Arty-Folks at Coventry Recovery & Wellbeing Academy

The Coventry Recovery & Wellbeing Academy offers a huge range of courses and workshops to promote personal development and self-management of health conditions.  Arty-Folks is one of the many delivery partners and we will be running our popular 3 week course Fine Art to Well-being during 2019.

Relaxation through Art is aimed at anyone looking for alternative coping strategies to improve mental well-being for themselves or to help others. In this course you will explore how being creative can benefit your sense of well-being and you will become more confident using creative techniques that help to relax.

You don’t need any previous experience of art or crafts and all materials and equipment are provided free.

Course Dates 2019

January 2019:    7th, 14th, 21st,  1pm – 3pm
April 2019:          1st,  8th, 15th,   1pm – 3pm
September:       16th, 23rd, 30th, 1pm – 3pm

To enrol https://recoveryandwellbeing.covwarkpt.nhs.uk/Default.aspx

Participants’ Feedback:
“The course had a positive impact on me continuing in the week and it provided me with techniques to use going forward.”
“How art links to mental well-being is very interesting and I feel now much more able to join a general art class.”
“It has enabled me to be more in the moment and to let go of negative thoughts.”
“It has helped me process some of my issues and helped me access feelings I didn’t realise I had.”
“It helped me focus on art with a therapeutic basis in a step-by-step approach.”
“I got into my flow during the art. Focusing on art rather than a washing machine of thoughts is great!”

Course Facilitators

Lorella, Practitioner – It doesn’t matter whether you are experienced or a complete beginner. The focus of this course is not on teaching traditional art skills, but on relieving mental stress and finding alternative ways to de-stress. Even in such a short course, there is a magic that happens when people learn and create together. It’s fantastic to see how quickly people get to grips with using art for the benefit of their well-being. This course will give you a starting point to embed creativity in your life.

Simone, Co-Facilitator – I enrolled on this course January 2018 when I was looking for something that would help me get through my anxiety of being in groups. And it was just what I needed! I learnt to relax and let go of thoughts that didn’t serve a purpose and it got me away from all my usual worries. I have since joined Arty-Folks’ service and attend my weekly art class regularly because I recognised that art was helping me to communicate and connect to others.  Even if you are not sure if it’s for your it’s worth trying because the art is not intimidating in any way.  Just give it a go and I will be there to help you through!

 

 

Arty-Folks is recruiting new Trustees

Arty-Folks is now looking to appoint new Trustees to the Board who will assist us in delivering our strategic plan, and ensure that we continue to be a distinctive and successful charity.   The mission of Arty-Folks is to be a leader in driving social change by tackling the root causes to mental ill health through the transformational power of the visual arts and peer support.

We are looking for highly skilled individuals who think outside the box and will enjoy working with us towards Coventry City of Culture 2021.  We are keen to hear from candidates who can offer particular expertise in one or more of the following areas: finance, IT, HR, mental health and well-being, corporate sponsorship, and fundraising.

We are also specifically looking for a new Chair of the Board and a Treasurer. Candidates will support the Arty-Folks values and have an understanding of governance, and the skills, intellect and outlook to contribute effectively as members of a high caliber board.

Commitment required:
– attend four x 2hr meetings per year including the Annual General Meeting
– occasionally meet with staff or volunteers depending on your skill set and availability
– commit to serving a minimum of three years with the Board

As a Trustee we expect you to:
– be passionate about improving the mental well-being of working age adults
– have an understanding of the challenges small charities like Arty-Folks face
– demonstrate integrity in all your dealings and have good, independent judgement
– be innovative and think outside the box
– have an honest and open approach and take decisions for the good of Arty Folks
– have in-depth understanding and acceptance of the legal duties of Trustees.
– have a good sense of humour

Please note that Trustees are volunteers and receive no payment except for agreed out-of-pocket expenses.

To apply, please email your CV with a brief covering letter describing your specific skills to the Chair of Arty-Folks using email: info@arty-folks.co.uk.

