YMCA Brighton’s therapeutic take on art

A resident-led art exhibition at YMCA Brighton offers a snapshot into the organisation’s innovative ways to support their clients.Art Exhibition flyer 1

This Saturday, 28th of May, visitors will have a unique opportunity to see the artwork made by YMCA Brighton residents, by visiting the OPEN HOUSE centrally located at William Collier House, between 11am-4pm.

YMCA Brighton’s mission is to work holistically with all their residents in ensuring they feel like experts in charge of their own lives. One of the main aims is building the clients’ resilience, in order to empower them to better traverse the ups and downs of life.

The organisation implements the Five Ways to Wellbeing, developed by the New Economics Foundation, in all areas of their work.  The organisation strongly believes that providing their clients with opportunities of self-expression and outlets for their creativity encourages them to reflect on their own experiences, notice and savour the world around them and appreciate what matters to them.

Art Groups are inherent part of this plan to develop clients’ wellbeing. Most YMCA Brighton projects run regular Art Groups, with the George Williams Art Group celebrating their 10 year anniversary this year.

George Williams Mews Art Tutor Paul Kilgour says: “The group is a relaxed informal session focused on creativity. All George Williams Centre residents are encouraged to participate no matter what level of dexterity they have.

Participants have found that attending the art group helps them overcome depression or addiction in a positive and constructive way, building their confidence while filling their time and enjoying themselves.

We have some very creative and prolific artists. Mike, who has been attending the art group regularly for many years, said that he really looks forward to the weekly group each Wednesday, it enables him to be creative and he loves making sculptures using cardboard and papier-mâché. Mike is a wheelchair user and finds it is good to help him to develop his motor skills in his hands. He has also learnt to use various computer drawing programs to help him to create his kaleidoscopic, colourful artwork”.

What are the 5 ways to wellbeing?

The 5 ways to Wellbeing were developed by the New Economics Foundation, the UK’s leading independent think tank, from evidence gathered in the Government’s Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing.

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a set of evidence-based actions which promote people’s wellbeing and are:

Connect…    Be active…    Take notice…    Keep learning…    Give…

Feelings of happiness, contentment, enjoyment, curiosity and engagement are characteristic of someone who has a positive experience of their life.