Sunday 27th June saw the introduction of my first wellness workshop ‘My Happy Place by Craft Happy’.
Inspired by the positive impact crafting had on my mental wellbeing during the pandemic and the interest in my sea glass art, I wanted to allow others the opportunity to get creative in a supportive environment and produce something beautiful to take home and treasure.
A report published in July 2017 by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing showed a very clear link between creativity and good mental health. Key messages include:
The arts can help keep us well, aid our recovery and support longer lives better lived.
The arts can help meet major challenges facing health and social care: ageing, long-term conditions, loneliness and mental health.
The arts can help save money in the health service and social care.
With all of these clear benefits, it’s no surprise that as we move out of this pandemic, more people than ever before are indulging in creative time as a way to improve their wellbeing. According to a recent government report, the UK’s creative industries contribute almost £13 million to the UK economy every hour and the sector is currently growing more than 5 times faster than the national economy.
My aim is to be part of this growing movement and pass on these benefits to others. As a former teacher, sharing knowledge, experiences and inspiring others is something I am deeply passionate about.
I have designed my workshops to be simple, accessible and to demonstrate that anyone, regardless of how creative they think they are, can produce something special to take away at the end. All materials to achieve this are supplied, however, some participants brought along their own beach finds for an added personal touch.
Refreshments are included and the venue (a coffee shop gallery of work by the owner as well as other local artisans) provides a lovely backdrop for people to work. Not only is the act of creating itself good for us, but participating in a group activity, meeting new people and encouraging others can also be a very positive experience.
Participants left feeling like they had spent time in a positive way, relaxed and taken time out from their busy lives, celebrated each other’s ideas and also had a sense of pride in what they had personally produced.
Moving forwards, this is definitely something I would like to repeat and build into my business model. Each time I make something for the shop now, I ask myself if it would lend itself to a workshop activity. It would also be lovely to collaborate with others and build up a portfolio of new experiences to offer in the future.