Recognising a project carried out as part of Creative Minds
View a film that showcases all the shortlisted entries
Winner: Pedal Power
To help occupational therapists (OTs) offer a wider range of therapeutic activities for service user recovery a mountain biking group has been setup. To be able to facilitate the cycling sessions in a safe and meaningful way OTs completed the Trail Leadership Award with the national cycling organisation CTC.
The group provides an opportunity for two service users, alongside two members of staff, to engage in the activity to help improve their physical and mental health. Positive results include improved self esteem and confidence, better physical health, increased social interaction and a reduction in stress.
“We all know how much physical exercise can help people’s health and wellbeing. This is a brilliant project that allows service users to get out and about and explore the countryside on a bike as part of their recovery.”
Mark Wisbey, creative minds coordinator
View the film about the winners
Highly commended: Wellbeing through waterways
This project has been developed in partnership with the charity Safe Anchor Trust (SAT). The Trust made a financial contribution which helped towards the cost of refitting two SAT canal boats that can be used by staff, service users or carers in any of the Trust’s districts.
The boats are moored at Shepley Bridge Marina (Mirfield) and SAT provides qualified skippers and volunteers for all trips. The boats create a very relaxing environment where group activities can take place at the same time as passengers learning the basic skills of canal boat steering and navigation.
“It was wonderful to see how relaxed everyone was in this new situation. This was helped a lot by Safe Anchor who were so good at putting everyone at ease. The trip gave the group a great sense of achievement and purpose.”
Richard Brown, horticultural therapist at the Horizon Centre
Commended: Live Arts Café
The Live Arts Café is a social evening with a difference. People from across Trust services are invited each week to share food, relax and immerse themselves in creativity. Each cabaret-style night is unique; including an exciting blend of live music, poetry and visual art.
The evening is about self-expression, nurturing talent and helping people become part of a wider creative community that can challenge and change attitudes about mental health. The café, which works in partnership with local charity Action Space Mobile, gives service users and their family access to a range of creative experiences helping to maintain their mental health and social contact.
“Live Arts Cafe means an awful lot to me. I was in a dark place and if it wasn’t for the cafe I wouldn’t be here now. I’ve found like-minded people and broadened my horizons. It’s an enriching experience that I wouldn’t miss for the world. I wish I’d found it sooner.”
Beth Bagshaw Parrot, service user
Runner up: Museum Minded
The project offered the opportunity to explore how museums can be used to improve and maintain wellbeing. The project focussed on the Bankfield Museum in Halifax and creative workshops took place using museum collections to help participants explore ways to improve their wellbeing in a safe and stimulating environment.
The project captured the interest of service users, who in many cases had never visited the museum, and retained their interest throughout, with the project’s ‘learning element’ cited as the main reason for attendance. The project has raised the profile of museums as places that can contribute to a sense of wellbeing.
“If it hadn’t been recommended to me by my community psychiatric nurse, I probably wouldn’t have been confident enough to get in touch myself.”
Runner up: Buds and Spuds group
Enfield Down, Kirklees
Buds and Spuds is a gardening project where service users work under supervision to grow vegetables and flowers. There is also space and equipment available for them to garden alone at any time, such as planting their own tub or basket.
Activities can be adapted to an individual’s needs and personal preferences helping them to become more independent. It is hoped the project will become self funding through the sale of crops. Use of the composter has linked with Trust sustainability work and increased motivation around recycling. The skills can be continued after discharge with links to local community gardening or allotment groups.
“I planted fruit and vegetables as part of my job so I have experience in that. Being part of the group makes me feel connected to my past experiences. It could also help me to expand growing things in the future.”