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Let's Share the Beauty of Creativity

Updated: Jan 7, 2022

Hi I’m Heather and I met Debbie a couple of years ago in Adult Learning Art classes in Barnsley.

Firstly here is a limerick I wrote especially for Debbie:

Recently I interviewed Debbie asking if she would share her story of how Creative Wellness Journey began and her vision for the future.

In celebration of the first year in March 2021 this seemed like an ideal time to share.

Creative Wellness Journey - Where did the idea come from?

A few years ago whilst on my own journey to wellness I found that creativity helped me change my life for the better.

Recovery over this time gave me many fun unique and exciting opportunities

and as a result, I recognise the value of self-care and making time for me.

As an adult in rediscovering my creative side a spark of an idea and dream began and for me this was the start.

Starting with hope and a new purpose for the future. I wanted to share my journey and lived experiences with others to give back to the community.

In helping and supporting others this idea filled me with a passion to make a difference, a project from the heart and desire to be more creative.

Have you always been creative?

My younger self mainly seen with paper and a box of crayons/felt tips, sat quietly drawing or colouring in.

A childhood TV favourite watching Tony Hart of Vision On /Take Hart he was my hero.

Also learning to knit at at a young age making clothes for my teddies and dolls was a fun pastime too.

However, at secondary school I remember being set back by a teacher who criticized my work and telling me I would never be any good at art which affected my self-confidence.

I had a secret dream to go to art college which I never mentioned to anyone.

How did you discover creativity in your career?

During my 40s I started working at the NHS as administration involving creating newsletters, posters and designing content for various websites.

This opened by eyes to a new interest in communication and helping others.

Through my career I project managed various websites such as "Healthy Schools" for Yorkshire & the Humber amongst others.

My passion was sharing good news stories, creating newsletters, posters, designing the website, writing content, showcasing at events and meetings, supporting health and wellbeing teams and a long list of other exciting tasks.

Sadly, these came to an end after many organisational changes over the years and with a combination of various life changes I lost my way.

How did you regain your creative spark?

What has influenced you most along the way?

During my life's journey I have met some wonderful people who became mentors and friends. I am blessed at times they could see my potential and gave me the opportunity to learn and develop.

Gary my art teacher has been a massive inspiration from the first class I attended in learning to draw in 2019 to the most recent online classes during the pandemic. This is how we met Heather and feel blessed we were brought together to learn art for wellness and become good friends.

Through attending recovery colleges in Yorkshire and working with an amazing team of people as a volunteer facilitator at Leeds Recovery College working with mental wellness.

Many friends who support me now in Creative Wellness Journey and are part of the team.

Also, through connecting with Naetha at Recovery Coach Academy where hearts and minds connected a mentor and friend.

What does creative writing/art do for your mental and physical well being?

I found that learning to write my journal by writing down my feelings helped me to “brain-dump” my anxieties, frustrations and pains. Getting my thoughts out of my head was therapeutic and helped to released stress and anxiety.

It also acted as a boost for my memory and stop being afraid of forgetting things. Especially when I experienced brain freeze or my brain kept me awake at night.

Through creative writing this helped me to express myself and was a good way to free up any tension that prevented me from feeling happy.

Through drawing and painting this allowed me to relax, to switch off my brain, take time out to enjoy something new, learn skills and meet new friends through art class. The projects designed for health and wellbeing looking at helping you with mental wellness which keep me sane, peaceful and relaxed.

Tell me about Creative Wellness Journey to Wellness?

The basic designs and plans started in March 2020 and when lockdown came this seemed like an ideal opportunity to launch.

Now 12 months later I am very proud of how the communities and groups have blossomed, the friends I have met, new connections made, the fantastic work created by others and shared in the groups.

I feel blessed for the wonderful feedback of encouragement and support.

My own personal creative skills have grown too and my passion for learning which is amazing after feeling I would never be able to study again.

Why is community important to you?

A place to bring people together to provide a safe place to share tools and resources that could help others follow their own path to a better future.

Encouraging members to engage, make friends, show their work came from a thought in the back of my mind a creative spark.

This idea evolved through rediscovered my passion for creativity and slowly over time through meeting people who touched my life, new friendships, exploring "me time" and following my mental health wellness journey I came up with the idea for Creative Wellness online.

A community space online “Art journaling” learning others to share a visual diary in a creative way to express themselves in their own style of journal.

You can use them to record your thoughts and express emotions while exploring different artistic styles. Through having a creative response to everyday life is a magnificent journey of self-discovery.

What about the future?

Lockdown has given me an opportunity to reflect on my life, the way I live, my priorities and perspectives. I don’t want to go back to life exactly the same as it was before.

Best things in life are free friends, family and health and appreciated how much they mean to you.

Working from home improved my life less travel, more time, flexible hours and how I hate the rat race.

Self soothe is about looking after YOU and finding your own truth.

Difficult Roads Often lead to beautiful destinations keep moving forward.

Finding new hobbies and topics of interest that expand your mind, provide wonderful ideas for creative experiences.

In launching the charity as a business “Creative Wellness Journey CIC”, a non-profit organisation.

The future is looking at.............

  • Providing a safe environment for members to learn how to express emotions through creativity.

  • In working with other communities develop working alliances and partnerships for the benefit of everyone.

  • Looking at developing online courses and materials for art for wellness.

In launching the charity as a business “Creative Wellness Journey CIC”, a non-profit organisation and online website for members.

How can people join as members?

Join and become a member of Creative Wellness Journey

and take advantage of learning about different

multimedia projects shared for you to start being creative.

You will become a part of a group of like-minded people on the same path as you: looking to be creative to improve your wellbeing.

Take a look at creative --- tips, guides and practical projects you can apply

right away, starting today.

Wanting to learn to draw and paint for wellness?

Never drawn or painted before?

Debbie C Story
Download PDF • 17.39MB

Written by Heather R

Copyright © 2021, Creative Wellness Journey

Debbie Crouch

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