Well Arty, based in Bury, is a unique project which gives individuals the opportunity to experience a creative outlet through poetry, music, art, drama and dance.

The project aims to increase confidence, self-awareness and wellbeing by ensuring access to arts-based activities without discrimination for members of the community who face barriers to participation. The group provides expertise in singing, music, creative writing and drama, and has a database of artists from a variety of disciplines such as painting, film making and dance.

Well Arty believe creative activities are effective in many ways, whether utilised as a preventative technique for mental health difficulties, as a channel for personal expression and positive social interaction, or as a tool for public health education.

The group aims to provide skilled artists who are experienced at working with people from all parts of society in ways that are sensitive to their needs, and that have an approach that has comfort and kindness at its heart, but that also encourages people to step out of their comfort zones to facilitate personal growth.

One member, Sheila, said: “Well Arty appealed to me because I needed to break out of who I was, I was craving a way of expressing myself and the timing of the project was perfect! I was reluctant at first, but with a lot of determination I actually enjoyed the challenges we faced as a group and as an individual.

“It was more effective than any medicine… I felt like it was really making positive changes to me and that made a massive difference to me and my quality of life. It was a life changing experience and I loved it, my whole attitude and approach to life has changed 360 degrees.

“It illustrates beautifully the healing power of creative expression especially when it’s guided. I actually enjoy life now, I don’t want to hit fast forward… I might even want to press pause from time to time now.”