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julie: my creative directions story

Julie (not her real name) shares her experience of Creative Directions – our fun and supportive group for adults experiencing mental health issues.

When I say Creative Directions, what do I think of?

I always think of how much fun we have. How we love to talk and chat while learning and making new art. Either simple or more complicated.

The fact that it’s okay if you follow the way you are shown, follow the way others do it, or if you find your own way to do it in your own time. The fact that no one cares if it looks like it’s supposed to or does what it should, you still made it, it’s still your art.

Some may be more unique than others, but they are the ones most likely to be remembered, to spark the most enjoyment and be appreciated more.

The most important part is the journey, not knowing how far you will get or if it will be an ongoing project. It’s the talking through what you would like to create, how you may do that with others’ support. The explanations in many various ways, as many times as needed, until it’s fully understood. The guidance and support from the whole group, all aiming for the same thing in their own way. No one being too nervous or scared to ask for help or advice. Feeling able to ask a question because they know others may also need to hear the answer too.

In our group you won’t just get one person answering, they will all offer their help and most definitely with a sense of humour there too. Maybe even an answer you never really expected could be one.

Being able to express ourselves through creating art together. Experiencing this journey together reminds us that it is also a very similar to life: where there is chance to express ourselves, no judgement, a place to share knowledge and support. That no matter which way you do it, how you get to where you are going, it’s the right way for you. To be enjoyed and appreciated.

I could not choose a better group of people that I would rather spend my time with. As a participant everyone has helped me in some way, shape or form in the 3+ years I’ve been attending. They’ve taught me so much; shown me I can do things they knew I could do but I didn’t. The knowledge and experiences they all have will always continue to surprise me. It’s like Google in people form. You didn’t know you needed to know it ‘til they tell you, and it actually helps.

Becoming a Volunteer was a big thing for me but with the help and support from Jamie (Creative Direction’s Participation Co-ordinator) and a fellow Creative Directions volunteer. I started the process and completed the training. I enjoyed every part of the training and it boosted my confidence in my abilities.

People can ask me for something they require, and I’ll go and get it. It makes me feel useful. I volunteer to try and help and support people, but they all help me more. They give me what I need every week. The acknowledgement, the acceptance, the boost I need by being able to be me and I hope I do the same for them.

Mr Creative Directions himself: Jamie Rosser, the group’s Participation Coordinator. He shows us we can do it, whatever it may be, because he does it with us. He says he only comes to work to be insulted (in a fun way) and we never disappoint.

But in all seriousness, he is the reason many of us continue to attend. His friendly, professional manner is very welcoming. From the very first session in which he gives you forms to fill in, descriptions and explanations about Creative Directions, he has the ability of putting you at ease and letting you know that he knows how hard that first step may be, but that he and all of us would genuinely like you to be here. He knows how people will benefit from coming here and taking part in whatever way they can.

That’s the reason Creative Directions has grown so much. Jamie tells all of us that we all have something to contribute, but it is his contribution that means the most.

You can help us engage more people like Julie in Creative Directions and other creative activities. 

To support us and make a donation, please visit our Donations page. Thank you.

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