Mental Health Museum secures funding for nature and wildlife activities

Date: 20 December 2017

The Mental Health Museum in Wakefield has secured £6,751 of funding from the Big Lottery Fund for its Signposts to Sustainability project, which will provide our inpatients with creative opportunities to explore nature, wildlife and environmental sustainability.

The project will run from January to December 2018 and will engage service users who are currently accessing our forensic and secure mental health services in a programme of creative activity within the natural environment at Fieldhead.

Service users will be invited to attend a series of workshops, led by sustainable arts organisation Sponge Tree, who specialise in delivering creative and sensory learning in natural settings. Through the workshops they will learn practical skills, such as how to identify wildlife, survey and conserve an environment, interpersonal skills such as communication and teamwork, and creative skills such as making things using only natural materials. Service users will then use the skills and knowledge that they have learnt to create a permanent display about nature in the museum’s Peace Patio garden for everyone.

Cara Sutherland, Mental Health Museum curator, said: “This funding will give us a unique opportunity to engage service users in thought provoking practical and creative activities, which we hope will not only support wellbeing but also engage them in important discussions about our planet’s sustainability.

“We hope that participants will take with them the experiences gained on the project and support them to reach their potential in their community. The new permanent exhibition space in the Peace Patio will also enable the museum to continue to provide meaningful opportunities for service users, staff, carers and visitors to engage with nature.

“We are very excited about this new project and for the impact it will have on the lives of our service users. We could not do this without the fantastic support of the Big Lottery Fund and the people who buy lottery tickets; you help us to deliver great projects like this.”

The Mental Health Museum is a unique museum in the heart of the Fieldhead site in Wakefield.  More information on the museum can be found here.