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Giving vulnerable women the chance to be creative

Posted onPosted on 15th Jan

Mansfield Museum is launching a two-year project aimed at empowering local vulnerable women to take positive control of their lives.

Creative Women Together will be a coordinated, holistic and therapeutic project giving vulnerable or at risk women a creative experience that they can be proud of.

They will work with the museum’s paintings, jewellery and ceramics collection and take part in arts activities, made possible through £89,680 funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

The project is a first for Mansfield District Council’s Cultural Services in its ambition to make social and health impacts. It will also be part of a series of social prescribing projects that will see new approaches to addressing health and wellbeing challenges in Mansfield.

Jodie Henshaw, museum curator, said: “The impact that Covid-19 will have had on vulnerable women in our area means there are those who will have endured extra suffering, isolation and trauma during this time.

“This programme will provide a healing journey that is caring, loving, non-descriptive and non-judgemental. By taking part in this project, participants will make new connections, overcome barriers and explore emotions by building their confidence and self-esteem.

“I’m excited to open our museum doors later in the year and welcome the participants into our friendly and safe space.”

Coun Stuart Richardson, portfolio holder for regeneration and growth, added: “I’m so pleased that our town’s museum has been successful in receiving this substantial amount of funding.

“This important project for local women at risk is a significant achievement for the council’s wellbeing priorities and makes our beloved collections accessible to people who may otherwise not have engaged with our cultural venues.”

The council aid too many women in Mansfield experience violence, abuse and trauma; facing multiple problems like very low self-esteem, poor mental and physical health. Many have faced lifelong problems trapped in a vicious cycle, unable to build positive experiences in their lives.

The project will see women at risk develop an understanding of fine art through engaging with the collection of ceramics, paintings and jewellery over the next two years.

Activities will be delivered with Nottinghamshire Independent Domestic Abuse Service, Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid, Jigsaw Support Scheme (hoarding addiction), Nottinghamshire Sexual Violence Support Services and Changing Lives.