Project information

The Art of Wellbeing

Offer an arts-based project for people with mental health problems, which aims to help draw on inner, creative resources while exploring personal issues with a trained arts tutor in a safe, contained space, in order to achieve psychological change, wellbeing and promote confidence.

February 2016 - July 2016

Charity information

Oakleaf Enterprise

Oakleaf Enterprise logo
  • Need


    All our clients are unemployed adults of working age; most suffer social isolation, loss of confidence, anxiety and poverty in addition to (and generally as a result of) their mental ill-health. They are highly vulnerable and many have been impacted by recent welfare reform. Nationally, people suffering mental ill-health have the lowest employment rate of any disabled group, only 24% securing long-term work. Fewer than 40% of employers will consider recruiting someone with a history of mental health.


    Piloting this project to a small group of people is already having a positive impact on helping our clients to reduce the crippling social isolation they experience. We find that for many people attending Oakleaf, their visits to us are the only time when their leave their homes. Having the opportunity to meet with others in a supportive environment, with a shared aim of participating in art, is helping them network, increase self-esteem and boost positive mental health, whilst acquiring new skills.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Reduce social isolation.


    » Run weekly workshops for 6 months.
    » Provide the provision of the workshop for up to 20 people experiencing mental ill-health.

    Individual feedback from clients and art tutor; completion of a client survey which addresses social isolation that is experienced; attendance figures.

    Aim 2

    Increase confidence levels amongst clients taking part in the art workshops.


    » Display completed art work around Oakleaf.
    » Display completed art work at a local public venue, with the potential of selling it.

    Implementing a weekly, structured routine by encouraging regular attendance, which then leads to a commitment by each client, similar to that of returning to the workplace.

  • Impact


    We will demonstrate success by continuing to monitor confidence levels and other positive feedback from those taking part in the project through the client survey. Clients participating in the art project may also try other activities and training opportunities available at Oakleaf, due to a great positive experience; thus showing an increase in confidence levels, reduced social isolation, which (our experience has shown), often leads to satisfying, long-term employment.


    Some clients may not turn up to the training course occasionally as a result of lack of confidence, illness relapse, or other personal issues. However, we will provide as safe and comfortable an atmosphere as possible so they feel welcome and involved in the course. Staff members will talk through any issues they have and attempt to resolve them by making them feel at ease, or by speaking to their mental health practitioner.


    We will report to donors by emailing them regularly to inform of the progress of the course and the clients. If the donor prefers, we can send them letters through the post instead. In addition, we will invite them to our fundraising events so they can meet some of the clients they have helped.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £3,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,000 Sessional Art Tutor 4 hours over 24 weeks @ £20 / hour; admin costs
      £500 Supplies brushes, paints, paper, canvas and frames
      £500 Admin Promotion, registration, surveys, maintenance
  • Background


    One in four people in Surrey suffer a psychiatric disorder at some point in their lives and 7.2% will have two or more. A profile of adult social care in Surrey (2011/12) estimated that there were 3,593 people with mental health issues living in the borough of Guildford and 3,581 in Waverley.

    The population of Guildford is approximately 137,200. Oakleaf has been based and established here for the last 18 years and supports an average of 165 people every week.


    The people who will benefit from our project are those with mental and physical disabilities, lone parents, people on Job Seekers Allowance and young people; this directly benefits friends and family of clients as they make their recoveries as well.

    Indirectly the Government will also benefit, as the people we help back into work will no longer be dependent on financial support.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have been running as a registered charity since 1997. For the last 18 years, our CEO, Clive Stone has led the charity to develop its current services and provide support to those suffering with mental health issues in several boroughs of Surrey. Mental illness is not typically a ‘popular’ cause and is challenging to fund, and yet, Oakleaf is hugely important to the people it serves - some of the most disadvantaged people in the county.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Andrew Watson

    Andrew is our highly experienced Art Tutor, who has been with us to pilot art classes since May 2015.

    Rhian Wooldridge

    Rhian provides all of the administrative support needed to run this project at Oakleaf.