CADS TRUST SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 2015-16
CADS South Yorkshire, trading as CADS Trust, is a creative industries charity, with a three-pronged mission to Provide for, Support and Promote the creative industries in Sheffield.
In providing, we strive to develop a secure, accessible and affordable creative space network. In supporting, we work to nurture and actively celebrate social, digital and creative enterprise. In promoting, we advocate creativity as an essential part of an economically competitive, politically engaged, and culturally diverse city. This mission was originally enshrined when we registered as a charity in 2013, as a brace of foundational charitable objectives which continue to frame our work.
are DIY, atypical, making their first steps from their bedroom into the working world or are starting a new enterprise or project for the first time. This broad and historical commitment to helping entry-level and non-traditional actors access and thrive in the creative sector distinguishes us from the many other space providers and creative industries support providers in the city. We have ensured that we have always held an open policy to supporting all possible avenues of creativity.
Our charitable objectives are:
• The provision of facilities for the promotion and enjoyment of the arts.
Our target demographics are aspiring creatives taking their hobby on its first steps out of the bedroom, and new start-ups within the social and creative sectors.
• The creation of training or employment opportunities by the provision of affordable workspace and support, assisting those in creative fields to set up their own businesses. This mission drives our work as a charitable group of companies. CADS Trust is largely funded by its major trading arm, CADS Space, itself a social enterprise which donates all of its profits to CADS Trust. CADS Space manages previously disused buildings which it has transformed into affordable creative work space, as well as offering start-up support services and project delivery services for the creative and community sector. The work of the CADS group of companies is strongly rooted in a cyclical concept of benefit: by renting our studios, tenants are supporting the goals of CADS Trust, which then works to support the creative, digital and non-profit sectors to develop, fulfilling our charitable mission.
At what depth or level do you want to work? CADS Trust has a strong history of working with grass-roots creative sector organisations, individuals and scenes, and has continually applied a DIY ethos to its work taking on disused buildings and working to develop new projects. This ethos and history of collaboration has afforded CADS a unique position in Sheffield’s creative community as a company working for and with actors that
Assumptions In designing our social impact strategy, we have made several assumptions about the circumstances of actors seeking access to and support within the creative and social sectors. These assumptions are borne out of our own experiences of working with startups and creative individuals in Sheffield, and supported by government and thinktank research into growth strategies for the creative industries, and local government policy-making.
Our assumptions of our target demographics are: That they are more likely to be lower income and in more precarious employment Despite the UK’s strong international reputation as a developer of creative content and enterprise, employment in the creative industries is still defined largely by the proliferation of micro, small and medium sized enterprises, by precarious employment patterns, and by volatile developmental trajectories.12 These aspects hamper the wage potential in the sector.3 Moreover, research conducted by NESTA, the Arts Council and Creative & Cultural Skills demonstrates that on the whole, creative practice pays lower than the UK average income.4
That they are more likely to lack knowledge of how to access finance and equity to grow Numerous government and think tank reports have identified that creative businesses face a knowledge gap when it comes to accessing finance to grow, which plays a role in limiting growth potential for the micro, small and medium sized enterprises in the sector.5 This problem has been compounded by the changing funding landscape in the UK where grant funding is less available, and companies are having to shift to new financial models to gain investment.6 This is partly due to unorthodox company structures in the creative sector, a fragmented funding landscape which is harder to penetrate, and less managerial skill in this area.7
That they are more likely to lack professional connections within the industry, and/ or will benefit from being part of a relevant professional network There is a lot of evidence that underlines the importance of networks in catalysing innovation, trade, and growth in the creative industries - either in the form of professional networks or spatially configured ‘clusters’, or both.8 Access to these networks for start-ups and aspirational creatives enables the accelerated development of ideas through intensive collaboration, increased trading opportunities through access to a ready supply of similarly minded-customers, clients and collaborators, and the ability to gain support, advise and guidance from others in the field. A report for the government advising on progression routes for the creative sector highlighted access to networks as ‘critical’ for sector and growth.9
That they are more likely to lack formal business training or skills, specifically managerial and leadership skills Numerous government and think tank reports have also identified that creative businesses face a skills gap when it comes to management and leadership, and that this hampers growth, expansion and the access of finance and training.10 Creative enterprises and start-ups tend to lack the developed soft-skills suited to business settings, the strategic skills to plan growth, and the knowledge and capacity to access and implement support, funding, and investment.11
That creativity has a wide-range of holistic, societally useful benefits Creativity has manifold benefits spanning health and wellbeing, decision-making and mental agility, and improved social networks and community. Visual art specifically has been shown to help fill occupational voids and distract from thoughts of illness, decrease negative emotions whilst increasing positive ones, reducing anxiety, distress and negative emotions, improving oneâ€™s flow, spontaneity, expression of grief, positive identity, and social networks.12 Creativity and the arts more generally have been shown to stimulate problem-solving and coping skills, using both sides of the brain to build mental agility in participants.13 Finally, creativity has been shown to help create balance and order in the lives of participants, give a sense of control over the external world, make thought and feeling clear, and maintain a sense of integrity.14
Based on these assumptions about creatives and startups, we have identified the following interventions. Our interventions are threefold, and are aligned with the triage of charitable objectives that make up our charitable mission.
We Provide: Through the provision of free and subsidised studio and event spaces, namely through our flagship charitable programme Space CADets. Space CADets is a self-funded programme in which start-ups or artists (broadly defined) are granted a period of free space for around 6 weeks, in which to carry out a time-finite project, or establish a new enterprise with the security of not having to pay a key over-head; rent. During their time on the Space CADets programme, beneficiaries also receive advice, guidance and support to achieve their goals within the time-frame.
The work of our Space CADets is then communicated throughout our professional network, and promoted in articles on our website. In addition to this programme, we also provide free event space to charities and community enterprises who work within the creative sector. This programme is aimed at tackling our assumption that aspiring creatives and new start-ups tend to be in lower-income positions with less capital; that they lack the knowledge of how to access finance; and they lack access to professional networks. Space CADets seeks to provide a form of indirect investment through the removal of overheads which can be more intuitive and tangible. We can, and look to simultaneously advise on access to finance and key steps to take during a transitional phase beyond the programme.
We Support: Through the provision of free business advice, opportunities for development, and direct support services. This takes the form of a free business advice service available to all tenants of our buildings and for people outside of them, to help bridge the managerial and leadership skill gap experienced across the creative sector, at an early stage of enterprise development. This covers:
- Setting up a company - Financial forecasting & analysis - Business planning - Business development - Business administration - Sign-posting to relevant services and resources, both local and national
Moreover, we are developing a cost-price charitable business support service, which will provide business administration, bookkeeping, and other services for start-ups and small enterprises, and which will aim to provide affordable solutions to business and finance skill and knowledge gaps within the creative sector. This has been trialled this year with targets set in KPIs. These services are aimed at tackling our assumption that aspiring creatives and new start-ups tend to lack business training or skills; access to a professional network; that they tend to be lower income or in precarious employment; and that they lack access to finance.
We Promote: Through putting on our own arts and music events, and through showcasing artists online. We have a social media following of over 8,000 users, a website which we promote as an information centre for everything relating to CADS, and a new mailing list with over 150 recipients already signed up. We continually use these avenues to promote the activities of tenants, activities of partners and creative industries news within the city. We also host events at our premises to showcase the talent and activities within our buildings, and work with tenants and partners to help programme our event spaces so that their utility and outreach is maximised in line with our charitable objectives. These services work towards our assumption that creativity has manifold holistic benefits for society, and that they lack professional connections or access to professional networks.
