Arty-Folks was awarded PQASSO Quality Mark level 1 in February 2015 by the National Council for Voluntary Organisation (NCVO).

“Arty-Folks is a small but extremely effective charity that is particularly good at defining its aims and objectives, monitoring and evaluating its outcomes, involving and developing its service users and meeting their and its funders’ needs.

It has a clear commitment to quality and those interviewed were very clear about the improvements that had been produced.”

PQASSO Quality Assurance Award

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)  supports the third sector across England and delivers all aspects of the PQASSO quality management system.

Organisations across the UK and overseas use PQASSO as a framework to review organisational structures and practice, leading to improvements that strengthen and build the capacity of the organisation.

In June 2019 Arty-Folks are awarded the quality mark ‘Investors in Volunteering’ by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations after demonstrating best practice in all aspects of working with our volunteers.

Peter Smith, assessor NCVO: “Arty-Folks commitment to volunteering being a two-way process was brought out in my interviews with all volunteers. Staff and volunteers have a shared understanding and there is a strong sense throughout the charity that you’re moving forward as a team for the benefit of your service users.”

Investing in Volunteering has been designed to be an effective and rigorous process to ensure our volunteers receive the best possible support to develop their skills and confidence in their role.

NCVO Investors in Volunteering

On 6th September 2019 Arty-Folks volunteers past and present who support us as Trustees, Advisors, and Peer Volunteers came together to celebrate receiving this award.  We were joined by representatives of our funders Lloyds Bank Foundation, Heart of England Foundation, and People’s Health Trust.

Over 300 service users have volunteered their time for Arty-Folks since we started our first art group in April 1996. We are immensely proud of our Peer Volunteers who have grown through the service to become role models to recovery and instil others with a sense of hope for a better future.

We are most grateful for their unpaid time, commitment, passion, and for sharing their lived experience of mental ill health that helped Arty-Folks grow into a unique art and mental health charity.

‘Celebrating Civil Society in the Midlands’ event was held on Wednesday, 29th March 2017 at No 10 Downing Street, and was hosted by Rob Wilson MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Civil Society, who was standing in for the Prime Minister, Theresa May.

The reception was attended by a variety of charities, Social Enterprises and faith leaders, who are delivering social impact across the West Midlands.

John Gough, Chair of Arty-Folks, attended the ‘Celebrating Civil Society in the Midlands’ Reception.

Civil Society Celebration
at Downing Street

The then Prime Minister Theresa May had been vocal in her support of people with mental health issues, and our Chair John Gough attended the celebration to urge for a rethink of austerity cuts.

As a leading grassroots service user led charity in the Midlands we have considerable experience how cutbacks have affected service provision.  We urge all political parties to ensure that people with mental ill health are treated with compassion and respect, and to design services that are fit for purpose and empower people to progress on their recovery journey.