Our Vision, Mission, and Values

Everything we do at Arty-Folks is driven by our Vision, Mission and Values.

We ascribe to the World Health Organisation’s description of good mental health as being “a state of well-being in which the person realizes and uses his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to his or her community”.

Arty-Folks exists to inspire people recovering from mental health problems to realise their full potential and lead fulfilling lives through the visual arts.


We are working towards a world that understands creativity is not just a ‘nice to have’ but is the foundation of good mental health.

The visual arts especially have an amazing ability to bring people together, enabling us to find strength in ourselves and each other, and create a genuine sense of belonging with profound impact on our sense of wellbeing and purpose in life.

Notes to Strangers


Mental stress is a normal reaction to distressing life situations.
We reach out to people trapped in mental ill health and we empower them to turn their stories and messages into compelling works of art that challenge established thinking patterns, transform lives and create social change.

We bring people together to share life experiences and reclaim a sense of ‘norm’ and through the creative process strengthen identity and control over their lives and futures.



Genuine Acceptance

We respect and value the uniqueness of the individual, and our person-centered practice is built on genuine acceptance, compassion, and understanding that ‘recovery’ is a very personal journey.

We create a non-judgemental environment that promotes personal worth, social confidence, respect for self and others, and we encourage people to make decisions that are right for them.


Creative Excellence

Arty-Folks’ creative program is responsive to the needs and interests of participants but is also ambitious and strives for the highest artistic outcomes.  We unlock our members’ creative potential and we inspire them to share narratives with confidence, to celebrate their journey and to challenge people’s perceptions of mental health.

We promote a culture of life-long creative learning that fosters problem solving skills and enables people to develop a new sense of self beyond a medical diagnosis.


Empowering People

At Arty-Folks there are no passive ‘service users’ and there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’.  We encourage all to have and exert influence with a voice that is heard throughout our charity, from Peer Volunteers, members of staff, to Advisers and Trustees to the Board.

We are committed to offering a pathway that moves people from isolation to sustained community engagement and active citizenship which takes time and requires longer term and consistent support.