“I wanted to get up and do something which was a challenge. I learned respect for myself and for others as well. It’s not just the art work now it is about quality of life, about how I should be looking after myself as well. No one criticised me. I started at a very low level with my art work. Now I am able to move on.” (Studio member)

In 2011 we conducted a successful Control Trial with £48K funding from Anglia Ruskin University, which compared wellbeing and social inclusion results for those who attended an Open Arts course against those who remained on the waiting list. The results were statistically significant improvements for those who attended, compared with no change for those who did not attend. Those on the waiting list were offered a place on a subsequent Open Arts course, to which their evaluation results also showed improved scores. The study has been published in the Royal Society for Public Health Journal, Public Perspectives in Health.

Click here to read the waiting list controlled evaluation.

Click here to read the HOFS studio evaluation and summary.

The Open Arts Studio evaluation of the first year of the art studio (Jan - December 2013) is now published in the January 2015 edition of the Journal of Applied Arts and Health (Vol 5.3) The evaluation has been peer reviewed, which means that the findings have academic seal of approval. Although the study was small there was enough evidence to show that the studio project made a positive impact on well-being and mental health.

Click here to read the article.

The article can be downloaded via,id=19071/ Wilson, C., Kent, L., & Secker, J. (2014). Arts participation, mental wellbeing and social inclusion: mixed methods evaluation of an Open Arts studio for people with mental health needs. Journal of Applied Arts & Health, 5(3),