Back in June this year, we awarded a grant to Designs in Mind CIC. Designs In Mind is a working studio in Oswestry, where adults from across Shropshire living with mental health challenges work together on ambitious, experimental art and design projects. They have been working in the local community since 1993 with the aim of changing the stigma surrounding mental health, and currently support 131 people.
Funding was spent on a router and a drill for their studio – these have been specifically used by their Woodcarving Focus Group, but have already started to feed into ideas for projects in their main studio sessions and other Focus Groups.
The group reported that their members were thrilled with these new pieces of equipment. The group has so far been limited to woodcarving by hand using chisels, files and sandpaper, so members were incredibly excited to see these items and to receive training in using them.
Their woodcarving focus group is made up of ten regular members who attend weekly to work on bespoke wood carved items. This group is particularly popular with their male members.
The group arranged for a local carpenter to come in and train members in using the new equipment, and members were thrilled with this chance to develop new skills in woodcarving, and building their skills to work on new, larger projects.
Members within the group have visibly grown in confidence through being able to develop these new skills through using the new equipment. Seeing the development of the group in working from small, hand filed objects, to larger items is bringing them creative purpose and excitement for the future.