Canvas of Change

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a project funded by the Heart of England Community Foundation Inclusive Communities Fund.

We are excited to announce that with this funding are able to expand our support programme and lower our age remit to include vulnerable young people 16 & 17 year-olds with mental ill health who are struggling to adjust to adulthood.

Since the pandemic, we have seen a sharp increase of young people battling with enduring mental health conditions since early childhood, and tragically are now registered disabled. Reflecting on their early life experiences, they feel opportunities to address deep-cutting traumas in a safe space and with the support of their peers would have made a vast difference to their lives. This Canvas of Change project will provide the holistic programme of support young people need to reframe life experiences that can otherwise carry through into adulthood, affecting both physical and mental health to come.

Canvas of Change is designed to support young people 16+ transitioning from CAMHS (Child&Adolescent Mental Health Services) to adult services, those unable to attend school with social anxiety but who are deemed to be ‘below the threshold’ for NHS treatment, as well as those who feel lost, overwhelmed, and unable to give their life direction.

This transformational programme nurtures creative thinking and bolsters their individuality through visual storytelling, 1:1 life coaching, peer volunteering and mentoring that will help them see beyond the limitations of a medical diagnosis. It includes weekly art therapy workshops in a small Creative Peer Support group, Master Classes with digital artists (animation, film, podcast), working alongside an artist in residence. For some, this will culminate in building portfolios for entry to College/University, and learning to curate their own exhibitions.

All young people will gain insight into creative career routes that will elevate their aspirations and optimism for their future whatever path they seek. But most importantly, young people will be able to forge supportive friendships that will last a lifetime and that will empower them to bridge the gap from dependence on statutory services to living their lives as confident adults and active agents.

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