The Community Asset Fund supported Group was set up in September 2022 to help people in Recovery re-engage with one another after COVID to help them break down their anxieties through Art activities as therapy. The inspiration behind the idea was Patrick who had always been creative but had never got to work on large pieces. Si set up the “Inspired By Arts” Group and Kerris pulled it all together through the Bureau.

They did have up to 10 people attend sessions part way through the project but it was growing further through word of mouth and referrals. Attendees said they feel like they “belong” – sometimes for the first time for a long while. They felt a relief in being able to express their feelings not only through the art they create but through the process of its creation.

All attendees felt a huge benefit from the group; finally being able to engage with people in a calming and relaxed atmosphere with no outside pressures to conform or produce. The facilitator Kerris also felt the benefit of re-engagement and being able to use her skills to benefit others. The encouragement and support they all give one another is visibly apparent as soon as you enter the room. The mutual support didn’t need to be encouraged, it happened naturally and immediately.

(Photos: Geoff Wilkinson).