Prescription Art Test Valley is a local social prescribing project focusing on building confidence, friendships and providing an outlet for previously unexplored creative instincts.
It was developed and delivered by a volunteer team and commenced in January 2017 with a pilot art class in Romsey and now continues with four six week sessions per year, plus a thriving follow on class for participants who have completed the initial six week course. Classes are held at the Dr Peter Centre in Romsey.
Patients with mild depression, anxiety, loneliness, bereavement are referred by their General Practitioner or other health practitioners for a course of six weeks either singing or art as an alternative or adjunct to medication.
We were granted charitable status in April 2018.
Classes are free, the funds have been raised locally and by grants from various sources.
Recent donations can be viewed on our fundraising page.
The first Prescription Art pilot project ran during January and February 2017 and consisted of two streams of six weekly workshops; a choice of art or singing for patients experiencing moderate mental health problems. The referrals came from four local GP practices and the community mental health team.
The art workshops took place in workshop space on the top floor of the Rum’s Eg Gallery building, and the singing workshops at the Romsey Appletree Centre in conjunction with Andover Mind. Medical diagnosis was not disclosed but both groups were facilitated by experts with the appropriate skills to manage both individual issues, and group dynamics.
The objective of each group facilitator was to improve patient wellbeing through attending the workshops within a short time frame (the usual time span is at least 10 weeks)
Workshops, materials and refreshments were free of charge.
Preparation of the art room was meticulous so as to ensure a safe, peaceful and nurturing environment that would facilitate everyone’s confidence to explore individual and collective creativity.
Patients completed pre and post participation questionnaires together with the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well Being Scale
The final art group session held an “open house” event, sharing their experience with others and exhibiting their work. They also enjoyed a presentation to the group by an artist who was currently exhibiting in Rum’s Eg at one session. Apart from these two shared moments the group worked together in an uninterrupted and secure space.
Closure of the sessions was not easy for this inaugural group, and on-going opportunities were discussed amongst the group at the end of the sessions. The group bonded quickly; mutual support was evident at an early stage. Shared experience and new friendships emerged after 2/3 sessions.
Our partners and friends… What would we have done without you?
Your contribution to our development has been invaluable. Thank you for helping us get where we are.
Rum’s Eg Gallery, Lindsey Parsons (Maritime Zone Solutions), Chas Old, White Dog Gallery, Broadlands Solar Farm Project Fund, Heart of Experian Fund, Mayor of Test Valley Fund, Catherine Lamont-Robinson, Nick Vaughan, Sue Farr, Romsey Conservative Working Men's Club, Dovetail Framing.