Arts on Prescription – Workshops for Secondary Schools

 Art of Resilience – Visual Art Workshop Programme for Secondary Schools

We currently offer Arts and Minds workshops for schools students in Years 9 and 10, led by professional artists and supported by a qualified psychotherapist where participants can try a variety of creative activities, including drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. County Council interest has led to the funding of a roll out across the County with two participating schools in each district. 

Since the initial pilots took place at Ernulf Academy, St Neots and Cambourne Village College;  Arts and Minds have continued to facilitate the ‘Art of Resilience’ programme across six further Secondary schools in Cambridgeshire. In addition to this, four further Schools will benefit from the programme in January 2018. 

Phase 1, involved Netherhall School, Swavesey Village College and Cromwell Community College which took place from April- July 2017.
Phase 2, began in September 2017 and is currently underway at North Cambridge Academy, Melbourn Village College and Ely College.
Preparations are now in place for Phase 3 and this is due to commence in January 2018 at Coleridge Community College, Soham Village College, Neale-Wade Academy, March and Abbey College, Ramsey.


Ethically Approved Research

We are working with a PHD candidate from Anglia Ruskin University (read more on People page) who specialises in youth mental health services, to evaluate the impact work such as this has on the young people taking part. Following discussions with Senior Management and Pastoral Care Staff at host schools and Child and Adolescent Counselling service Centre 33 we reduced the number of measures from five to two. These are now  ‘True Resilience Scale’ and Warwick/Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale as these were considered to be the scales most relevance to school attainment, behaviour and attendance. NB.This work is now part of a new collaboration of charities with ambitions to address the mental health needs of children and young people aged 0-25years old which launched on October 5 at Corn Exchange, Cambridge.

A full evaluation of the scheme will be posted on this site in 2018, but an interim analysis shows positive impact for the initial cohorts :


27 young participants gave us feedback on their resilience before and after the completion of the arts workshops, allowing us to see whether there are any improvements. Comparing the findings before and after the workshops we found :

  • Resilience before arts workshops → Resilience after arts workshops: 21 % increase

Mental wellbeing (WEMWBS):

Mental wellbeing was measured in 37 young participants before and after the arts workshops. Comparing outcomes before and after the completion of the arts workshops we found a 15.7% improvement in the levels of mental wellbeing.

  • Mental wellbeing before arts workshops → mental wellbeing after arts workshops: 15.7 % increase

Blog Posts from Pilot 2

Working on Pilot 2 was artist facilitator Sheila Ceccarelli from Access Art and Psychotherapist Yael Pilowsky Bankirer who have compiled a comprehensive series of blog style postings on the work as it progressed with some beautiful images too. View the Blog