Creative Care in 2021

Make a journal

Being invited to be part of this project made me feel less alone… don’t have to be good at art, you can just play around with materials…..I got given a choice about what I could do. I’m normally the person who asks ‘what am I meant to be doing? but with the creative care box you’re told you can do what you want with it…..I felt I could be my own person and do what I wanted. I will carry on using the box…I literally have a space in my drawer for the box of materials and will take it out whenever I’m stressed or if I feel creative. Feedback from young people at Centre 33

We are developing resources that encourage a creative way of being in the world to support our mental health and well-being. These focus on exploring ways to reconnect with all our senses and with the pleasures of noticing, listening, making and shaping in order to express our own ideas.

Launched in April 2020 in response to lockdown, the programme is hosted by Fullscope, a new collaboration between seven leading organisations that support the mental wellbeing of children and young people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Explore here the resources developed to date, all free to download, both those created by artists in the CCI and Arts and Minds networks (a Fullscope partner) and those co-produced with young artists from The Kite Trust.  Where possible these have been delivered as part of ‘creative care packs’ to children and young people who need them. The programme is currently working with Centre 33, Cambs Youth Panel, The Kite Trust, and PHACE (Peterborough local cultural education partnership) and colleagues in Early Help at Peterborough County Council.

Four young members of Cambs Youth Panel – Mimie, Ayra, Hannah and Oli - are currently meeting online with artists Hilary Cox Condron and Sally Todd to co-create a new resource – The Piece of Mind Box – which will be shared with children and young people across the county still without access to a computer at home. Conversations to date have explored how listing small wins, pressing flowers, taking leaf rubbings and stomping mud as well as sitting down with a hot chocolate to record your feeling and thoughts each day have helped each of them over this last year. (image shows how the group have captured their ideas to date with Padlet, an online drawing and reflection tool). Funded by The Evelyn Trust, this is part of the Cambridge 2030 campaign. 25 Piece of Mind boxes are currently being trialled in three Cambridgeshire secondary schools - comments to date from students include:

This is the hardest I’ve seen any school try so far…. It’s actually an activity that might make someone feel a little better….it’s actually cute that the school cares…all I get is detention…I like the effort and a lot stuff was good…where’s ours?...honestly it’s a good box…A+ for effort…I wish my school did that…Ooh I wish I had this.

Feedback from other participants in the programme to date include:

​​​​​​​Thank you for providing us with all the amazing ideas and different ways to keep our children’s brains stimulated. We followed your guidance and collected as many different objects of as many different colours inside and out. My children loved doing the finding and searching as much as they did the creating. Thanks for providing the packages - made my life a lot easier for a couple of days!! do you have anything else up your sleeve to help spark the curiosity. Mother, via Instagram

Love the focus on natural objects & play, think we all need both now more than ever. Clare, Art Therapist

It was a delight to drop the creative care boxes round this morning.  The children were absolutely thrilled and their parents really grateful.  It really worked I thought, as a way to connect and engage with those families.  I was feeling in bit of dip yesterday, with worry and feeling a bit fed up with the situation and what might happen next, but that was just really nice.  What a pleasure to see everyone this morning, to know they’re okay, and for them to know all these people are still thinking of them.  I could literally see that on their faces. Thank you for putting all of these materials and ideas together.  You are wonderful. Headteacher, Wilburton Primary School

Creative Care packages have been sent to some of our most vulnerable families and have proved to be a lifeline to those that are engaging with them. One family in particular, who currently have no access to a computer or tablet, have wholeheartedly embraced the invitations given to them and have rediscovered what it is like to engage with the nature surrounding the place they call home. Many hours have been spent creating and imagining images and inventions for life outside their bubble. Many, many thanks to all involved in bringing this opportunity to our community. Headteacher, Mayfield Primary School

During 2020 CCI worked with Mayfield Primary School, The Kite Trust, Cambridge Academic Partnership, Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire Skills and Abbey Foodbank, and the Red Hen Project as part of this programme. Download here the executive summary of the evaluation of this stage of the programme.

Grid of images
Just a few of the Rivers of Colours sent to us to date

FullScope has also been working with the wider sector to identify clearer pathways to support for everyone at this time – below are numbers and details for where support can be found.

For people aged 18 and over - Now we’re talking - coming together in isolation:

  • Lifeline Plus - a mental health and wellbeing helpline for people aged 18 and over living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, is available Monday-Friday between 9am and 2pm via freephone 0808 808 2121. The line will support people to manage their wellbeing, provide selfhelp advice or signpost to other organisations for particular concerns.  Between 2pm and 11pm the number is managed by Lifecraft who provide support for those in mental health distress.
  • Qwell - an online wellbeing support, including educational and self-help articles and peer-to peer support via forums. Adults are also able to receive help from qualified counsellors via drop in or scheduled online chat sessions.
  • Keep Your Head – this website brings together all the mental health support available across the county.

For young people

Centre 33 provides free & confidential support