Project information

Orb Community Arts

To provide vulnerable individuals with a supported, flexible and user led creative environment with a positive mental health ethos that will provide engaging and relevant facilities in which to develop self-confidence, learn new skills and play an active role in the local and digital community.

This is an on-going project looking to grow and develop

Charity information: Orb Community Enterprise

Orb Community Enterprise logo
  • Need


    The lack of supported and flexible, client focused service provision to vulnerable individuals, particularly those in mental distress, which takes into account a person's condition and barriers to inclusion (social and digital) and the lack of places which provide these people with engaging, appropriate and relevant facilities in which to develop self-confidence, learn new skills, make progress toward further education or the work-place and play an active and positive role in the community.


    By providing a creative and learning hub offering flexible, user led service provision and up-to-date facilities including an IT Suite, Music Studio, Artspace and Garden in which to develop confidence through learning and creativity and learn new skills in an area and environment tailored to overcome individual barriers to inclusion. There will also be a focus on gaining practical skills through volunteering and participating in an active programme of community event support and promotion.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide flexible support based on service user needs and ovcercoming barriers to inclusion.


    » Provide a wide range of supported and agreed activity at a time and pace that allows the individual to overcome their barriers to inclusion
    » Provide one-to-one mentoring and group work when appropriate to ensure service user engagement and progression
    » Maintain up-to-date, relevant and engaging facilites that inspire users to take the first steps toward re-engagement both socially and digitally

    What success will look like

    Success will be providing 50 individual, mentored activity sessions per week, based on service users discussed needs and preferences, that use the full range of our facilities

    Aim 2

    To provide facilities that are appropriate, engaging and relevant to the modern on-line world.


    » Maintain a high standard of IT facilities with broadband and up-to-date software/hardware that is relevant to the workplace and mainstream use
    » Maintain a high quality music studio and artspace allowing people to engage and build self confidence through creativity and meaningful activity
    » Foster use of the internet to access online information and services, promote service users talents/work on-line fully engage with the digital world

    What success will look like

    Success will be to maintain a high quality, creative and learning space with the equivalent of 3 full time staff capable of maximising the potential of the facilities and users

    Aim 3

    To build a stronger community that recognises and values the contribution of the most vulnerable


    » A programme of promoting and supporting community events actively using the skills of orb service users mentored by staff and volunteers
    » An active volunteering programme tapping into the skills of all the community, promoting social cohesion through shared knowledge and working together
    » Widening the use of facilities to a broader public providing a valuable community resource where vulnerable individuals are not excluded

    What success will look like

    Success will be to involve service users and volunteers in at least 12 high profile community events during each year

  • Impact


    Within 3 years, providing an established creative/learning space that engages with the most vulnerable members of society, fosters self-confidence, instils new skills and helps them participate in positive activities within the community and leads to full digital inclusion. Success will be increasing service user numbers by 30-40%, increasing the number of local schools, charities and organisations we provide event support to and increasing the number of volunteering opportunities we offer.


    The main risk to the project is cuts in government funding. A third of our finance currently comes from an on-going contract with Adult & Community Services with a slightly lower amount from the DOH. We are in the process of diversifying our funding by developing new income streams and now generate over a third of our income from contracts with other organisations i.e UK Online and North Yorkshire Learning Consortium and wish to increase this further whilst also seeking new funding partners.


    By regular management information and financial reports as agreed with the donor/funder outlining progress and highlighting significant changes or issues arising within the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £85,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £13,000 Rent/Utilities all core property running costs
      £72,000 Salaries 3 full time equivalent posts plus on-costs

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    NYCC £25,000 Guaranteed
    Attend £25,000 Conditional
  • Background


    Harrogate District is by reputation a wealthy area with an above average age demographic. This masks hidden deprivation both within the area's urban and rural areas. Mental health service provision within the area as a whole is coming under increasing pressure from reductions in government funding and current day services have already seen cuts and suspension of activities. There is little support for vulnerable people with significant barriers to inclusion to access quality digital facilities


    We support a wide range of vulnerable individuals at risk of exclusion including; people with severe & enduring mental health problems, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, substance misuse, homelessness, NEET youth and older people with a skills defecit. We mainly support people within Harrogate district but can and do support individuals from across the whole Yorkshire area. We particularly support people who's conditions preclude them from participation in more mainstream support

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Orb has a track record of supporting the most vulnerable and excluded members of society to re-engage in positive, creative activity, get to grips with the on-line world and play a role in the community. With premises on a long-term lease and high quality IT infrastructure including a fully networked IT Suite and media recording studio we are well placed to provide individually tailored support to a larger number of service users and help people participate both locally and digitally

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Mark Flood

    Centre Manager and qualified Occupational Therapist with a background in Mental Health and sound and lighting support

    Leon Fijalkowski

    Volunteering Project Manager and former musician co-ordinating a team of nearly 50 volnteers with a wide range of skills in IT, music and the arts

    Josh Box

    Studio Manager responsible for overseeing creative projects and ensuring these are promoted on-line

    Dave Smithson

    IT tutor with a background in teaching (now retired) responsible for running our computer classes