 

 

World Mental Health Day 2018 focus on Young People

World Mental Health Day 10th October 2018
puts the spotlight on Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World.

Members’ acrylic paintings map out places and people that are important in their lives. With this exhibition we want to raise awareness that feeling part of a community is the best ‘medicine’ to maintaining good mental health.

A survey released this October 2018 by BBC Radio 4 found that 16-24 year olds are the loneliest age group in the UK.  Young people have to face a world where human rights are violated wherever they look including cyber crimes, cyber bullying, and violent video games.  Additionally, young people face a huge range of pressures from achieving in education, fitting in socially, conforming to gender roles, portraying a certain image online, as well as dealing with family breakdowns.

Youth loneliness is not taken seriously by society and so it can feel like a personal failing.  By putting children and young people’s feelings down as ‘typically teen moodiness’ we silence and disempower them and we are putting their mental well-being at risk.

Most young people will come through challenging life events without serious harm.  However, the NHS reports 24.3% of people registered with mental health services are aged under 19, and that the number of girls and boys self-harming is increasing at an alarming rate.  In the UK suicide is the leading cause of death in young people and over half of those who die by suicide have a history of self-harm.

Framing young people’s experience of loneliness in medical terms such as depression or anxiety is not useful and will only reinforce the sense of shame and stigma many of them feel.   Instead of keeping their feelings bottled up, we need to encourage young people to talk about how they feel, help them understand loneliness as a normal experience and legitimate feelings for them to express.

What does it take to grow up healthy, happy and resilient?

Human beings are by nature very sociable and we need to take time to listen and exchange experiences, have fun, and connect to our peers.  The BBC survey shows that 61% of young people say that taking part in group activities is the best solution to tackle loneliness because sharing an interest is the simplest way to make new friends.

Arty-Folks received £75,000 from the Heart of England Community Foundation
to run a 3 year programme for young people 18-28 year old who are struggling to find their own way forward.  Weekly “Making Headway” group offers art for self-development combined with 1:1 life skills coaching, and inter-generational mentoring.  The project is in its second year and it has helped our young people to push through their fears and start Foundation in Art and Design at University, college courses towards and employment.

Feedback from a young service user: “Arty-Folks is a safe place for me where I made my first friends after 4years of being in Coventry, where I feel comfortable being myself. The group has helped me become mentally stronger and I am now back at Uni.

Arty-Folks “Making Headway” group provides young people with opportunities to meet with other like-minded people and and promotes a sense of belonging to a community.
To join Arty-Folks therapeutic art programme:  every Wednesday 12.30-2.30 at Holyhead Studios (formerly known as Artspace), 16 Lower Holyhead Road, CV1 3AU.

Lloyds Bank Foundation supporting Arty-Folks for second time!

Lloyds Bank Foundation recognises that small charities can make a vital difference and have granted Arty-Folks £14,982 to improve digital capabilities so we can reach more people struggling with mental ill health in Coventry.

The report “The Value of Small” commissioned by Lloyds Bank Foundation shows that small to medium sized charities are making a huge difference to individuals and communities with their work on tackling social issues such as mental ill health.  It finds that small charities such as Arty-Folks have a distinctive impact locally because we act as the glue that holds services and communities together and we are able to reach the most marginalised in society.  However, 84% of local government funding is going to larger charities with more than half of funding going to a small number of very large charities.

Lorella Medici who has led Arty-Folks’ work in the city for the past 23 years comments: “More people than ever before slip through the net because they don’t score highly enough to qualify for mental health support even though they are clearly in need.  Many also become more ill while they are waiting to see specialist services which can take up to a year even if people are in crisis. But small charities like Arty-Folks can be accessed anytime and people can also self-refer without formalities and waiting lists. 