How do we reach demographics we seek to serve? In order to reach the demographics we seek to serve, we use three vehicles. Firstly, our creative and multi-purpose studio complexes are hubs of creative enterprise and aspiration, and are designed to provide for our identified demographics of start-ups and creative actors. We currently run eight buildings around Sheffield, and work as part of a partnership to manage the city-centreâ€™s first co-working space, and so have direct engagement with over 100 actors across these demographics. For example, over the past two months, we have publicised our free business advice service to all new and existing tenants. Secondly, through the professional network we have developed over the last six years we have strong relationships with the underground cultural communities in Sheffield, spanning dance music, experimental DIY music communities, amateur and outsider artists, academic and civic outreach projects, and creative social projects. This is borne out by our participation in delivering city festivals such as Tramlines
Festival, Festival of the Mind and Art Sheffield throughout the past five years. Thirdly, we advertise our charitable programmes online through our social media channels and through our websites. Our online presence helps us reach out to people beyond our established professional networks and buildings in the public sphere.
To monitor the outcomes of our charitable programmes, we use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which our social impact is reconciled against on a monthly basis, and which are reviewed on an annual basis. Our KPIs for the year 2015-16 were:
- Events: Run 2 publicly accessible, free events promoting the arts in innovative and engaging ways, which attain attendance figures of over 100 attendees. - Subsidised space: Provide free space and support for 3 artists through our Space CADets programme. - B usiness support services provided: Support 5 businesses with subsidised business support services.
STRATEGIES: PARTNERSHIP AND COLLABORATION
Another tool we utilise for reaching beneficiaries and expanding the types of projects and people we serve is through partnership and collaboration with other SMEs, Institutions, Funders and Stake-holders in the city.
A key part of our ethos has always been ‘collaboration over competition’, and we have always sought to work with similarly minded organisations to meet common goals, as well as join forces with organisations that have different skills and qualities to us, and who we can work with on projects that take our work into new areas. A key recent example of this approach in practice is the Union St project, a partnership between CADS, Common Ground and Common People with support from the University of Sheffield. Union St has enabled us to provide a new type of direct support to SMEs, entrepreneurs and self-employed people within a new city-centre hub. Through this project we have helped provide services to demographics we would not have been able to support on our own, but to whom the services provided are vital. A second example of this approach is the Get Creative workshops we co-ran with Sheffield Art Forge and SY Arts, and which were reviewed by students from the University of Sheffield. These workshops wouldn’t have had the delivery experience and beneficiary outreach that they did if we had not collaborated with those partners. And finally, the Eyre Street Fun Palace would not have been able to take place without our collaboration and co-operation with local artists, science-outreach organisations, musicians, and national arts bodies.
Outcomes 2015-16: Performance as Compared Against KPIs
encourage young and old to consciously and physically engage with scientific, artistic, and experimental ideas and practices that they would not usually have access or exposure to.
attendance reaching upwards of 100 people. Attendees ranged in age from toddlers to children to adults and the elderly, and had backgrounds ranging from families on a day out, to young adults from the alternative music scene, to students, to makers. The organisations involved reviewed the event favourably, commenting on the diversity of the attendees, their willingness to get involved in interactive activities, and the complimentary nature of the event programming.
Events: run two public-facing free events promoting the arts in innovative and engaging ways, which attained attendance figures of over 100 attendees. We met this target. Case studies:
Eyre Street Fun Palaces – Shifting Fields What? In October 2015, CADS Trust worked
to bring the nationwide celebration of Science and Arts, Fun Palaces, to Sheffield. Named ‘Shifting Fields’, the one-day festival sought to explore the overlap between the disciplines of the arts and the sciences through free participatory workshops, talks, open-days and manifold other events across the country run by community organisations. We chose to use one of our newest buildings, the citycentre disused college now known as The Cornerstone, to celebrate cross-pollination between Science and Arts through a range of free interactive activities, and public engagement exhibitions and talks.
How? We achieved this through working with
the city’s underground cultural initiatives, academic outreach projects, local startups and DIY musicians to curate a day of exploratory activities centred on the overlap of technology, pop-science, experimental music, counter-culture and family fun. Participating organisations included national live-coding movement Algorave, science public engagement groups Science Brainwaves and Discovery Project Education, Sheffield Hackers & Makers, children’s toy re-wirer Bogus Noise, analogue synth artist Saif Mode, an aquaponics demonstration, live sculpting and interactive activities. We intended for this to be an accessible event for all ages, to
Outcomes: The day was well attended, with
Quotes: Attendee: “that was ace!”
Get Creative – Art Therapy Workshops What? An open and free course accessible for everyone, whose primary goal was to use the holistic benefits of creative work to help those with mental health issues. The workshops aimed to encourage people to express themselves and their problems through art media, to teach participants a variety of techniques and skills in varying media forms, and to develop a friendly place to go without the pressures of forced discussion or sharing. These workshops represented a dedicated time for creativity and self-exploration for everyone involved.
How? The workshops took place over three
weeks at Union St, with 60+ enrolled and an estimated 50 regular participants. The course used a range of media including textiles, photography, lantern making, chicken wire sculptures, drawing and painting, fimo modelling and glitter embossing to keep an open and varied schedule and enable a non-formulaic approach to the mental health issues experience by the workshop attendants. There were also opportunities to discuss issues or problems with a trained art psychotherapist if desired. The majority of participants enjoyed having the variety of the course and different skills to learn. Many
people suggested it was a good introductory course to different media. One participant had done the course the previous year where there was an underlying theme throughout. Upon comparison of the two courses she had completed, it was suggested that an underlying theme was beneficial for the participants. This level of direction was lacking from this year’s course. This might have contributed to the varying attendance from some participants.
Outcomes: Overall 69% completed the
“My confidence is coming back. I lost it for 9 months. I wouldn’t have thought I would be here now, in the head space in this period of time.“
course. Some attended every session, but others could not due to ill health or other commitments. In the Thursday group, most participants attended all, or it not the majority of the classes. In the Friday group, most participants had only attended 6-7 sessions due to their poor health. One participant had joined half way through the Friday course.
100% of participants interviewed said the course had helped them. An independent review of the course concluded: “Having witnessed the classes and being involved with all the participants over the last few weeks, we came away convinced that the programme is very beneficial to all who take part, especially those with mental health issues.”
Here are some quotes from participants to summarise how the course has helped them.
“It’s been nice to meet people and get out of the house and do stuff”
“The people on the course were really together and they showed interest in each other’s work without being asked, they just helped” “Being around other people who were understanding of me and who made me feel comfortable in the group has really helped my confidence” “I’m really pleased with what I’ve done, I really am..... It’s been so liberating.” “I have more confidence now and I understand myself better. I feel more comfortable around others as I feel like they may understand me better too” (language problems) “It’s helped me to be in a group, which I found difficult” “It’s helped me to find out what I can and can’t do. And what I can’t do as well as I could before. And the openness of people in group helps me to feel accepted. No pressure.”
Subsidised space: Provide free space and support for 3 artists through our Space CADets programme. We met this target. Case studies:
FoodHall FoodHall is Sheffield’s ‘Pay as You Feel’ dining room and freecycling food network ran by students and graduates promoting wider community engagement through food.
Ambition FoodHall’s aims and objectives are to create new food sharing infrastructures to allow students to engage with the wider community through food, originally based on a website and an app. Students at the university can use it to plan their own meals, invite people, organise and donate surplus things. FoodHall aimed to create a communal dining facility, serving surplus food that is based on a ‘pay as you feel’ system, allowing access to all. They looked to collect food that would be wasted and feed people that potentially can’t afford to pay for food, allowing for people from different backgrounds to get around a table and mix in a way they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do.
