Happy Places is a community group, for people using older people’s mental health services in Wakefield that was developed to encourage them to relate and share their life stories, utilising local community history.
The groups are run within the community by Rosanna Ward and John Nutton, who have developed their skills in facilitating health programmes utilising arts and creativity through a number of projects including Portrait of a Life and ADAPT. During the groups, Rosanna and John encourage people to share stories about their lives and think about places of interest and personal meaning that they would like to visit in order to share their experiences with others.
To capture the memories of the group as they visited their chosen areas, a calendar has been created that showcases 12 peoples stories.
Thanks to funding from Creative Minds, the Happy Places group calendar has now been produced and is available to purchase.
Paula Rylatt, specialist practitioner in the Trust said, “The groups, which are led by participants, are a great opportunity for those involved to share their personal history, places that have been important to them throughout their life and develop a social network with those that they have shared this information with.
“There are a number of benefits to taking part in an activity that focuses on life stories and creating the calendar gave people the opportunity to share their story creatively – utilising art and photography to express their thoughts – as well as words.”
In April the happy places group visited Huddersfield Town football club as the stadium had been identified by a member of the group as a place with good memories for them. After contacting the stadium, the group were invited to take part in an event that they regularly run, that gave the group an opportunity to explore the stadium and promoted awareness of Alzheimer’s disease.
John Nutton, who runs the happy places group along with Rosanna Ward, said, “It was wonderful that we were able to visit Huddersfield Town football group with the happy places group. All those who attended really enjoyed the day and the talk and discussion about their sporting memories with Mark Lillis was a real bonus.
“We will be looking to continue this partnership with the football club in the future so that more people will have the opportunity to share their sporting memories.”
To find out more about the Happy Places group, contact firstname.lastname@example.org