ARTY FOLKS – COVENTRY – LLOYDS BANK BUSINESS DIGITAL INDEX – BDI
Pictured: At the Arty Folks group in Coventry is art leader Lorella Medici in the art studio.
Pictures by Adam Fradgley

We may be small, but our programme of therapeutic art groups combined with 1:1 mentoring and coaching helps people regain their self-belief to move on in life.  Through therapeutic learning and with the support of peers our members achieve a robust level of mental stability.

This is the second time Lloyds Bank Foundation has funded our development ambitions and we are extremely grateful.  It is boosting our determination to become more visible in Coventry so we can support more people to stay safe, better manage their mental health, and make positive choices.”

Feedback from a current member: “It is difficult to admit that you have fallen out of line with what society expects and others may not be able to understand how ill it is possible to become.  Arty-Folks is a really good anchor where I can relate to people who have been in the same boat and where I am not judged as weak. I feel probably for the first time at home, safe and a part of the community, with friends to call on, and with interests and hobbies that make me feel my life is worth living.”

Arty-Folks runs a therapeutic art group every Wednesday 12.30-2.30 at Holyhead Studios, 16 Lower Holyhead Road, CV1 3AU.  For more information visit www.arty-folks.co.uk or facebook/ArtyFolks

ARTY FOLKS – COVENTRY – LLOYDS BANK BUSINESS DIGITAL INDEX – BDI
Pictured: At the Arty Folks group in Coventry is art leader Lorella Medici in the art studio.
Pictures by Adam Fradgley

Heritage Open Days, September 15/16 2018

Saturday 15 September: 11am – 5pm
Sunday 16 September: 12noon – 4.30pm
at Holyhead Studios (formerly known as Artspace), 16 Lower Holyhead Road, Coventry CV1 3AU

What’s On
Arty-Folks members are exhibiting fantasy film creations in the community room
Artist studios will be open and artists will be present to talk about their work.
Children’s activities – colouring, collage, heritage trails.
A range of community groups will be exhibiting artwork.
Exhibition of plans and photographs documenting the history of the building.

The building historically served as a Quaker Friend’s meeting house, Police social club, youth centre and one-time rehearsal space for the Specials, Selector and other 2-tone bands. Since the early 1990s the building has been an arts facility offering artists’ studios, community space hire, workshops, events and specialist ceramic facilities. The building retains a wealth of original features and artefacts which illustrate its varied history and uses.

Heritage tours available of the building to include the artist studios, basement used by the Specials and Selector for rehearsals, classroom gallery, and members office and community room (former friends meeting room). Tours will take place on the half hour throughout opening times. No need to pre-book but tours are limited to 8 people per tour. Meet in the main entrance hall. Visitors can wait in the community room till the tour starts.

To download the Heritage week-end brochure
http://www.coventry.gov.uk/info/127/events/3128/heritage_open_days_2018/1

AJ Gallagher Gives Award £5,000 to Arty-Folks

Arty-Folks was nominated for this award by an AJG employee who benefited from our creative self-development program. During our sessions, she realised that self-expression in a community of peers helped improve her well-being and that such therapeutic opportunities are not available to those in work. Currently Arty-Folks workshops run in the daytime so are not accessible to the majority of people who are in employment.
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AJ Gallagher is a global insurance broker with more than 4,500 employees specialising in risk management and insurance solutions for corporate, commercial and personal customers. Gallagher Gives is part of their global Corporate Social Responsibility program and provides opportunities for their employees to get involved in local projects.

People in work are not immune to stress: over a 9 month period Coventry City Council reported 14,000 work days lost through stress, depression and anxiety. With 1 in 6 employees currently experiencing mental health problems, mental health is an essential business concern. There is a strong relationship between levels of staff well-being and motivation and performance and by taking a positive approach to mental health, like
AJ Gallagher, businesses can help their staff grow.

Statutory services focus on people who have become so unwell that they are not able to function in society anymore and we recognise the opportunities to address mental stress at early stages are limited. We all have mental health and we will all experience periods of good and poor mental health, just as we do physical health.