Activities FoodHall now operate their ‘pay as you feel cafe’ from Thursday to Saturday every week, feeding 50-70 people (often with around 70/100 teas and coffees) - of these guests, around 40-50% would consider themselves isolated or in need. Furthermore they host multiple events including the following:
Engagement: Organised a ground-breaking
Feeding The Ten Billion community meal at The University of Sheffield’s student union, including delivering a lecture. This has now been planned to continue once monthly with them and the Save Our Sandwiches campaign. They have also run ‘FoodHalls’ at University halls and in areas such as the Moor Market, and catering for external events in exchange for donations.
Community Support: In collaboration with
CADS and Party for the People, organised a Coat Drive in the winter of 2015, donating to Ben’s Place in Sheffield. They have also run alcohol-free music events for people that have suffered addiction in recovery. They have used creative activities such as tile painting to provide therapeutic activities to those using the space. These tiles were then exhibited in the City of Makers gallery in Sheffield City-centre for a weekend.
Learning/teaching: Alongside other
lectures for students, they have been asked to speak at an open day for town planning, and have helped produce an article for Now Then on their work. They continue to host charities Camerados and SASS with their entrepreneurial sessions during open days, and have hosted a vegan learning and teaching day.
Outcomes FoodHall has achieved many fantastic results, and what follows is just a snapshot: Partnered with the charity Camerados who try and combat isolation through food, who are running a scheme called ‘What if Samaritans ran Starbucks?’. They organised a pop up café doing home cooked food with some advisors, a Michellin star chef, and Camerados staff to talk to visitors. At the last count, over 4,700 people have eaten with FoodHall, and over 17,000 teas and coffees have been drunk by people from all backgrounds. Over 40 cultural, student and charitable events supported and facilitated with the space and app (all free or pay as you feel). Over 1200kg of food has been saved from wastage, with an average of 53 meals served a day, and during events, an average of 110 meals served. They also train volunteers, and at least two people have found employment as a direct result from their experience at FoodHall so far. For example, Sabella who studied languages now works for a food co-operative in Cambridge as a result of her volunteering at FoodHall.
“This Space CADets thing is really amazing, the way we have been helped to do this; things like the renewed funding should have a platform that is very similar, because we did find that we and a lot of other people were quite reliant on these funding applications.”
“It wasn’t even the Space CADets program [that initially led us to work with CADS], it was just the space and working with CADS as we know how supportive they are.”
“We like to call this the Eyre Street ecosystem, everyone in here is so helpful, and we have a shared vision. We have had help with Nick Potter and Kiran Antcliffe [CADS staff] and they have sat down with us and helped up with the Renew application and the funding, financial forecasts. Even on a basic level of Kiran doing our grammar and all the little things like that, right down to guiding us with what we should and shouldn’t say. They have been really helpful, they have not been too prescribed, they have let us have our own agency and let us go and do what we want without being too mothering. They have not given any dos and don’ts, they have been really flexible.”
Claire Lee Claire Lee has been a psychologist for 30 years, and looks to use her art to help people connect with their bodies, and understand trauma and physical disease. She has used the Space CADets programme to develop art that has a physicality and presence that assists people in understanding their bodies and boundaries through emotional and intellectual connections.
“What CADS is doing I feel it should be a city wide program. In terms of allowing us to develop an idea that is high concept it has been really supportive.”
Ambition Claire’s original idea was to fill the space provided and work with wire to make a network of things. She is interested in exploring bodies and movement in space which was not possible in a constricted studio. She reflected that her original idea “was to fill a space with sculptures where people had to walk through them but in a way that you have contort your body. Think about your body as you move through it. All of them arranged in such a way that when you’re in the middle of the installation, you get a feeling of being inside something hidden but still visible. [A] sense of being invisible, hidden from the world, inside something. These work[s] brought about memories of being young when you were about four. These structures are like adults.“
Activities To produce the work, Claire used her new available space to develop tall wire structures. Initially she was limiting it to 2 metres but it didn’t have the impact that she was looking for, so the high ceiling gave her the opportunity to make them even bigger. Also, the wire didn’t photograph well, looked flat. So, she wrapped it in cling film. Which ”worked so beautifully” in the room provided for her, which had a sky light. She said that she felt that the installation “lights up like icicles in the afternoon sun”.
Outcomes As a result of this work, Claire was given an opportunity to exhibit at the Walkley arts festival, where she saw the transformative effect of the work in action, at a high profile, popular exhibition. Space CADets has allowed her to explore new artistic directions and approach her work on a grander scale that was possible before, gaining her crucial new exhibition experience to develop her career.
Quotes “I worked with installation of lots of different structures which I hadn’t done before” “[I] loved the space. Couldn’t have made this particular work if I didn’t have the space through the Space CADets programme simply because I don’t have the space.”
Alexandra Shorey Alexandra Shorey is a sculptor who specialises in horses. Before she joined the Space CADets programme she had already been making sculptures at home using individual wire frames and air dried clay. She found that although she had developed a good customer base for her products the onerous process of making each wire frame individually meant it was not commercially viable. Getting a studio on the Space CADets programme enabled her to move into production using rubber moulds and resin. This method is far more efficient and allows Alexandra to create multiple sculptures from the same mould, allowing her to significantly grow her business.
Ambition To utilise the increased space at her disposal to improve the efficiency of her production process through using rubber moulds and resin. To upscale the production of her sculptures ready for market.
Business support services provided: support 5 businesses with subsidised business support services We met this target. Case studies:
Activities Experimenting with casting her work in resin, increasing the quantity of works produced week on week, and taking the products to market.
Party for the People Ltd – Access to finance support, Free office space, Business support
Party for the People (PFTP) are an ethical ticketing social enterprise, who were set up with the support of CADS in 2012 out of the main CADS complex in Shalesmoor. Initially selling tickets for the events taking place at CADS and donating the profits to charity, they’ve since expanded to become a charitable operation with international outreach, celebrating their first continental European business this year and running events and working with promoters across the UK, from Brighton to Glasgow.
Alex has since begun to exhibit the new works she has developed in local galleries, and has gone on to become a paying studio holder at CADS. At the point of signing up as a paying studio-holder, she had just sold her first piece of work from the collection of sculptures she developed as a Space CADet.
Quotes “It’s given me that opportunity to try something that I’ve always wanted to do this, for years and years... I’ve always wanted to do it but I’ve never had that, kind of, breathing space to do it because I’ve always got orders in for work and it needed to work first time, do you know what I mean, because I’d be paying rent from day one, I wouldn’t have that kind of bit of leeway. That’s what this has given me, a bit of time and space where I could try out all this stuff and make a few mistakes.” “I feel like I’m out there amongst other artists, you know I’m in the art community in Sheffield.“ “It could not be more perfect. I love it so much, it’s my second home. It really is.” “This is just so great for artists like me cos I never would have been able to do this, what I’m doing now if it wasn’t for this. Absolutely not, I would have been “ah well, I’ll just be carrying on as I am, you know maybe one day I’ll do it” and it was just like, that day when they gave the keys I was like “oh my God, I’m gonna do this, I’ve got to do this” “I think it’s great. I’m so grateful. Thanks CADS!”
