To promote and enhance people’s wellbeing through community engagement and to enable an ongoing relationship with the Arts, through a range of approaches and community settings, underpinned by the Five Ways to Wellbeing:
Bespoke short informal learning courses, workshops/tasters, using arts and wellbeing approaches to improve people’s quality of life and help reduce demand on other health services and welcome people with various health conditions and disabilities e.g. :
To attract work within settings such as:
I have a background in Music and the Arts to promote well-being and community development.
I studied Music, European Literature and Philosophy at Middlesex University before touring extensively across Europe as a musician on the New Age Traveller circuit.
After relocating to Nottingham in 1999, I became immersed in community development work, where I was able to use my arts background to work with young people involved in anti-social behavior, as a way of engaging them into more positive activities and informal education.
In 2002 I managed the Mobile Detached Youth Service in South Nottinghamshire, working four nights a week in the parks and recreational areas where young people congregated and during the day worked in schools and other community settings. I also took on bespoke detached work with children at risk, using the arts and sports as a way of engagement and social education.
I then went to work (2006) at Derry Mount Special Needs School, with a focus on Autism, Challenging Behavior, Hearing Impairment and Global Delayed Cognition. During this time, I was head of Music and Religious Education and also taught English, Mathematics, PSHCE and Physical Education.
I then worked within Adult and Community Learning Service across Nottinghamshire and after managing the Family Learning Service went on to project manage Co-production (2012), with a focus on mental health and setting up wellbeing groups across Nottinghamshire.
During this time I managed Middle Street Resource Centre before its transition to Charity status, where I applied the arts and music as a way of forwarding wellbeing and quality of life, with a focus on network development and interagency collaboration. This resulted in two arts tours showcasing work create by people with the lived experience of challenging mental health and a range of connections with other organizations e.g. Beeston Memory Café, Gamelan, FE Colleges, Shared Lives, Nottingham Trent University, Travel-Right, Public Health and Wollaton Hall. A network of 80 groups across Nottinghamshire resulted with activities such as Community Allotments, Indoor-bowling, Chess, Craft, Walking, Fishing, etc. The Co-production project (after being commissioned by Public Health) became a permanent function of the Notts Enabling Service (NES) and then secured a position as the community development arm of Adult Health and Social Care’s Maximizing Independence Service (MIS). Prior to the lockdown, I tutored for two years within the Music and Songwriting group in Sutton (Kirkby) for people with different health conditions e.g. brain damage, Down syndrome, depression, dementia etc. I also managed the Aged Veterans Project, which engaged armed forces veterans over 65 years old.
My whole approach to engaging with the Arts has been an appreciation of the wellbeing it gives and connections to other things, which can enrich one’s quality of life. I have complemented this connection and development within arts, through practicing Yang Style Tai Chi since 1998.
I have a passion for community development and enabling others to engage in the healing process of the arts, helping them make new connections, opening up interesting opportunities and co-producing health outcomes.