Art for Wellbeing project at Gloucester Cathedral
By David Wood
Art for Wellbeing project Creative Communities: New Perspectives is one of just two projects to gain funding from Take Note: Connect, Gloucester.
The project's cross-sector partnership is delivering a programme of Art for Wellbeing activities benefiting individuals who have been impacted by Covid 19, including carers, NHS patients and volunteers, adults and young people seeking asylum, adults and young people facing disabling barriers and adults in recovery from mental ill health.
Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucestershire Carers Hub, Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS), Inclusion Gloucestershire, Look Again and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are working together to provide online Mindful Photography courses and inclusive drama workshops to over 40 adults and young people in Gloucester.
The project focuses on using creative activities to enable participants to slow down, reduce stress and relieve anxiety and depression.
Participants have been learning with expert tutors to see their lives from a new perspective whilst building confidence and self-esteem, learning new skills and building connections with new people.
Participants' photography and film of drama work will be displayed at culmination exhibitions at Gloucester Cathedral launching on Saturday, 31 July, before moving to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital later in the year. The launch event at the Cathedral will be open to the public and will include guest exhibits from community initiatives plus a range of hands-on taster arts activities for anyone to try.
Helen Jeffrey, community engagement and social responsibility manager at Gloucester Cathedral, said: "We are proud to be working alongside incredible organisations to deliver this project. The funding Take Note has awarded us will make such a difference to those who have been negatively impacted during the Covid 19 pandemic, especially those who have experienced increased isolation, mental or physical ill health.
"We hope the culmination exhibitions will also inspire and empower the wider community to get involved in art and arts activity to promote their own wellbeing."
Deborah Lee, chief executive of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are delighted to be part of this project connecting communities throughout Gloucestershire, particularly given the challenges that COVID has brought.
"Promoting positive health and wellbeing has been so important and this initiative has been an opportunity for our staff to pause and reflect at a time when the significant pressures of the pandemic have started to reduce. We are looking forward to welcoming the exhibition to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in the autumn, following the initial viewing at Gloucester Cathedral this summer."
Creative Communities: New Perspectives is one of two projects delivered with funding awarded by Take Note and its Gloucester-based partner charity GUST - Take Note: Connect Gloucester is supported by national funder Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
The project is running now until the end of July 2021. Course participants were referred to the project by partner organisations: Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucestershire Carers Hub, Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS), Inclusion Gloucestershire, Look Again and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Creative Communities: New Perspectives Art for Wellbeing exhibition will be displayed at Gloucester Cathedral cloister during standard visiting hours (please check Cathedral website for restrictions) from Saturday 31 July -Tuesday 31 August.
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