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About We Create: Mexborough

A project testing the positive impact of arts and culture on prescription

A group of people playing instruments with musician Gary Hammond at The Point in Doncaster as part of the Creative Directions project led by darts

We Create: Mexborough is a creative project for adults experiencing mental health difficulties or feeling socially isolated & living in Mexborough. The project was about to launch regular sessions when lockdown struck, so as with the rest of our work, we found different ways to connect with participants.

The project ran from March 2020 until June 2022. Over the last two years we’ve created everything from podcasts & soundscapes, allotment art sessions, historic & poetic rambles with Ian McMillan & Mexborough & District Heritage Society, weekly Zoom sessions, & more recently, weekly creative sessions at Mexborough Resource Centre.

Here are some of the pieces which have been created:

For more information about the project, please read on.

We Create: Mexborough was a pilot project testing the positive impact arts & culture on prescription have on health outcomes in communities. Funded by Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the activity in Mexborough, Doncaster, was based on scaling up existing successful models delivered by local arts & culture providers: darts, Heritage Doncaster & Cast.

The activity was for adults aged 18+ with a wide spectrum of diagnosed & undiagnosed mild, moderate & severe mental health issues & those feeling socially isolated. Regular, positive, creative activity focused on:

  • Preventing mental health crisis
  • Building strategies to build & maintain good mental health and wellbeing
  • Increasing social connectedness & reducing loneliness
  • Reducing non-elective admissions & emergency admissions related to mental health crisis

We know that mental illness has a direct impact on confidence & self-worth. High quality arts & cultural activity was delivered weekly over two years in Mexborough, co-designed with local GPs, health partners & residents. Activity included a range of visual arts, theatre skills, music, history & performance, across various different platforms.

We worked with an external evaluator (Arc Research/Sheffield Hallam) to build a robust body of evidence to inform future commissioning & embed the model. This project will allow us to test & learn on a larger scale to develop a cohesive & proven approach that commissioners can embed in prevention & recovery pathways long term, whilst building the case for mainstream funding.

We Create: Mexborough is a partnership project with Cast & Heritage Doncaster, funded by Doncaster CCG.

creative directions   mental health

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