CADS Trust’s business support for PFTP has ranged from the provision of 41m2 of free managed office space, to providing cash-flow assistance and access-to-finance guidance to help cover start-up costs including marketing and web-development costs, to the provision of staff support in drawing down funding and developing governance processes. Over the course of the 2015-16 financial year, CADS’ enabled them to expand their marketing work, develop new client relationships around the country, and further develop their website as a commercial platform. And after raising well over a staggering £35,000, PFTP have just this year launched their own charitable trust. As a result of this support and the provision of free office space, PFTP has been able to develop into a company that employs 2 full time and 4 part-time staff, and has become a sustainable tenant of our CADS complex, paying monthly rent for their office usage and generate a revenue of £121,308 over the last financial year.
Bronte Matthews, Business Manager of Party for the People, said of the support they’ve received from CADS Trust:
“On behalf of Party For The People, I would like to say a huge thank you to CADS for the crucial support they have provided us with over the past four years. It has been fundamental in enabling us to grow into a sustainable business which is now developing across Europe.” The Great Escape Game Limited – Business advice, Company set-up assistance We were approached by Hannah and Peter in 2014 as they had an idea for starting an Escape Game in Sheffield after they had seen them during their time travelling. Hannah, who studied at Sheffield Hallam University, was convinced the idea would catch on in Sheffield. We loved it and were determined to make it work for them. One of our first roles was to find them space in our newly acquired AVEC building to test the idea and get started with some free time to allow them to make the necessary alterations to the room. They had no direct experience in business, so we advised them on company structure, working closely with them to set up a limited company for the project and point them in the direction of specialist advisors to assist in the finer details of the operation. The flexibility of our shortterm licence agreements helped remove much of the risk that comes with being locked into a long-term tenancy agreement, and we worked closely with them to find ways of using our building with them to enable their business plan. Over the next year we assisted their expansion by enabling them to use 3 more of our studios, and we recently helped them set up another company for their upscaling into Leeds. They have been the number one
attraction in South Yorkshire on Trip Advisor, bringing in 27,000 visitors and revenue of £250,000 in its first year of trading. It has a workforce of 17 and is set to recruit even more new staff for the Leeds site. They now use one of our partner buildings, Union St, as a base for their working on the business. Hannah Duraid, Founder and Director of The Great Escape Game said of the support they’ve received from CADS Trust:
“When we initially approached CADS, they were extremely welcoming and supportive about our idea, willing to help in any way they could. It was the perfect opportunity for our startup idea, in terms of price, location and growth opportunities. Thank you for all of your help.” Union St, run by Enable Space Ltd – Securing anchor tenants, Business planning, Lease negotiation In March 2014, CADS joined forces with Common People, Common Ground and the University of Sheffield to create a new city-centre hub of co-working, affordable workspace for non-profits, and meeting space for people pursuing self-employment and social enterprise. The Union St. project was set up with specific social aims, which were to:
• Counter isolation of self-employed individuals in Sheffield, and work to provide a hub for a fragmented market. • Provide opportunities for social enterprises and charities to meet likeminded service providers and vice versa. • Bring the idea of co-working to Sheffield and provide affordable hot-desking, meeting space and office facilities to non-profit companies and self-employed individuals.
Delivery of Support CADS has played both crucial catalytic and ongoing roles in Union St., by sourcing the building, negotiating its lease, renovating the building, sourcing tenants for the building, and then financially administering the project through its first years of trading. CADS became aware of the availability of this city-centre meanwhile lease on a prominent ex-council building, and we used our experience in lease negotiation to confirm the contract with the landlord, re-value the property through the Valuation Office Agency and re-negotiate business rates, before establishing a project plan for its renovation. Through becoming accustomed to the financial constraints of working within meanwhile-use leases, CADS was quickly able to bring in trusted suppliers and contractors to implement an efficient and budgeted renovation of the building, before assisting in the successful application for funding that helped do up the middle floor co-working space.
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Once renovated, CADS connected with the tenants to fill the studio spaces adjoined to what has become Union St.’s trademark co-working space. These included social enterprise architecture firm Studio Polpo, youth homelessness charity Roundabout, and the latest project of the University of Sheffield’s School of Architecture, Live Works, who all still rent their studios today. CADS has also provided financial administration for the Union St. project.
Matt Hill, Project Manager at Un say of the support they’ve receiv Outcomes Union St has successfully positioned itself as the bridge between self-employed individuals, social enterprise and the university, creating a vibrant hub of co-working which has sparked dozens of collaborations and work opportunities for those involved. Moreover it has made a surplus in its first year of trading as well as securing an extension of its current lease, enabling it to continue improving its space provision and availability as a location for diverse pop-ups, events, and new enterprise ideas.
“The diverse services that CAD right at the start of the Union were foundational to the proj the ground, and since then CA successfully administered the project to the point where Uni thriving. Thank you for all the
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The Network Effect – Case Studies of the Cyclical Economy within CADS Buildings
FoodHall, at 121 Eyre Street (The Cornerstone) Food Hall applied for the Space CADets scheme and were successful, taking on a group of interconnected rooms in one of our city centre buildings. FoodHall have since played a huge role in renovating the rooms they’ve occupied, including the building’s event space. FoodHall later achieved extensive Renew funding through guidance from a Trustee of CADS and CADS Space staff, which led them to further develop their activities through enabling the purchase of much needed catering equipment and furnishings. They have put on events, for which they have received licensing advice from CADS Space’s studios manager, and in running those events they have used lighting supplied by George Thorpe, who ran a lighting and event equipment hire start-up in another unit at Eyre Street. George later installed and rigged additional lighting in the main garage space for free to encourage people to use it during their events at a significant discount. They have collaborated heavily with another studio holder, architect Sam Atkinson who assisted them in designing their space, developing their ideas, applying for further funding and generally being an ambassador for the initiative. He has since become a Director of FoodHall. FoodHall’s success attracted interest from the University of Sheffield’s City & Cultural Engagement Office, who included FoodHall as part of Festival of the Mind, a large-scale public engagement festival. The exposure from the large scale marketing initiatives associated with this festival will allow Food Hall to further promote their charity and their charitable message. In addition, Food Hall have collaborated with another studio-holder, Lawrence, who used Food Hall as a primary starting point for his new enterprise, Modular Moods - Food Hall allowed him to develop and advertise his promotional video filming skills, and creative furniture hire business through their social
media and events. Laurence has now gone on to hire a second studio. Louis Pohl, Director of FoodHall said: “We like to call this the Eyre street ecosystem, everyone in here is so helpful, and we have a shared vision”.
