Health and wellbeing

Funding level: Up to £1,000

Supported by: BHIB Insurance Broker

Description

Arts for Health is a not for profit organisation, run by volunteers for individuals experiencing mental health difficulties. Arts for Health aims to improve mental health and wellbeing through the provision of accessible art opportunities.

Mental illness can affect people of all ages. It is estimated to affect between 3,500 and 5,250 children and 3,000 to 5,000 older people in Leicester. Locally, 34,000 -38,000 working age adults have a common mental health problem and a further 3,400 have a serious mental illness. Mental health can sometimes cause problems such as antisocial behaviour, poor educational achievement, offending and many more.

There are limited activities, particularly during the evening, for adults who are experiencing mental health difficulties.

Therefore to begin to tackle this problem we started off by hosting small sessions around the area on various topics such as Art, Contemporary Dance, Creative Writing and Music. The most popular session was music and we have since established a music group in our local community venue, Countesthorpe Methodist Church. The Arts for Health group is low cost and accessible to all residents of Blaby District. Although this is a great session, it is very basic due to the lack of resources and could be improved dramatically with this funding.

This grant application will enable us to deliver a higher standard of music sessions to include song writing, performances with musical equipment and use of multi-media. Arts is one of the best forms of therapies with adults who are experiencing mental health difficulties and the music group is an activity that enables participation of vulnerable people in the community and their carers to take part in positive activity.

Any adult and their carer experiencing mental health difficulties that are residents in Blaby District can benefit from this project.

The music group allows people to socialise with others, brings people together and allows individuals to participate in a positive activity. Evaluation forms for the group have, amongst other things, shown an increase in confidence, lowered anxiety and depression, the ability to deal better with problems and an interest in new things. The group has already seen an increase in participation since it began in 2011 with limited resources so it would be amazing to think how much of an increase in participation we would have once the equipment was purchased.

We have organised many shows/performances of which we are extremely proud of considering the lack of resources we had available at the time. From this we have received many positive comments from friends, families and the community. Now we want to expand our sessions to include musical equipment so we can not only provide individuals with a hobby, we can provide them with the chance to develop life skills, knowledge and passion for Art.

Arts for Health

Moment of Pride

We are proud that as service users ourselves we have managed to create a group that benefits not only us but others with similar difficulties in our community. We really want to continue to provide a safe, positive environment for people with mental health difficulties.

Location: Countesthorpe