What We Offer – Workplace Wellbeing
As Art Doctors we know that making space for creativity within the workplace can positively impact on staff mental health and wellbeing.
Creativity can be ‘everyday’, it doesn’t need to be about learning the skills necessary to draw really well, play an instrument or write a novel. The creative activities we facilitate are about opening up space for focusing on creative process and being in the creative moment, not about making a perfect end product. We find that being in this playful creative space, which isn’t about ‘what are the jobs we need to do?’, also builds trust, values staff, strengthens relationships and connections, respects and values failure, and enables conversations about things that are sometimes difficult in more formal workplace environments.
- “Took us to another level of thinking and helped all participants explore leadership themes in a deeper and more meaningful manner.”
- Participant in a Creative Leadership workshop for Kirklees Council
- “I underestimated the power of play and distracted creativity”
- Participant in a workshop for Wellbeing Coordinators in Leeds
We have a number of packages to support workplace wellbeing, including Residential Creative Away Days, In-House Team Days and Ongoing In-House Clinics.
We will be running a pilot (at a reduced fee) of our Residential Creative Away Days in Spring 2022, please get in touch to discuss options for becoming a partner organisation, enabling staff from your organisation to attend.
Residential Creative Away Days
A two-night residential in the Yorkshire Dales where we will focus on kickstarting and unblocking participants’ natural creativity to aid wellbeing. Activities will be accessible and unthreatening (we won’t force anyone to draw or do role-play!) and will involve a combination of different art forms. There will be ongoing discussion and consultation throughout the two days and each participant will receive support where appropriate to continue creative activity at home or to introduce it into the workplace.
The rural location in the Yorkshire Dales is very important, as connecting to nature often inspires the creative process. It can also enable mindful attention to our surroundings and the things we often take for granted or don’t take the time to notice in our busy everyday lives.
5.30-6.00: Arrive, register and check in
6.00: Welcome, introductions and group warm up activity
8.30: Free time/drinks
9.00: Short sharp creative activities (eg spirals, mini sculptures, games, words)
10.00: Nature walk – conscious looking, creative purpose, collecting and recording (materials, textures images, sounds, words etc)
1.00: Use collected and recorded material in creative making to share in the evening (decoration/performance/poster/costume/hat?). Either solo or in collaboration with others
5.00: Use suitable creations from previous session to decorate the room/table for the sharing party
7.30: Dinner and Sharing Party
9.30: Free Time/Drinks
8.00: Breakfast and check out
9.00: Reflection, evaluation and 1:1 prescriptions for continuing activity
11.00: Group discussion/reflection. Sharing ideas of where you might take your prescriptions from here.
In-House Team Days
We can also offer bespoke non-residential packages to organisations that we would deliver in-house for staff, covering some of the content above for either a half or full day. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss this option further.
Ongoing In-House Art Doctor Clinic
The Art Doctor Clinic is a social creative space within the workplace that combines making with talking. Discussions about creativity, life, mental health and wellbeing happen very naturally during the process of making together in a space that is safe, calm and accessible. It’s a space for staff that isn’t about outcomes, about getting all the jobs done… a space that bonds a team together in a way that is mutually supportive and understanding.
The session content and making activities will be very flexible, with guided activities from the facilitators where appropriate, or participants able to bring something they are already working on at home.
1. Art Doctors train and support staff to facilitate in-house sessions. Ideal training would be to attend a Creative Away Days event (see above). There will be a shared responsibility for three months and then the group will become self-sustaining. Art Doctors will visit twice a year to support staff in evaluation and development of the clinic.
2. Art Doctors facilitate regular in-house sessions for staff.
It is vitally important that the organisation provides time, space and materials to support the sessions and any staff who are facilitating the clinic and that there is a communication structure in place to feedback any important discussions about issues within the workplace from the group. The sessions should last at least 45 minutes and should take place during work hours. Staff shouldn’t need to use their lunchtime to be able to attend.