The Night Kitchen, at CADS Works CADS Works, the first main site operated by CADS, has included clubbing and events spaces throughout it’s 7 year history, firstly as Dirty Little Secret and now as The Night Kitchen, which is a stellar example of the effect a network can have in catalysing innovation, trade and opportunities for growth. The Night Kitchen has primarily used the sound-systems and technical support of James Folkes, a studio-holder on site who uses his payment from his employment to contribute towards his studio rent. In turn, James repairs audio equipment for studio-holders, and his renown for high quality sound provision at The Night Kitchen has led to the development of his business to other locations across Sheffield. James’ unique studio allows him to store an extensive amount of equipment, and he has improved the space himself to allow the room to be used for business matters. James has recently gone self-employed as an audio technician and sound engineer based on the growth in demand for his services during his time at CADS. The Night Kitchen as an organisation, meanwhile, has been given extensive business support from CADS Space, and reduced rental on their office space within the building. CADS has also facilitated work opportunities outside of club events for those working at The Night Kitchen, where there is demand for event management and cleaning. This thereby enabled their staff to diversify their skillsets and experience as well as providing networking opportunities at diverse events for those staff. They also collaborate very successfully with a 3rd organisation present in Studio 5.4 - Party For The People, Sheffield’s first ethical ticket selling website. Through event collaborations and mutual support, both TNK and PFTP
have developed extensively to become well known within Sheffield and beyond. Indeed, the club nights at CADS (the precursor to TNK) formed an initial core revenue stream for PFTP when it started out, which led to PFTP and CADS successfully applying for £10,000 of funding together to renovate the nascent events spaces in CADS Works into what would become The Night Kitchen as a community project. They have continued to offer each other business development opportunities ever since. TNK is also a major employer of bar staff, which has provided work opportunities for studio holders in fragile financial situations. This work also provides inspiration for musicians, and the economic stability required to pursue their creative enterprises. There is a proliferation of music producers currently working out of CADS studios who have performed at nights in TNK. The benefits of these opportunities were on show when TNK hosted the first ever Boiler Room event in Sheffield, at which two studio holders DJ’d to a sold out venue either side of the some of the most pioneering producers in their field. TNK has also employed several artists based at CADS to decorate the club, and the aesthetic of the spaces are one of TNK’s biggest drawing points. This positively contributes to CADS’ image and many individuals who enquire about available studios have visited The Night Kitchen. Rob Lee, an artist commissioned to design the space, commented that it was the job that provided him with a springboard for the rest of his career, and he has gone on to do similar large scale mural commissions for numerous other companies around Sheffield, London, and beyond. In 2015, The Night Kitchen was selected as one of the UK’s 10 best club spaces in The Guardian.
Union St Union St: A place to meet, work and collaborate in Sheffield City Centre. A collaborative meanwhile use project set up to combat isolation and promote a healthier work/life balance. Union St has connected dozens of self-employed tradespeople and entrepreneurs, with its network having a
profound effect on those that have worked there. Union St has created a shared sense of community, new opportunities for trade and fostering new business connections, and reduced isolation whilst improving the wellbeing of self-employed people at work. Courtney Kyle moved to Sheffield last year in June from Alabama, and has been freelancing as a graphic designer for two and a half years since being made redundant from her previous job as a magazine’s art director. She remarked that since moving to Sheffield, “what’s been so wonderful [at Union St] is of course being surrounded by loads of start-ups and small businesses. They need a graphic designer; you know to design business cards or logos. I’ve done a bit of everything for members here.” Simon Kilpatrick moved to Union St following a stint at Sheffield Hallam’s Hatchery and working with clients in Electric Works, to take his start-up Intrinsic Links out of its research and development phase and into full operations. Intrinsic Links is an occupational psychology and team building start-up specialising in increasing wellbeing, productivity and innovation in the workplace. “Since being here this kind of environment has nurtured collaboration and expansion of our company and I don’t think we would have expanded as quickly if it was not for us being here”. Collaborations with AALFY and The Great Escape Game (who incidentally operate out of other CADS buildings), and a co-working App Developer Sam Biggins have followed, and from July 2015 to July 2016 their sales figures have doubled; ”May June July those months were up on last year so it’s all gone much higher so it’s really good.” Courtney agreed about the ability of Union St’s network-effect to facilitate new trade and growth opportunities for start-ups: “if anything it’s helped me to grow my business. There are so many things that I’m doing now that I don’t think I’d be doing if I were still working alone. Learning some marketing, starting to really promote myself.” Start-ups are further nurtured by the availability of business workshops, talks, and skill-development events at Union St, which enable experts to pass on their knowledge to those taking their first steps. Courtney has taken advantage of these, commenting that
“I’ve never been in a place where you introduce yourself to someone and then five minutes later you’ve got the perfect connection because people are so open and willing to share with one another”.
“I really feel like I’ve developed into a better business person here and the classes help. I’ve been going to business Sheffield classes, it’s wonderful.” Tom Ramsay, Founder and Director of Twin Cafe, a coffee-selling social enterprise that works with Sheffield’s twin city Estelli in Nicaragua, has participated in the coaching workshops which for him have ”been really useful and have actually directed our recent strategies that we’ve created”. However the co-operative approach of those involved in the building enables peer-to-peer mentoring that gives a more casual access to crucial advice that helps many: “In the very early stages of setting up the business it was vital to get lots of advice from people been slightly further along the experience than myself. Everyone was extremely helpful putting me in touch with some really useful people. It was great to just bounce ideas off other people. Everyone has a really great positive attitude towards making things happen and getting things off the ground” reflected Tom.
Finding working from home and in cafes less than ideal (“you can’t really meet people; you’re just on your own”), Courtney came to Matt, the project manager at Union St, and found that Union St was the environment she’d been searching for. “It’s low cost, it’s not too expensive. I mean it was perfect”. The sense of community, and the difference between the isolation of working from home or in cafes, was also highlighted by Intrinsic Links founder Simon Kilpatrick: “I was going stir crazy at home and sometimes I had to make sure I was going out and about as often as possible. So I would say definitely working here improved my mental health because you get to know people and I’ve made friends. I’ve got work colleagues, collaborators but also friends”. Courtney reaffirmed this inclusivity and and the resultant improvements to wellbeing that are at the core of the co-working facility at Union St, but also encompasses the all that work out of the building:
“We are all in it together. We are all feeling our way through owning our own businesses. It’s helpful and encourages you. I don’t think I’d still be freelancing if it weren’t for that”. Union St has developed a cyclical economy of its own (Courtney: “That’s exactly what happened when I design a brand for a café that’s opening up at Union St then that money is going back into Union St. Same with the mediation group by getting people in the building.”), and its one that has produced positive externalities of increased well-being, social impact, and and ethos of collaboration and co-operation. Tom agreed: “new people to be introduced to across a while range of different industries and so its keeping it fresh all the time, you are always meeting new people. The kind of ethos seems to be shared by everyone which is great”.
REFLECTIONS: PLANS FOR THE FUTURE HOW WE AIM TO EXPAND OUR REACH TO NEW BENEFICIARIES
- We aim to work more closely with our partners at the Universities and the Enterprise Departments to reach graduates, so that we can provide our early-stage business support to graduate start-ups and new initiatives when they are most vulnerable.
with his designs and begin to sell them. With interest in his clothing steadily growing, he is looking for a space to work on his first official collection of ethical clothing.
- We aim to work closer with charitable organisations to collaboratively serve their demographics around shared goals and common ideals.
two streams – an ethical clothing brand and a printing service. For the former, he is targeting students and young professionals, from which he accrued 20 advance orders before the beginning of his Space CADets term. For the latter, he is targeting socially-conscious brands, events promoters and clothing startups. He has so far been unable to act on early commissions due to a lack of space for his printing carousel.
- We aim to use targeted marketing to provide space for specific demographics we seek to serve, and expand beyond our current networks and levels of outreach. A snapshot of who we will be working with this year:
Oliver Anglin Who? Oliver is student studying Graphic and
Interactive Design at Chesterfield College. He has recently built his own silk screen carousel, enabling him to print his own ethical clothes
Activities: Oliver’s business is comprised of
Ambition for the Space CADets Programme: The main aim of this initial 6
weeks is for Oliver to print his first official range of garments in a large enough quantity so that he can begin to sell them publicly. He’s also looking to showcase them at the end of the 6 weeks, and make his business fully operational.
