Look at this lovely stone carved representation of our logo! This is now taking pride of place in our meeting space and creates a great conversation starter about the benefits of using creative activities as a therapy which can boost confidence and self-esteem, develop new skills, awaken new interests and sometimes also provide a space where people feel comfortable and relaxed to talk freely, which can lead to more effective support work.

Mike, one of our supported accommodation officers, set up and started running stone carving workshops for the residents. What started initially at one of our properties has now become a portable activity. Frank, our director of residential services, fundraised for the project by shaving his grown out hair and beard, and with additional help from the Vocational Development programme we were able to open a workshop at one of the properties and also purchase 6 portable worktables with built in toolboxes, allowing the project to be taken around to our other houses too.

This has allowed Mike to offer regular sessions with clients, meaning that clients can develop more ideas and become more ambitious with their creations.  

Mike said, ‘My understanding of the therapeutic side of this kind of activity is that when clients are engaging the right-hand ‘creative’ side of the brain it relaxes us, a kind of active meditation, and the lowered anxiety levels allowed candid conversations to flow which leads to some great support work. 

‘The clients have benefitted from learning new skills and discovering talent that they never realised they had.  The clients also had something tangible to take away with them which often made gifts for family and friends.  The pride in creating something gives people a lift and gave a boost to self-confidence’. 

Mike is actively tweaking the sessions with feedback from clients and is driven to make the experience as fulfilling and positive as possible, Mike is also encouraging clients to carve a piece that will later become part of a collaborative sculpture, which we can’t wait to see!

Frank can be seen below opening the new workshop, complete with a stone representation of himself, and Mike carrying new blocks ready for carving.