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South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
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Beyond the Garden Gate

In collaboration with poet Sarah Cobham, the Well Women Centre is running workshops for women who have significant experience of being healthcare service users to offer them the opportunity to use art, poetry, music and drama to express themselves in a new way.

Through the project, we hope to give women ‘space’ from thinking of themselves as primarily being a service user and instead see their creativity and learn to express themselves through this.

Utilising the rich natural and cultural life on offer in Wakefield, we’ll encourage people to go ‘beyond the garden gate’ and explore this, opening up new experiences and thoughts. We hope to develop individual’s skills and voice through this project, encouraging and enabling participants to:

  • set up their own peer support groups
  • participate in cultural activities in Wakefield District
  • use writing skills to contribute to the print and spoken word culture in Wakefield
  • participate in podcast discussions of their experience and learn how to podcast themselves

During this project, women will be invited to participate in 3 sessions. The first will explore the theme, ‘I am my own person and I have a Voice’. We will create a character, use a place, a type of food and a problem the character is facing as a basis for the interaction between group members which will then lead into writing a poem about that character.

Drama exercises will be used to further explore that character supported by the use of a stimulus photograph which will enable a back story to be built. Narrative writing will be engaged in, which will transfer into artwork and will combine the most powerful of statements about the character.

The powerful statements will be collected and be used as a basis for a group poem which will be displayed at the Art Walk.

The second session moves into ‘I am my own person’ which moves the participants towards working in metaphor to connect with who they are. By using the image of the hand to express emotion, a list poem will be written and then by using the image of a butterfly and artwork the ability to write and express metaphorically will be enabled. A template of a butterfly will be provided alongside prompts for writing. Moving into artwork the participants will have a chance to display their butterfly poems at the Art Walk.

The third session is an opportunity to visit places of cultural interest in Wakefield such as The Hepworth and the Museum, to use objects as inspiration to write and draw about following the theme of ‘I am my own person’. Work produced will also be displayed at the Art Walk. The Art Walk itself will be walked through by myself and the participants to enable further creative response by them and to encourage them to return to a once a month workshop.

Led by people who have similar experiences, this group aims to encourage women who may previously have believed they did not have any creativity, to increase their confidence in their own skills and empower them to take active steps forward in their lives.

Who is this project for?

This project is open to women who have, or are experiencing mental health issues.

How do I access this project?  

People are free to self-refer or be referred from carers, GP’s, Support workers and other healthcare professionals, simply contact Well Women Centre Wakefield on 01924 211114.

Get in touch with project organisers

This project is run by Well Women Centre


Twitter: @wellwomenevolve



Telephone: 01924 211114

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Creative Minds is a registered charity in England and Wales number: 1055931-13. Registered office: Fieldhead Hospital, Ouchthorpe Lane, Wakefield, WF1 3SP