Identities Project in partnership with MK Arts Centre and The Parks Trust10 May 2022
Making Temari balls
Between January and April,
Milton Keynes Arts Centre, Arts for Health MK and The Parks Trust worked together to deliver a 12-week creative wellbeing programme aimed at young people aged 12–17 years. Participants explored themes of identity through relaxed, artist-led workshops.
During the 12 weeks, in the calming surroundings of Milton Keynes Arts Centre and grounds of Great Linford Manor Park, participants were provided with opportunities to learn or enhance prior skills in drawing, ceramics, textiles and printmaking, as well as be guided through outdoor learning activities with The Parks Trust.
The programme was particularly designed to support young people who may be feeling the effects of the pandemic on their physical and mental wellbeing.
Artists and Facilitators: Ciara Callaghan, Andrew Macdermott, Alondene Phillips and Sarah Wright.
Visiting Artists / Practitioners: Katie Ellen Fields and The Parks Trust Learning Team.
Making ceramic vessels
Here’s some feedback from parents of those attending:
“I just want to say thank you so very much to all of you for all the work you do with the group. ‘A’s mood has changed considerably (for the better) since this group and she has said to us that she finds it heaven to be with the kids that she feels are just like her. She feels she finally fits in somewhere and loves all the activities too. We can’t thank you enough!“
“Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback on this course. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed the course and has never attended anything where she has been willing and keen to go to every session. I cannot thank the team enough for providing an environment and a course where she felt this way. She also thrived by meeting other young people who are similar to her or are facing similar issues to her.”
Quotes from our participants:
“I really enjoyed working with the tutors and making new friends”
“It was a nice environment to be creative and it was a bit easier to talk to people”
“It was fun and creative”
Participants felt they:
- would like to attend more painting and drawing workshops
- had made new friends
- would like to attend another arts youth group
- were less isolated
Some reported that they:
- had started doing more things that they enjoy
- had done more social activities
- feel happier
- felt an improvement to their wellbeing
- were helped to be distracted from pain
- feel more confident
- feel more relaxed
- are thinking more clearly
Following the success of the programme, the partnership hopes to run more workshops in the future.
Taking part in arts activities is proven to have health benefits. MK Arts for Health runs an Arts on Prescription programme at venues across MK. People are referred to the programme for a wide variety of health challenges, including mental health conditions, pain management and alzheimers. Participants attending our creative programmes have reported a marked improvement to their health and wellbeing since being referred to us.