The National Horseracing Museum and Newmarket Community Arts are looking for participants for their free Creative Community Art Club which will run for six months at the National Horseracing Museum.

Creative Community Art Club has been developed to address the local need around lack of sleep and is aimed at adults who would like to learn new, or develop existing, creative skills, and would like to develop creative self-care and sleep routines. The Club will bring up to twelve people from all walks of life together for a creative activity and refreshments once a month over six months and we are currently looking for people to sign up! The first session will be on Friday 17 November 2023 and thereafter on the third Friday of the month until the project ends in 2024. Participants complete a ‘where we are’ survey at the first session which will create a benchmark for sleep and general wellbeing which will then be checked against throughout the project.

Creative Programme Manager, Sarah Coleman explained: ‘For us success will be that participants will have gained in confidence, developed creative skills and be able to report back to us on improved sleep, rest and relaxation all through using their new creative techniques inspired by attending the Creative Community Art Club. It’s open to anyone who’d like to develop their artistic skills and manage their sleep routines through creativity.’

Working with a community artist who has experience in wellbeing and self-care creative projects and the Museum’s Creative Programme Manager, participants will learn how to create art using different artforms, build a portfolio of work, meet others and be part of a community. The Museum is in an ideal location in the centre of town for participants to get to easily and is fully accessible to all. Refreshments will be included in the Tack Room halfway through each session.

Participants will discover how to use art techniques to develop positive sleep routines and receive a ‘sleep creative kit’ at the start containing a notebook, sketchbook and pencil. They will continue practicing their skills and being creative at home between sessions in their own time around any other commitments they may have and use drawing as part of a personalized sleep routine of winding down before bedtime or a means of relaxing for self-care in the day to then achieve a good night’s sleep.

At the end of the six sessions, participants will be given an opportunity to display their work in the museum.

The six sessions will happen in The Alborada Education Suite and around the Museum and wider site and the break for refreshments will be in the Tack Room, the museum’s on-site restaurant. The Creative Community Art Club is fully funded and there is no charge to participants taking part or for refreshments.

Project background and description

Recent research collected from people living in Newmarket exploring wellbeing and public mental health and emotional needs commissioned by Suffolk Mind in early 2023 has inspired this six-session community art club. The research gives an insight into the legacy impact of the covid-19 pandemic on people’s daily lives. People were asked to rank wellbeing indicators on a scale from minus three to three and according to data collected In Newmarket sleep is the biggest need with the highest proportion of minus rankings from respondents across all ages, economic status and industries.

There are significantly large numbers of adults of all ages and from all walks of life who suffer sleep poverty, but those living with a disability or long-term injury, people with developmental or learning disability and those unable to work are impacted slightly more.

Sleep is fundamental for good health and wellbeing, poor sleep on a regular basis puts people at risk of serious medical conditions, creates low mood, affect decision making and concentration and can cause accidents.

About the funding

Public Mental Health funding has been approved by West Suffolk Council for the Creative Community Art Club project to address local need in Newmarket around lack of sleep. The project is aimed at adults who would like to learn new, or develop existing, creative skills, and would like to develop creative self-care and sleep routines. This award is for supporting, enabling and strengthening the protective factors for good mental wellbeing.


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