Turner's House Trust - Museums Association

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Conference 2024: The Joy of Museums booking open now – Book before 31 March 2024 for a 10% discount

Turner’s House Trust

Art & Heritage – Wellbeing at Turner’s House

Art & Heritage – Wellbeing at Turner’s House engages with people receiving mental health support to promote mental and physical wellbeing, alleviate loneliness, encourage creativity and build confidence.

One in four people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England, and an estimated 20,000 people in the Richmond borough have a common mental health problem.

Working in partnership with Richmond Mind, Turner’s House offers creative workshops inspired by Turner, his themes, and contemporary artists. The sessions encourage participants to experiment in their art and to understand that there are “no bad outcomes”.  Participants are encouraged to develop new knowledge and skills that support them in their journey to improve their mental wellbeing.

The team at Turner’s House collected feedback and tracked the impact of the project using evaluation forms and measuring tools such as the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale. 80% of participants felt that their mental wellbeing had improved, 100% felt more optimistic, and 80% felt more connected after the workshops.

During the sessions, team members noticed how participants showed improved confidence in sharing their work with the group and talking about it with ease.

Participants also commented that they could increasingly see the possibility of their mental wellbeing improving. One participant said that they “felt included, engaging, learned new techniques. This group has been the best art group I’ve ever attended.”

In March 2023, the house exhibited artworks produced during these sessions, giving participants the opportunity to show off their work and skills in a museum space. The exhibition was open to the public for three weeks and encouraged participants to feel proud of their work and more confident in their skills. 

The exhibition was visited by more than 250 attendees, who were invited to leave comments using Post-It notes which were then added to one of the walls as part of the exhibition. The comments showed that visitors were impressed by the time and creativity that the participants had invested in their work, and how the exhibition was a great place to start thinking about art as tool to improve wellbeing.

Art & Heritage – Wellbeing at Turner’s House was shortlisted for the Best Small Museum Project award at the Museums Change Lives Awards 2023.

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