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With this award Arty-Folks will be able to pilot a new service that will equip people in employment who are struggling with stress or who care for a loved one or friend with mental health needs with creative techniques to recalibrate mental energies.

We are very grateful to AJG employees at the Coventry branch for allowing us to test our ideas on them during Mental Health Awareness Week May 2018 and for supporting us with a wide range of tasks that will strengthen our charity.

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Arty-Folks launches new group Making Headway for 18-30yr olds

Join us on Tuesday 2nd of May at 1pm at the Earlsdon Library to celebrate the establishment of Making Headway, our 4th weekly art group  for 18-30yr olds.Headway(A5) -Frnt (PRINT)

Our Tilly supports members of the group to learn a range of fine art practices including drawing, painting, ceramics, as well as Adobe Photoshop, video/photography and to tell their story through a powerful visual and verbal language.  We will help them build a strong and personal art portfolio and progress to accredited art courses at College or University.

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A life-coach will support members of this group to increase their self-understanding and to gain a different perspective on their own circumstances affecting their sense of well-being.
The life coach will also help with practical matters such as benefits and finances, CV’s, job searches and interviews, as well as accessing therapies and in fact anything that stands in the way of confidence, self-esteem, and direction in life.

Additionally, members of this group will design and publish an annual book containing artwork, documentations, and personal statements created during the weekly sessions. These books will powerfully tell their story and celebrate how far they have travelled.

We will also showcase their talents at local venues Fargo/Herbert Gallery and demonstrate that the visual arts are a powerful tool for good mental health.

This project received 3year funding of £75,000 from HOE Logo Coloured

Mental Health Awareness Week

Coventry charities Arty-Folks and AIMHS (Actively Improving Mental Health Services) have joined forces to mark the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and to raise discussions around mental health Thriving or Surviving

Coventry has a lot of mental health peer-to-peer support in the community to offer but it’s not always easy to find out about it.

Monday 8th of May, 11am-3pm at Coventry Central Library, come and talk to members of Arty-Folks and AIMHS who will share their knowledge and expertise with you to help you thrive in life.

Picnic in the Park Friday 12th of May 2017

Coventry mental health charities are bringing people together to a ‘bring and share’ picnic by the main visitors centre in the Memorial Park.  Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate Peer-to-Peer mental health support in the community.

Meet by Godiva statue in Broadgate 12noon and you can either join
AIMHS walking group and with them make your way to the Memorial Park
or
Arty-Folks and we will visit our exhibitions at Central library and further up at Earlsdon library before getting to the Memorial Park.

Come and enjoy a chat with old and new friends, relax and share some food, and we have booked sunshine and surprise entertainment for you.

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A brolly over our heads

The Coventry Umbrella Club was best known as ‘the Brolly Club’ back in the good old days, the 50s and 60s when Coventry was flourishing.  Terry Watson was the main driving force behind the club whose main aim was to foster participation in all the arts in Coventry. Terry died in 2009 and left a relatively small sum of money in his will to be granted to arts organisations in Coventry.  At present, the Club has a small group of members who have extensive awareness of the arts in Coventry and have personal knowledge of projects which Terry would wish to support.

We were so chuffed when they offered to support Arty-Folks with a grant of £1,312 !  The Brolly Club said: “Arty-Folks is continuing Terry Watson’s legacy of encouraging artistic creativity in others, especially those who lack confidence in their own potential.”  For more information visit coventryartsumbrella.blogspot.co.uk

January 2017 we will engage with this funding artist Tanya Kozin, a highly respected sculptor with extensive experience working from model. She will teach us how to use calipers to measure the model and step-by-step transform a bag of terracotta clay into a life-size and life-like head sculpture.  The whole process from start to finish will take 8-10 weeks and will put our observational skills to the test as well as our determination to see things through to completion.  What a challenge to start the new year with!

If you are interested to attend courses run by Tanya visit
http://www.tanyakozin.com/portfolio1/Teaching1.html