For funding, commissioning, referring and participating partners

Creativity In Care is a values-led community interest company, specialising in socially engaged arts and arts in health steered by individuals and communities in the Highlands.

Our work was recognised for tackling health inequalities, increasing community cohesion and increasing individual confidence by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts in Health. We were awarded outstanding achievement for partnership working by Highland Third Sector Interface.

Our purpose is to improve quality of life, inclusion and joyfulness by increasing individual and community resilience and compassion with the BICEPS model of connection. (K.Marshall 2012). 

Our Vision: is a world where each person realises how amazing he or she is, regardless of abilities, illness or conditions. 

Creativity In Care CIC began in response to the following identified needs:

  • Isolated and excluded individuals
  • People experiencing limited opportunities or possibilities 
  • People feeling hopeless about their diagnosis or situation
  • People feeling stigmatised 
  • Overwhelmed care systems 

Our objectives are to meet these needs through arts, education, collaboration and promotion of equalities thinking.  

Governance and structure:

Creativity In Care incorporated on 6th December 2012, as a company limited by guarantee, without shares. Our assets are locked for community purpose. Four board directors are accountable for financial decisions & major operational decisions with the project manager. There are 12 Creativity In Care CIC  members including previous participants of programmes. We have two employees (project manager and community artist), three sessional artists, one part-time administrator and four volunteers. The team meet weekly. The Directors connect regularly and meet quarterly.

For Whom: Annually we engage with over 600 individuals around the Highland,, plus thousands through exhibitions. We work with families with young children; people managing their mental health recovery; people living with dementia and other long term conditions; family carers; families affected by addictions; and people who describe themselves as well and able, who support community cohesion, equality and diversity. Our stakeholders include families, carers, artists, health and social care third sector partners, our staff and funders.

Products and services: We co-design and deliver creative workshops and socially engaged community arts programmes and kits, face-to-face, online and by post.  We are in the process of publishing a poetry in motion book. 

Income: Our current income is made up of national and local grants, commissioned sales, cash sales and donations. Our strategic plan is to develop and grow the organisation to build capacity, so we can increase sales and commissioned work to benefit more people. The year 2020-2021 has seen significant growth in the organisation.

Who do we work with? We have participating, commissioning, referring and funding partners.  Community groups and third sector organisations commission our kits, workshops or programmes and refer people they work with.  These are mainly Highland based, but we do have occasional Scotland/UK wide partners. We report to the Community Interest Company Regulator about our partnerships each year, which have included Connecting Carers, Birchwood Highland, LGOWIT, Befrienders Highland.  Funding partners support a range of specific group activity and wider community work.  Donations go towards activities such as printing booklets. We have also been involved in the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival for past ten years. We are always open to working with new partnership organisations and funders to further our reach and collaborations with individuals steering or engaging in the projects.

What difference do we make? Our work creates beneficial individual change and makes a positive difference.  This is measured through a variety of evaluation tools, including relevant self-assessment, creative metaphorical measures, and external feedback.  Our work is not just about the art! We use a tried and tested creative model of connection with arts, with mindful, person-focused approaches and reflections, to have a deeper understanding of ourselves and one another.  Our programmes: 

  • Offer opportunities to participate beyond barriers of finance, labels or rurality
  • Inspire or re-ignite innate creativity, skills and abilities
  • Improve social connections and personal relationships
  • Identify self-management opportunities and choices
  • Inspire better coping strategies and increased resilience
  • Promote feelings of achievement, identity and value
  • Offer a sense of structure, purpose and meaning 
  • Offer respite from worrying thoughts
  • Increase understanding of and improve self-care

Programme Participant Feedback:

‘This programme was literally a life saver. Even before Covid I was in a very low place as I had lost all sense of who I was. The sudden loss of support came as an added shock that tipped me over, but you invited me to this group. It was like being wrapped in a warm blanket until I could get myself back on track and take action…’

‘I found the activities helped release tension from very dark feelings of loneliness and overwhelm….I want to do more, to teach my children how to express their feelings through art. It is very powerful.”  

 “I’ve done things I’ve never done before, and feel proud of what I achieved. I love being able to see what other people had made and encouraging one another. I feel like I have a new family..” 

 “I’ve very limited contact with the outside world, but this zoom window made all the difference. I’ve learned I can improve my mental health and can be more relaxed. I’m ready to do more.’ 

‘We had a kit early on in lockdown, which was a lifesaver! When I saw the online course as well, I was really excited. It has given me something to look forward to and I cannot thank you enough!’