In Our Own Hands …. Inventing the Future

 In Give2Gain CIC

Beginnings… Arts for Recovery in the Community (Arc) began as the Mind Arts Project, as part of Stockport Mind, in 1995.  In 2004, Arc became a registered charity, and began their journey of inventing the future. Since its creation, it has been led by artists who promote creative processes, with the aim of benefiting people’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as helping communities develop. They continue to work with a wide range of people, from those experiencing acute mental illness right through to families who want to get involved in art for leisure and wellbeing.

Since their beginnings …. Arc has always promoted an inclusive approach to art. Their staff, artists and volunteers provide space where stories and experiences are shared and togetherness created. Arc are mindful that most of us, including our families and friends, are, or will be, touched by mental health issues, at some point in our lives and that resilience is required to manage or overcome these experiences. They know that creative approaches promote feelings of being connected and feeling great, proud and confident. Which in turn enables people, experiencing mental health issues, to manage their experiences and any associated feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Volunteers contribute to all their programmes, as well as work in the gallery and the café. Some volunteers have previously been part of a programme or scheme and have gone on to become a volunteer. Others value the work done by Arc, and have volunteered to support the artists.

Some of their current projects include …..

Love Letter to Glossop: which will take place in July 2017. Arc are one of the partners offering local people the opportunity to write a love letter to their town. In their letter, people will tell Glossop what they love about living there.  Or if a visitor, they will be invited to write a letter about how Glossop makes them feel.  All of which aims to document and celebrate what makes the town special.

Productive Development for Arc designer-makers: Artists and designers have trained groups of volunteers, in teams, including vulnerable people, in artistic skills such as block printing or ceramics. In addition to this, the teams have been introduced to the process of turning a product into a sale including: quality control; pricing; packaging and marketing. The artists have now left and the teams have new briefs that will enable them to continue their development, and produce products, for sale, for Christmas. All products will be available for the annual Art Bazaar which will take place on the last Saturday of November 2017.

Wellbeing Programme for Adults: People are referred, from across the Stockport borough, into this Programme. The Programme is delivered in various settings and attendees learn new skills, make friends and develop healthy resilience within their lives.

Partnership Projects includes: working with Stockport Women’s Centre, the Wellspring and they are currently running a new programme for Creative Mums at the Reddish Vale Children’s Centre.

The Public Programme provides a range of activities and events, such as the ceramics open evening in July 2017 . These events are usually open to everyone, with some sessions for beginners and others for those with more skills.

The Gallery, which needs to be visited to be appreciated, has been updated and surrounds a café. It is used to showcase various artistic processes, as well as having various art for sale. It is open every day of the week plus the last Saturday of the month. On the last Saturday of the month, there are drop-in family activities available. You can also arrange to work in the gallery, or book the gallery space, or main studio space, for a meeting or event. All details are on the website under the Facilities page.

Why not join our journey of endless possibilities by becoming a member of the Give2Gain Community at


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