This series of ‘Arts on Prescription’ style workshops with students at Cambourne Village College was part of the ‘Young People’s Pilot’, coordinated and managed Arts and Minds, a leading arts and mental health charity in Cambridgeshire. The sessions were led by Sheila Ceccarelli from AccessArt (artist) and Yael Pilowsky Bankirer (Psychotherapist).
“In Cambridgeshire mental health service provision for Young People involves lengthy wait times and the thresholds necessary to trigger statutory care continue to rise. Arts and Minds wanted to see what could be done as an ‘early help’ provision for young people within schools.” Gavin Clayton, Arts and Minds
“For me, this workshop series was a wonderful opportunity to take creative processes into a school without curriculum pressures or worries about evaluation. Art, here, was recognised, not as a subject, but as a bespoke and personal language used to transform, express and construct. It was wonderful to see young people respond so spontaneously, openly and naturally to the processes presented to them and most importantly for them to value them and appreciate them as their own. This project was as much about ownership and creative entitlement as it was about wellbeing.” Sheila Ceccarelli, AccessArt
“I loved the experience and finding so many different ways that we can use art to express our feelings.” Student, Cambourne Village College
“I have really enjoyed myself.” Student, Cambourne Village College
“No comments. It was good.” Student, Cambourne Village College
“You could have more sessions!” Student, Cambourne Village College
“Looking back and writing it all down I can only admire the openness and honesty students have brought into the process of art making and wish we all could have this kind of freedom to express ourselves. Thank you!” Yael Pilowsky Bankirer, Psychotherapist
“Thank you all so much, for all your dedication and heartfelt passion about your work. The students all thoroughly enjoyed themselves, which was lovely to see.” Daisy Worzencraft, Inclusion manager, Cambourne Village College, Cambridgeshire
With permission and collaboration from students and staff at Cambourne Village College and supported by Gavin Clayton and Jessa Leff at Arts and Minds, Sheila Ceccarelli carefully captured the sessions on camera and Yael Pilowsky Bankirer wrote her reflections, from a psychoanalytic preservative, resulting in the creation of the resources below.
We hope these capture the magic that can happen when Art is presented to young people as a tool to transform, interpret and create, and will inspire collaborations between artists, schools and mental health practitioners in this much needed area of work.