Edge of the Universe Printing Press Who? The Edge of the Universe Printing
Press “empowers people to create, print, and distribute their own work. We offer a range of creative workshops – in writing, screen printing, self-publishing, etc. – that teach these skills. We also collaborate with other organisations on projects that enable specific groups to create and showcase work (e.g. school groups, youth groups, community groups). We also collaborate with others by providing printing / design services. Our key focus is on making writing, printing and publishing accessible to a much wider range of people – both financially, and in terms of simplifying often complicated processes (such as bringing a small press publication to print, or designing and creating a screen print). To this end, we often run our public workshops on a pay-what-you- feel basis; the funding / paid for private projects we do help support these kinds of activities. The types of organisations we most commonly provide these kinds of paid workshops for are educational institutions (universities, colleges, and schools); youth / community groups; third sector organisations; and private individuals interested in design, printing and creativity. We aim to give people the skills to create their own work, and a platform for them to share it.”
Activities: “At present, our activity centres
around screen printing and zinemaking workshop facilitation, as well as offering occasional design / print services. We have developed a portable and relatively cheap model for delivering screen printing workshops; this is much more inclusive than traditional, studio-bound screen printing, as it is both affordable and enables us to bring our kit to participants, rather than forcing them to come to us. We host semi regular public screen printing workshops, and are also hired to run screen printing workshops for other organisations. We also deliver zine-making workshops, and sell work created through those workshops at zine fairs and other events. We also offer occasional design and print services (for example, I designed the recent SheFest 2016 programme).”
Ambition for Space CADets Programme: “Our plan for the six weeks is to offer a series
of workshops guiding people through the publishing process: from writing, editing, and design through to printing and distribution. These workshops could be attended individually, or as a skills-building series. With the current way we operate, we have never been able to offer sequential, skillsbuilding workshops, or workshops that go into great detail about specific creative or entrepreneurial processes. Space CADets will therefore be a wonderful opportunity to start testing and refining these kinds of workshops. We intend these to be paid-for workshops; through this we can start road testing the financial viability of offering these kinds of workshops more regularly. This programme would also help us develop a “package” of workshops we could offer to educational institutions, youth organisations, and other groups interested in developing people’s literacy and communication skills, creativity, and entrepreneurship. We would probably also offer one of our pay-what-you-feel dropin screen printing workshops whilst we are residents of the space. I’m keen to bring more people to the Wicker, and this could be a good way to do that.”
Why? “The timing of the event was co-
ordinated to coincide with the change in our company structure and the expansion of our charitable work, and worked to give a platform to the artists and organisations that we work with on a weekly basis. Through this event we aimed to provide information about our services, our work in the city, the companies we have supported, the work of our artists, and to provide an opportunity for networking amongst attendees, so that attendees could fully understand how they could make the most of our charitable services and the opportunities we provide.”
Outcomes: “It gave studio holders the chance to exhibit work that wouldn’t usually have the opportunity, gave the public the opportunity to find out how they can access CADS’ charitable programmes, and gave our tenants the opportunity to network with influential people from the city.”
Appendix 1: Additional Charitable Events run in 2015-16 CADS Open Doors What? Our Open Doors event was an
opportunity for us to open up our main complex CADS Works, showcase the artistic talent operating out of its walls, and give people an all-areas look into the building, the businesses based here, and the history of our work.
How? The event comprised of: - A tour of CADS Works featuring a number of open studios showcasing the work that goes on behind close doors, as well as a tour of the renowned venue The Night Kitchen, and our Charity’s HQ. - A talk about the story of CADS’ evolution from three studios on Kelham Island, to a diverse network of buildings across Sheffield. -Information about our plans for 2015-18 for both CADS Trust and CADS Space. - Music and art from tenants working out of CADS studio spaces.
Why? The timing of the event was co-
ordinated to coincide with the change in our company structure and the expansion of our charitable work, and worked to give a platform to the artists and organisations that we work with on a weekly basis. Through this event we aimed to provide information about our services, our work in the city, the companies we have supported, the work of our artists, and to provide an opportunity for networking amongst attendees, so that attendees could fully understand how they could make the most of our charitable services and the opportunities we provide.
Outcomes: It gave studio holders the chance
to exhibit work that wouldn’t usually have the opportunity, gave the public the opportunity to find out how they can access CADS’ charitable programmes, and gave our tenants the opportunity to network with influential people from the city.
Appendix 2: Additional Space CADets and Charities supported in 2015-16: Sparkle First Birthday Event What? On the 22nd of September 2015,
we hosted the first birthday of Sparkle, a charity whose aim is to ensure children on the Spectrum can flourish by providing much needed support to families and by raising awareness of Autism. The event celebrated their first year of operations with an exhibition showcasing art by the children they’ve worked with, along with other performances and interactive activities designed for all ages and to be safe and engaging for children with autism.
How? Sparkle approached us about the space,
and we went on to provide them the space for free, helped them with event planning, and helped them prepare the spaces themselves to be specifically autism friendly.
Why? As an arts charity that supports
inclusivity, equality and access to the arts, we are hugely supportive of efforts like those undertaken by Sparkle to give a platform to children artists with autism.
Outcomes: The event was attended by
the Lord Mayor of Sheffield to mark the achievements of the charity, and we are extremely grateful to now be recognised as an Autism-Friendly Space by Sparkle. On the back of this event, several parents came to our Fun Palaces all-day festival also.
Quote: “[CADS Studios & Space Manager] Kiran and his team were REALLY helpful and didn’t charge us a penny for doing the event” “It was an amazing event, because all of our autistic children and their siblings got a chance to show off their beautiful art work in a gallery setting, which really boosted their confidence and showed how incredibly talented autistic children really are we even had a children’s entertainer which the children all loved” “The event would not have been a success without them [CADS]” Leesh, Founder of Sparkle Sheffield
Francesca Bethall-Collins Francesca is a self-employed local poet known as The Women of the Well and mother of two who has for a long time struggled to find space, time and resources to explore numerous business and artistic ideas.
Ambition: Francesca aimed to utilise her
first studio space to put the convergent business ideas and artistic ambitions she has been pursuing at home together “physically as well as in [her] head” and to produce work on this basis. Following on from a writing group which became disbanded but which gave her the discipline she needed, she had been performing poetry and writing a lot more, and she aimed to consolidate this activity. Of the space, Francesca said “I am confident it is the environment that will stimulate a surge of creative flow for me.”
Activities: Poetry, creative writing and business idea formulation.
Outcomes: Increased productivity,
clarity of artistic purpose and security in which to pursue that purpose, ability to meet other artists and share artistic experiences, increased output.
