Arts & Health

I have been working in arts and health since 2007.  Having
co-founded Converge, developing an initiative model meeting the needs of York St. John University and NHS mental health services. During this time I was also a founding member and artistic director to  Out of Character Theatre Company, a company comprising of people who use mental health services.  Both Converge and Out of Character, continue to go from strength to strength, and continue to be recognised for the innovative and effective work they do in teaching art, making art and supporting recovery.

After deciding to relocate to Bournemouth, I worked with Vita Nova, a company working with people recovering from addiction
issues. Most recently my work with Salisbury Playhouse has offered me opportunities to work with young people using mental health service, and supporting elders to engage in the arts, promoting health and wellbeing for the over 60s.


Arts and Health OverviewIMAG2487 crop

Salisbury Playhouse

Community Director

In 2015 I supported a schools tour of Barney Norris’s play, ‘Every You Every Me’. Commissioned by Wiltshire Council, the play was
developed to increase awareness of mental health issues, and
schizophrenia amongst young people in the region. The week long schools tour was accompanied by workshops, discussions and
written information. As part of this scheme of work I also led writing workshops in schools for young people not in mainstream education, due to ill health, encouraging the young people to think of
themselves as writers, and offer access to professional writers and
performers from the region.

Salisbury Playhouse also offered me the opportunity to support the developing work of DANCE SIX-O, a contemporary dance company for people over 60, and work with Mind the Gap, a theatre group for people over 60.

In addition, I spent a good deal of (very fascinating) time researching and advising on ways of widening engagement, with a particular
focus on disability arts, and performance by people with learning
disabilities.

Vita Nova

 

our stories will remain2Artistic Co-ordinator

During my time at Vita Nova, I created a number of initiatives which not only supported people’s ongoing recovery from addiction, but also supported some very real and exciting home grown talent.
I oversaw and imagined the transformation of the building, to develop a 45 seat black box studio, from which the company’s many
workshops, performances and rehearsals took place. My key
achievements with Vita Nova include developing the associate artist programme, from which several great artists have gone on to
develop their own professional work including music, writing and
performance
. I directed two full length original shows (The Fridge, Our stories will remain), countless smaller works and produced two Boscombe Fringe Festivals.


Out of Character Theatre Company

Artistic Director

Out of Character theatre company comprises of people who use menIMG_0227tal health services. They  performed locally and nationally under my direction and in collaboration with other artists, including a successful collaboration with York Theatre Royal.

Converge

Co-founder – Arts and Mental Health partnership between York & Leeds PFT, & York  St John University

Since 2007 I’ve undertaken a number of placements working in
theatre and mental health, my role working with Converge
demonstrates my expertise in this area as I led facilitation within theatre workshops and support and mentor undergraduate and
postgraduate performing arts students to develop their abilities in leading schemes of work in their chosen disciplines.

I have skills in leading short term confidence building and skills based workshops through to large scale projects and productions with specific aims and outcomes.

Facilitation and Teaching Experience

When working with communities I believe it is important to view all work as having the highest possible potential and I approach all
commissions and projects as aiming towards the same high level of
aesthetic and integrity as I would aim for in my own individual
practice. 

Young People

I’ve experience of working in a number of one off projects designed for secondary and post 16 aged young people, with an emphasis on working with vulnerable young people.

Booking & Consultancy Enquiries

I find that theatre is a great way of building confidence, exploring
issues and developing creativity and group work skills. The arts are ideally placed to support people to achieve positive health and wellbeing outcomes.

Increasingly this is being recognised by policy makers and health providers. Understanding how to commission an artist or develop a project to support you in meeting your health and wellbeing targets can be a confusing task.

Equally for artists hoping to develop this area of their practice, finding good quality training or advice on how to ‘translate’ your arts practice into health settings can feel frustrating.

Having worked across arts and health fields, both as an artist and mentor,  I have an extensive knowledge and would welcome an opportunity to support you to get the skills you exceed your aims, or create a bespoke project for your clients.

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact me for an informal chat about your requirements.

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