Volunteer Art and Wellbeing Workshop

 In News and events, Volunteering

As part of Friends of the Family’s focus on wellbeing for our staff, volunteers, families, and children, 16 volunteers and FOTF staff enjoyed an afternoon of mindful art and wellbeing on Thursday 29th September at the Salvation Army Hall in Winchester.

The session was led by Mandy Fisher, an Art Therapist with Hampshire and Wiltshire Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service and was an opportunity for volunteers to come together to learn about Mandy’s work with vulnerable children and how art can be used as vehicle to help support mental health and wellbeing.

After a light lunch and networking, Mandy shared some fascinating work that she has completed with children and adolescents who are referred to CAMHS for support. She then invited the volunteers to explore a wonderful range of natural and art resources and then experiment with simple mark making techniques using them. Despite some initial reticence and comments of “I can’t draw!” Mandy reassured and encouraged the volunteers to have a go and to not worry about what other people were or were not doing! The results were amazing, and all the volunteers engaged positively with the exercise. Mandy then demonstrated the technique of mindfulness drawing and gave the volunteers ideas and tips of how they might use this with their focus children. They also had the opportunity to explore some simple clay techniques too.

The afternoon was a great success, one befriender Julie said “The workshop has been amazing it was so well organised, Mandy was fascinating to listen to and she gave us some really good practical ideas. It was a great on a professional level but also just what I needed to have some headspace, so thank you!”

Another volunteer Marion said “The activities were great and I really enjoyed doing something for myself. I will try some of these activities with my focus child too.”

Friends of the Family be using art and wellbeing as its focus for future workshops with our 5s to 13s focus children and at our AGM on Thursday 10th November.