Quotes: Francesca benefited “greatly
from renting a more permanent writing and making studio in the future.” A poem written to summarise her experience of the Space CADets programme:
“How to lose oneself and find oneself at CADS... “...If one is to live and breath one’s art, or at least to experience life artificially, one needs space. This is not some sort
of elitist expectation. It is a practical solution to the challenge of creative enterprise. Artistic folk move in rhythms often at odds with conventional life in any society. Time and space can become chaotic. Artists: like everyone, can be prone to loosing themselves within the chaos. Or even finding themselves. I needed a place to find myself after chaotic interruptions; thereby allowing creativity to flow through me once again. CADS offered me a safe, yet stimulating space and time in which to gather myself. CADS provides an artistic home within and ‘without’. A ‘home within a home’. At CADS I have a work space and a thought space, and interaction with other resident artistic folk. Something unexpected was the lasting impact that having a separate space from other aspects of my life from which to receive visitors. Where else would I have serenaded and startled or lulled at night by the blended footsteps and voices, the harmonies of folk immersed in their own creative flow, and receiving their own visitors? There are many rooms, corridors, doors and buildings that are CADS, and many folk who have a sense of belonging to the collective enterprise. Where else would I have found such a family to which to belong? A family to which and whom to return.” Francesca Bethell-Collins – August 2016
Appendix 3: Get Creative Art Therapy Workshops – Full Report Undertaken and compiled by Victoria Knox and Iona McKenzie as part of the Community Placements Scheme run by the University of Sheffield Medical School. WE have observed and interviewed the participants of the Get Creative programme run in partnership between arts organisations CADS South Yorkshire, Sheffield Art Forge and SY ARTS. Our understanding of the course and its aims are as follows: - An open and free course accessible for everyone - Primary aim is to help those with mental health issues through creativity - Encourage people to express themselves and their problems through art media - Teach participants a variety of techniques and skills in varying media forms - A friendly place to go without the pressures of forced discussion or sharing - A dedicated time for creativity and selfexploration - Opportunity to discuss issues or problems with a trained art psychotherapist if desired Questions asked in interviews and summaries of answers given by interviewees are as follows:
1. How did you hear about the Get Creative Programme? People heard about the programme from a variety of sources. The most common forms seemed to be through word of mouth and leaflets. Sources included: - St Mary’s Time Builders Programme - Referral from Mental Health Services - Support groups - Art House or similar projects - Knowing other people involved in the course - One participant had attended the course last year and had returned
2. Did you have any previous experience with art? Most people had done some form of art before. However, this varied from proficient artists, to those with a creative background many years ago. Most participants did however state that previous experience in art wasn’t necessary to benefit from the course. Those who had never done art before came from a creative background, or had exhausted all other traditional forms of therapy and sought art as a new form of therapy. Everyone was open the potential benefits of art as a form of therapy before they started. Many participants felt that their mental health issues had deprived them of their creativity and felt this course was a wonderful opportunity to rediscover their talents and learn new skills.
3. What previous forms of therapy had you used before? Every participant suffering from mental health problems had undergone extensive therapy previously. Traditional therapies, including verbal counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, group therapy, and support groups had been used by most members of the programme. Some other forms of creative therapy had also been used such as: yoga, gardening and other art classes. Many participants discussed undergoing extensive talking therapy from which they had mixed results. They illustrated that this course was
a refreshing opportunity to approach their problems without the pressures of group discussion or personal one-to-one therapy. All participants expressed their appreciation of the open attitude of the course, with no formulaic structure surrounding their mental health issues. Each participant was experiencing different challenges but the relaxed environment enabled all of them to tackle them individually and of their own accord.
4. What problems were you facing before you started the course? There was a massive variety of people participating in the course with a variety of problems. Some people had no mental health issues, but struggled with isolation so used the course as a connection to the community. Others struggled with a variety of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, border-line personality disorder, low confidence and self-esteem, and Asperger’s Syndrome. Others suffered from more physical illnesses and the psychological repercussions of those, such as ME, cerebral ataxia, SLE etc. This list is by no means exhaustive, and the group is open to anyone from any background who feels they will benefit from it. Friday’s class’ participants were generally more unwell with their mental health conditions. This is reflected in their attendance (see later).
5. What was the attendance of the course? Overall 69% completed the course. Some attended every session, but others could not due to ill health or other commitments. In the Thursday group, most participants attended all, or it not the majority of the classes. In the Friday group, most participants had only attended 6-7 sessions due to their poor health. One participant had joined half way through the Friday course.
6. In summary has the course helped you? 100% of participants interviewed said the course had helped them.
7. How has the course helped you? Everyone said the course had helped them in some shape or form. Here are some quotes from participants to summarise how the course has helped them.
“It’s been nice to meet people and get out of the house and do stuff” “It’s been something for me” “My confidence is coming back. I lost it for 9 months. I wouldn’t have thought I would be here now, in the head space in this period of time.“ “The people on the course were really together and they showed interest in each other’s work without being asked, they just helped” “Being around other people who were understanding of me and who made me feel comfortable in the group has really helped my confidence” “I’m really pleased with what I’ve done, I really am. I don’t think any of the tutors had an outcome in their head about what they wanted you to get out of their teaching, so I’ve just taken small things about art that I’ve never known before. It’s been so liberating.” “I have more confidence now and I understand myself better. I feel more comfortable around others as I feel like they may understand me better too” (language problems) “It’s helped me to be in a group, which I found difficult” “It’s helped me to find out what I can and can’t do. And what I can’t do as well as I could before. And the openness of people in group helps me to feel accepted. No pressure.”
8. What medias were used during the programmes? - Textiles - Photography - Lantern making - Chicken wire sculptures - Drawing and painting - Fimo modelling - Metal work (previous year) - Glitter embossing
9. How successful were the formats of the classes? The majority of participants enjoyed having the variety of the course and different skills to learn. Personal preference lead some participants to suggest specific media needed longer to learn and practise. Many people suggested it was a good introductory course to different media and said if they expressed a particular interest in a specific media then they would need to find another way to practise this as three weeks wasn’t long enough to get to grips with everything. One participant had done the course the previous year where there was an underlying theme throughout.
Last year, the project incorporated all three media into one final piece for the exhibition with the theme of “unity”. She said this brought more direction without restriction to the course and gave participants a final goal. Upon comparison of the two courses she had completed, it was suggested that an underlying theme was beneficial for the participants. This level of direction was lacking from this year’s course. This might have contributed to the varying attendance from some participants.
10. What were your views on the skills that you were taught? From the Thursday class, the most common favourite media was textiles. Many people
hadn’t done this before so it was new skill. There was an overwhelming appreciation of the instruction and encouragement given by the tutor. Some people expressed a concern that there weren’t enough sewing machines. Many people, however, had gone out subsequently and bought fabrics with the intention of continuing textiles at home. The painting and drawing was successful. This seemed to be due to the focus of “mindfulness” from the tutor. Participants felt like this enabled them to express themselves no matter their ability. “I learnt so much more in Kay’s (drawing and painting tutor) 3 weeks of lessons than I learnt in a year at Art College”.The photography segment had mixed responses. Some people enjoyed going out and taking photos within the Sheffield community. People enjoyed being able to use the computers to edit and modify their photos. However, some people mentioned that there weren’t enough computers, and the room and equipment available wasn’t suitable for this media. There was a variety of ability within group, which with other media wasn’t an issue. This caused difficulties as only one tutor was present. It was said that “it was a lot of time sat twiddling our thumbs” and there was a lack of structure compared to the other modules. No one expressed an interest in continuing photography once the course was finished. A suggested improvement in this module was having more structure and new ideas each week to add an element of progression to their photography skills. The photography module was the first element of the course, which put some people off. It was suggested that the textiles part could be moved to the beginning as it seemed the most motivational and popular. The Friday class took on very different creative media. The chicken wire sculptures and lantern making were popular but it was mentioned that these were not skills that could be used at home by everyone. These two skills are very limited by space and very similar. The fimo modelling was popular as it could be done at home, with the right equipment. The impression we got was that the media used in the Friday classes required a more consistent attendance than the participants were able to give. This wasn’t conducive to producing a completed form of each media as was intended by the course
(final exhibition). It was appreciated that the techniques being taught were very abstract forms of creativity. However, for this group it may have been beneficial to have some more basic skills taught such as drawing and painting like the Thursday group. Many people enjoyed the flexibility offered by the course, in that they weren’t restricted by the media being taught that week. People were able to go back to previous skills or try new ones if they had finished a piece. Smaller aspects such as glitter embossing, drawing and ink work could be added to any media being taught at the time.
