement (usually as a member of a creative peer group), where we nurture participants' creative skill set and support their aspirations in order for them to feel empowered and enabled to grow as creative individuals. A crucial part of this process is the evolution of the creative peer group. Imogen Mascall, a founding member of Writing Space, presented at Edge Hill University's Arts, Health and Wellbeing Symposium - Breaking Into the Temples of Culture: Exploring Arts, Health and Wellbeing Initiatives in the Community - on 27th November 2015 at Tate Liverpool. 

Alongside Creativity Works' staff, Immy spoke about the evolution of Writing Space, discussing its challenges, achievements and future aspirations, in order to provoke conversations about best practice in growing creative peer groups. Here is what she said:

Immy's Speech for Liverpool Conference:
"Thank you to everyone who has come here today to support each other and for seeing the value in promoting positive mental health through creativity. My name is Immy and I am a member of Writing Space. And I believe you should not judge a book by its cover or a person by a label because labels come with preconceptions. Everyone's an individual with their own creative style and this is what we value about each other in Writing Space. When a puzzle falls apart you can't always put it back together in the same way but you can make it into something new. Like an inspiration, writing words down can take you to a new place with your creativity as an individual and as a group..."

Artists Opportunity: Fresh Art@ Ward 4, St Martins
Get involved with the Fresh Art@ project!
1.    To deliver a series of 12 creative sessions within Bath museums (The Holburne Museum, No 1 Royal Crescent and The American Museum) weekly from 18th February 2016. This community project will be for people 
affected by or caring for those who have experience of mental health
2.    To provide a series of 4 on ward sessions within Ward 4, St. Martins Hospital, dementia treatment and assessment ward. These sessions are for older adults living with dementia and their carers and staff who visit the ward.
If you are interested in either or both of the above opportunities please provide a project vision for delivering a series of creative sessions.
Please read the attached  Artists Project Brief  and return your application to Philippa Forsey by Tuesday 5th January 2016. Applications can be emailed to  or posted to: Creativity Works, 1 Wells Road, Radstock, Bath BA3 3RN
If you would like further details about the on ward sessions or the community sessions please contact Fresh Art @ worker Nat Burgess  -  or Rose Pickett, AWP art therapist

Fresh Art @ supports people with experience of mental health issues to create artwork which enlivens clinical environments.  This is a partnership project with Creativity Works, Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health NHS Partnership Trust (AWP), Bath Museums and Sirona Care and Health .
This year Fresh Art @ Ward 4, St. Martins will be focusing on providing creative engagement for people affected by or caring for those who have experience of mental health and people living with dementia.
Participant Opportunity: Fresh Art@ Ward 4, St Martins
Get involved with the Fresh Art@ project!

Download the poster here.
New Wellbeing Courses for 2016
Fresh Art@ Ward 4, Snap and Stroll and more - new wellbeing courses to be unveiled in 2016

As part of the Creativity and Wellbeing programme we are planning a range of new courses for 2016, including the Fresh Art@ Ward 4 (see info above) and an exciting photography course - "Snap and Stroll". We will be unveiling more details on other courses in the new year!

Creativity Works AGM and Artists Celebration Evening
Nothing like an AGM and some creativity to start the Christmas season!

On Thursday evening we welcomed our Trustees to the Creativity Works AGM and had a busy hour and a half reviewing the last year or so, and talking about the future plans for our organisation. By the time we'd finished we were very pleased to crack open some wine, nibbles and Christmas cheer with a selection of artists who came to help us celebrate the artistic work carried out with Creativity Works this year. 

We had artists from our work with the Fresh Art@ project and those from community groups such as Creativity and the Potting Shed or the Pentagon project which took place this year. We always enjoy sharing a moment to discuss creative projects and this time we also got creative together! Everyone joined in, creating Christmas tree decorations from air dry clay. This is an activity which we have carried out in Care Homes, at the launch of the St. John's hub "The Bubble" and now at the AGM! Even our Board member who declared himself the least creative, surprised himself and got stuck in creating some lovely items!

"I have never before felt even slightly artistic or creative when it came to producing art, but even I found, much to my surprise, that after a little effort the creative gene came out in me." 
Gareth Smith, Creativity Works Trustee

Profile: An insight into working with Creativity Works
A Focus on: Betty 

Job title:  Office Dog
When did you start working for Creativity Works?
I basically follow Olly wherever he goes and we came here together 2 years ago in January.

