The project will show commitment to innovation and inclusiveness by working in collaboration with artists who are survivors of mental health services (universally known as service users but redefined from a strengths-based perspective as “survivors”), academic staff and student volunteers.
Working in partnership with Arty Folks, an arts project based in Coventry, we will create artworks that will inspire, intrigue and challenge social work students and all those who use the facilities within CLL. We aim to create a space that generates creative thinking.
CLL is a department whose core aim is widening participation, and several courses encourage people who have not come to Higher Education through the traditional routes and who themselves have a wealth of life experiences, including being users of services in the formal and informal sense.
By creating artworks that emphasise the universality of the service-user experience and the notion that there is a continuum on which we all exist, weaving between non-user and user at various points within our lives, we are creating an inclusive and collaborative environment where trainee professionals (social workers and counsellors) can experience this understanding in a creative environment.
Jane Thakoordin is a Teaching Fellow in the Social Work Group in the Centre for Lifelong Learning.