A fantastic event was held on Wednesday 19 April to celebrate the end of a project in Somerset schools, supporting wellbeing through creativity.
The event, held in Millfield School in Street, marked the conclusion of the School’s Wellbeing and Arts Project and showcased examples of the inspirational work that has taken place within schools through the artists-in-residence project. Artworks displayed included sculptures, collages and reflective written pieces.
Launched specifically to help children and young people process their experiences of the Covid 19 pandemic, which had a negative effect on the wellbeing of so many, the School’s Wellbeing and Arts Project has supported schools in their journey to adopt a whole school approach to mental health through creative arts and making use of the Somerset Wellbeing Framework. The Framework features the ‘Pillars of Wellbeing’, which represent key areas that support resilience and positive mental health. Schools based their creative projects on one of these pillars – Belonging, Relationships, and Lifestyles.
This project saw a commissioning of six local creative and artistic organisations who worked directly with 51 schools as artists in residence. They collaborated with art organisations Emerald Ant CIC, Fuse Performance: Somerset Outdoor Arts, LIFEbeat, SPAEDA (supported by sen.se), Somerset Art Works and Somerset Film on a range of creative arts, including performance, song production, felting, outdoor wall murals, sculpting, animation, photography and more. The work will be shown off in a celebratory e-zine.
Somerset Council staff and schools also took part in a creative session to inspire teaching practices and explore practical ways of embedding creativity into a whole school culture. In addition, 45 schools were provided with funding towards a wellbeing and creative arts project developed within their setting. These schools were able to apply for funding up to a maximum of £1,000 per school.
Councillor Adam Dance, Lead Member for Public Health and Equalities at Somerset Council, attended the event. He said:
This event is a fantastic celebration of the arts and expression of young people and children in our schools. They have looked at their own experiences of the pandemic and mental health and turned these things into something beautiful and positive. I’m very proud of our young people, and hugely grateful for the artists, schools, organisations and workers who have brought this together.
For more information on the project visit Somerset children & young people : Health & Wellbeing : Somerset Schools Wellbeing And Arts Project (cypsomersethealth.org)