What is your professional background?
I originally started working in the film industry as Olly's partner is a film producer. I use to love being on set and around film crews. But then Olly came along and he started to take me to the Theatres that he worked in and I really found my place there. Other than a professional office dog I do spend quite a bit of time as a nanny, looking after 2 little girls.

What does a typical day look like for Betty at Creativity Works?
Grrr, there really isn't a typical day! I mostly spend the morning pottering around the office saying hello to everyone and seeking if they need any help with finishing their breakfast. 12.30 pm is walkies and then the afternoon is usually spent sleeping in meetings before tea at 3.30pm, some rolling around and then home time!
What do you enjoy most about working here?
I like the fact that there is a kitchen downstairs where people make tasty food. There's also lots of space to mosey around, stopping at people's desks for a nice stroke. I am quite artistic, especially when it comes to chasing my ball, so working alongside artists is nice too. Best of all, they like biscuits!
What do you find most challenging?
Sometimes I have to wait for AGES to go out for my walk because the organisation is so busy. Olly might be in a staff meeting, on the phone to a trustee, or the arts council, but, come on, what's more important? The sustainable future of the arts and the continued high quality of creative delivery from Creativity Works, or my walkies??
What has been most surprising during your time so far at Creativity Works?
Nothing much surprises me about working in the arts anymore: the cuts to funding, the long hours, the incredible ideas and innovation! Olly had mentioned when we came here that we would be moving to a swanky new office, where I would have my own bed, so I was a little surprised at how small his office is. I can only just fit under the table!
What has been your biggest professional or personal achievement to date?
On a professional level, being an office dog is precarious as I am freelance. Many people think I am contracted by Creativity Works but actually I work more as a volunteer, so I think sustaining a career in the arts is probably my biggest achievement. On a personal level, I have just lost 2 kg on my diet. Yippee! More cake!!! ITS CHRISTMAS!!!
Goodbye from Ailsa our Enterprise Manager
As she prepares to leave us in a week, Ailsa writes us all a fond farewell...

"Dear everyone,
I am leaving Creativity Works in one week's time, so I would like to thank you all and say goodbye to all the amazing people, groups, volunteers and organisations I have had the pleasure to meet and work with. You are a great and lovely bunch and I wish you all the very best with your new plans and projects.

I have enjoyed my time at Creativity Works. It has been a fascinating journey from day one and I feel very privileged to have met so many people who feel so passionately and strongly about the vital role creativity plays in creating lasting change. I have explored and discovered some truly amazing arts and health projects, community initiatives, inspiring stories and incredible people championing the power of the arts.
Highlights of my time have included the Home Service Elders Project, which it has been a joy to help steer and manage, as well as the work with the IF Group in Bristol and fun events such as Family Arts Day in Radstock.
There are hard times on the horizon with an increasingly difficult political and funding climate but I feel that Creativity Works have an important role to play in new future services.  I wish Creativity Works all the best in the future.
If anyone would like to keep in touch feel free to contact the office for my personal email address.
Thank you so much everyone and all the best.


Could you be a Trustee for Creativity Works?
Trustees Required

We are always looking to widen our Board of Trustees for Creativity Works and would welcome any expressions of interest. We are particularly looking for those with skills in the following areas:  

- Human Resources;
- Legal Services;
- Fundraising;
- Accounting;
- or the Visual Arts. 


You will be helping to lead a hard working, creative and dedicated team of staff, steering the way in the effective growth and promotion of this expanding organisation.

Trustees meet at least 6 times a year and we encourage engagement in particular areas of work and ongoing projects.


Further detail about our work is available on our website


For more information please contact our Chairman, Karl Bevis ( If you would like to apply for a position as a Trustee, please send Karl your CV and written application. Consideration of applications will be ongoing.

Please feel free to spread the word - you can download the advert here.OtherNews
Mental Health First Aid Course
Creativity Works recommends the Mental Health First Aid Training delivered by MIND.
If you are interested please let us know as we may be able to get a 10% discount for booking a few people at a time.

1 in 4 people experience poor mental health at some stage in their lives.
The two-day Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course teaches techniques to provide help to someone experiencing a mental health problem before professional help is obtained.

For more information see their course info and booking form.

There are currently two courses planned:
  • 4 & 5th February - Keynsham
  • 12 & 13th May - Bath

If you are interested please get in touch with Philippa (

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 or Pinterest

With Best Wishes,

The Creativity Works Team

For more information:
Tel: 01761 438852


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


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Leigh House
1 Wells Road
Bath, BA3 3RN
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