Our community projects are focused on improving wellbeing for members of the community, here's how unleashing your creativity can help 
One of the government's top priorities for healthcare right now is increasing the amount of community-centred approaches to supporting health and wellbeing. As part of our focus on community here at The Bell we are keen to play our part in that so a number of our community initiatives have been organised with improving wellbeing in mind. The term wellbeing has a variety of different definitions, but here's the NHS definition: 
"Wellbeing is about feeling good and functioning well and comprises an individual's experience of their life; and a comparison of life circumstances with social norms and values." 
Creativity is known to be an important factor in helping people maintain their mental wellbeing, in particular having the opportunity to think and behave in creative ways. If you have a hobby that allows you to be creative you will already know that being able to enjoy that hobby, whether it's knitting, sewing, carpentry, gardening or whatever you enjoy, can bring you benefits including relaxation, satisfaction, a boost in your self-esteem and so on. Some forms of creativity have even been shown to have a beneficial effect much the same as meditation! 
So we decided that, as part of our community work, we would look into providing a creative outlet for people who may want to try something new, or don't have the space/time to do it at home, or maybe don't have the confidence to get started on their own. 
Stella Ashmeade is a very talented local artist and teacher who fully understands the therapeutic effect of creativity and is currently training to become an art therapist. She also runs really, really good art workshops and courses. Cathy, our Community Outreach Manager, has been on a couple of her workshops and says 
"Stella creates a safe, welcoming space for people to just have a go. You don't need to have any experience to enjoy one of her workshops and you'll come away surprised and delighted at the piece of work you've created." 
Stella tailors her teaching to her audience, and you'll get as much help and support as you need to feel confident - so if you have horrible memories of art classes at school, and have perhaps been put off art for life after having been told you were useless at it, you can put that all behind you and start afresh. 
We have two workshops with Stella coming up, an Introduction to Watercolours on October 17th and a Pen, Ink and Gold-Leaf Workshop on November 14th. Stella will provide all the materials you need and we'll provide homemade cake and unlimited amounts of tea and coffee. Why not take the plunge and unleash your creative side - you'll feel better for it! 
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