11. Did you benefit from the social aspect of the group? Every participant said yes. Here are some quotes: “It’s just been more of a social thing, something for me.” “The social aspect has benefited me more than the art. It’s been really nice” “I’ve found I’ve opened up a little bit more about my situation, we’ve started meeting up for lunch before we even go into the session. This is a real bonus, I didn’t expect that at all” “I think that’s been the best thing” “It’s a really comfortable environment.” “Doing art means that if you want to chat you can, but if not then you can just focus on the art and the group really understands and respects that” “It’s helped me to get out of bed and be motivated to come. I’ve actually made a lot of connections with people and it’s been really pleasant” I’ve made friends which helped my confidence massively. That was my main reason for coming here.” “That’s what I was missing I guess doing it at home. It was a very solitary process. But doing it with other people encouraging each other, I think better work comes out of it” “I think it’s something I want to do with others. It sounds ridiculous but it’s something I want to share with others.”
12. Does having a mixed group of people help? Everyone said yes. Some people said that seeing others deal with their problems encouraged them to face their own. There was a real sense of camaraderie within the groups, especially Thursday’s, with people helping others with both their art and their personal situations. People felt accepted by the group, no matter what their problems were, and felt no pressure to talk or share their problems if they didn’t want to. In comparison to traditional therapy, one participant said “it’s difficult to get help for your own problems, and you end up coming away from a session with all their problems. With creative art you’re not talking about how things are, you just get on with things. So when you leave it’s a different feel. I’d say that was more productive than chatting, actually creating.
It opens up your views… People express their feelings through their creativity. For me that’s a lot better than forcing someone to be in a position where they have to talk about the stuff they found hard to deal with.” Another participant said “it’s overwhelming at first but so is everything. It shouldn’t be avoided at all. People seem to think segregating people with mental health will help, but interacting is the best way forward and integrating and destigmatising is so important. It feels more like an art group, than therapy. You forget that you have these things going on. Its escapism. The onus isn’t put on the issues and on the art.”
13. Will you continue to use art once the course is finished? Many people said they would use art at home as a continuing form of therapy. Other people felt that if there was another class or course to go to, then they would continue to benefit from art. When asked about the information available regarding other courses there were mixed responses. Many people were aware of the courses offered at the Art House, but for some there were financial restraints. We felt that if more information was available about ways to continue tuition in each media, then this would be greatly received and beneficial.
14. Can you suggest any improvements for the course? Many people mentioned the lack of resources being an issue. This included having not enough computers for the photography section, and not enough sewing machines for the textiles section. Many people were happy that all the supplies were provided but felt bad that Ali and Alex had to transport all the materials over from the Art House themselves every week. People enjoyed being able to learn skills they didn’t have before. Some suggested ideas were things such as acrylic painting and papier mache. Participants enjoyed learning new things and skills that were transferable to other art forms. A big concern of some participants is the abrupt end to the course. Although they enjoyed the exhibition and the opportunity to show others what they had achieved, many expressed concern about the hole left in their schedule. One participant suggested an exit programme, whilst others suggested further guidance be available for entry to other courses. As we understand, a further course after Christmas is already being explored, which our research shows to be very important.
15. Please discuss the space and location the course has taken place in Many people expressed disappointment that the course was not held in the Art House. Union St, although convenient, isn’t an inspiring place for an art studio. Many people discussed the limitations of the room, from access for disabled people, to the cold, and lack of space. The following comments were made:
““There is no lift access and there are a few people in the group who struggle with stairs. It definitely needs to be more accessible.” “It feels a bit isolated within an organisational building and it shouldn’t feel like that”
However, people recognised the limitations of the programme currently, and were grateful that the course was free. This was deemed to be more important than the space it was held in. One participant respectfully said “Any space is a good space. It’s nice. It’s the people that make the space”.
16. Do you think you will continue to benefit from the course once it’s completed? Those who expressed an interest in continuing art thought they would continue to feel the benefits of the course. Although it was difficult to quantify for how long, the reaction was positive, and people thought it would help them in the long term. For some people the social aspect of the course was more important than the art. These people felt their mood may drop after some time out of the programme, but were hopeful of joining a second course after Christmas, or finding out about more programmes. Some participants expressed an interest in keeping in touch with others from the group. However they said this might be difficult once the programme is finished due to the isolating nature of mental health issues. The overriding impression from the participants was however positive.
In conclusion Having witnessed the classes and being involved with all the participants over the last few weeks, we came away convinced that the programme is very beneficial to all who take part, especially those with mental health issues. All participants enjoyed the creativity and the freedom given to them by the class, as well as the social aspects of the group. We can clearly see how important regular social interaction and art therapy has been to their well-being and feel it would be a great shame if the programme was to stop. Some participants have struggled for numerous years and have felt disappointed in traditional therapies. Creativity has helped them to express their feelings and emotions in different ways and benefited everyone in the groups. An obvious limitation to the success of this therapy is the lack of funding and therefore facilities. With more funding and support, this programme could be available to so many more people who could benefit, and be able to run for longer, further benefiting the current and future participants. Better facilities and more equipment would also go some way to improve the positive outcomes of the programme.
References 1. http://www.thecreativeindustries.co.uk/ media/243587/cic_report_final-hi-res-.pdf (p. 9) 2. http://www.theworkfoundation.com/ assets/docs/publications/277_a%20 creative%20block.pdf (p. 20) 3. http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/medoff/ files/the_employer_size-wage_effect.pdf (p. 16) 4. https://ccskills.org.uk/supporters/blog/ massive-growth-for-the-creative-sector-butare-workers-better-off 5. Creative Industry Strategy (p.10)
11. http://www.gov.scot/resource/ doc/289922/0088836.pdf (p. 13) 12. http://www.start2.co.uk/files/downloads/ Start_MC_downloads/Reports_on_Starts_ work/Start_evidence_base_March_2015. pdf (p.3) 13. http://www.start2.co.uk/files/downloads/ Start_MC_downloads/Reports_on_Starts_ work/Start_evidence_base_March_2015. pdf (p.3) 14. Ebersole, P., & Hess, P. (1998). Toward healthy aging: Human needs and nursing response (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: MosbyYear Book 10.
7. http://www.thecreativeindustries.co.uk/ media/243587/cic_report_final-hi-res-.pdf (p. 10)
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8. http://www.southbucks.gov.uk/ CHttpHandler.ashx?id=4422&p=0 ,
11. http://www.gov.scot/resource/ doc/289922/0088836.pdf (p. 13)
6. http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/how-wemake-impact/resilience-and-sustainability /
http://www.gov.scot/resource/ doc/289922/0088836.pdf (p. 17) 9. http://www.thecreativeindustries.co.uk/ media/243587/cic_report_final-hi-res-.pdf (p. 17) 10. https://creativeskillset.org/ assets/0000/6023/Sector_Skills_ Assessment_for_the_Creative_Industries_-_ Skillset_and_CCSkills_2011.pdf (p. 42), http://www.thecreativeindustries.co.uk/ media/243587/cic_report_final-hi-res-. pdf (p. 14), p.14 in Creative industry strategy, http://www.gov.scot/resource/ doc/289922/0088836.pdf (p. 12)
12. http://www.start2.co.uk/files/downloads/ Start_MC_downloads/Reports_on_Starts_ work/Start_evidence_base_March_2015. pdf (p.3) 13. http://www.start2.co.uk/files/downloads/ Start_MC_downloads/Reports_on_Starts_ work/Start_evidence_base_March_2015. pdf (p.3) 14. Ebersole, P., & Hess, P. (1998). Toward healthy aging: Human needs and nursing response (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: MosbyYear Book
CADS Trust is delighted to announce the launch of its Social Impact Report for 2015-2016, which details the charity's three-pronged initiati...
Published on Oct 6, 2016
CADS Trust is delighted to announce the launch of its Social Impact Report for 2015-2016, which details the charity's three-pronged initiati...