KnowYourCommunity is an ECBC campaign that hopes to raise awareness of groups/charities/organisations/people that help those living with a mental illness and empowering others. This month we spoke to Kate from Creative Living Centre all about the independent charity and what they do to help people with their mental health.
My name is Kate Parsons and I am operational lead at Creative Living Centre, part of my job is to organise the communications for CLC. Creative Living Centre is an independent charity that aim is to support adults who are experiencing mental health problems. We take a holistic approach and offer a wide range of therapeutic activities and support.
The History of CLC
The charity began in 1995 when an envisioning process involving service users and creative therapists was used to create a person-centred holistic approach to people experiencing mental/emotional distress. Central to the work of the Creative Living Centre is the recognition that the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of a person all contribute to a person’s well-being.
Between 1995 and 2000 the vision for the centre was gradually realised as funding became available. At first there was only one member of staff who worked with volunteers and professional therapists who volunteered their time to offer therapies and groups to a small number of people.
Creative Living Centre activities have changed over the years based on the needs that were identified and we were able to offer a much wider range of therapies, self-help groups, classes and support to a much larger group of people. From these early days the centre has since supported over a 1000 adults from all across the region and have been described as ‘life changing’ and even ‘life saving’. There is now a staff team of 12 (all part time) and group of 30+ volunteers.
We pride ourselves on running a wide range of therapeutic, creative and social activities and before COVID changed our lives we were running counselling, reiki, massage, psychotherapy, emotional support appointments and groups including crafts, mindfulness, art classes, board game socials, acupuncture, employability projects, art therapy, music therapy, exercise and fun, yoga, group support sessions, meditation, social meet ups and dance/fitness.
During lockdown we moved over to a phone and web based we are now starting to return to running activities at the building and at this stage we are offering a blended approach of phone support and virtual workshops encouraging attendees to develop coping strategies with titles like ‘Challenging Negative Behaviour’, ‘Stop the bully in your mind’ and ‘Face your Fears’ plus 1:1 face to face appointments for emotional support, counselling, psychotherapy and some small groups (with social distancing and risk mitigation) currently the groups running are crafts and EFT tapping with meditation. We are looking at adding yoga and mindfulness as our members have told us that these are the activities they would like to see returning.
Anyone can access our workshops and currently they are free. Upcoming we have Combat Stress 16/09 6:30pm, Stop the bully in your mind 24/09 6:30pm and Face your Fears 30/09 6:30pm. If you would like to contact us about these workshops or if you would like to become a member (membership is free) you can then access the other parts of our service including 1:1 appointments with a support coordinator and go on the waiting list for groups or counselling.
Future Plans or Projects
Our future plans include more work out across Greater Manchester delivering our courses and workshops to other organisations. Projects to offer our CLC services to more people while keeping the true ethos of Creative Living Centre in mind, we believe providing positive and creative support for mental health through a person centred and holistic approach can lead to real and long lasting improvements in well-being.
Thank you again to Kate, Operational Lead at Creative Living Centre for taking part in our #KnowYourCommunity campaign. You can find Creative Living Centre online or on social media websites Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.