Using creative arts to transform lives

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Case Studies

Pilgrim Hearts works with a variety of different groups using different creative arts activities.

Our creative arts workshops help people develop their gifts, and regain their self-esteem through sharing experiences and self-expression. We work with many charities and community groups in Berkshire. We specialise in working with vulnerable adults with addictions, mental health issues and special needs, as we unlock their creative ability through the process.

Currently we run a Drop In in Bracknell for the homeless. On Tuesdays we run workshops to assist the guests.-The stories from previous projects are told in this section to give you an idea of the sort of things that can be done and what can be achieved. If you are interested in helping to volunteer with Pilgrim Hearts, why not contact Elaine Chalmers-Brown on 01344 307030 or  

1. Art workshops

We ran a pilot series of creative arts workshops over ten months working with our partners at Trinity Homeless Projects and Slough Homeless Our Concern (SHOC). This was with funding from a 'Mustard seed' grant from the Church Urban Fund. Thirty homeless people attended a total of 10 workshops at SHOC; three of them went on to further vocational training or volunteering; others showed improvement in morale, motivation and self esteem. One client started his own business. At Trinity, 17 homeless people attended a series of 12 workshops; 8 of them went on to find a job or vocational training. Many had never attended any training before this so it was a major breakthrough for them; this is evidence of a gap in local provision. This pilot series of creative arts workshops was welcomed by our partners at SHOC and Trinity and is evidence of a need.

Our creative arts workshops have boosted the self esteem of all who have taken part; many now have the confidence to go out and find work. Several who had never engaged with the training programmes offered by SHOC gained the confidence, self assurance and motivation to sign up and engage with the help offered. At another centre volunteers came up and said that person you are talking with has never spoken to anyone here for a least four years. It works!

3. Drama Workshops

A series of drama and arts workshops at the Reading Churches Women’s Centre aimed at helping women who feel vulnerable to express their needs and to boost their personal confidence. They explored the role of women in society throughout the ages using dance, costumes, writing, video and drama. And, in the process, they discovered and increased their creative skills.

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2. Film Making

Pilgrim Hearts obtained a grant from the European Social Fund and the Berkshire Community Foundation to help disadvantaged ex-drug addicts with a film making course at Yeldall Manor (a Christian run rehabilitation centre). We use film making workshops as a regular feature in our work.

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4. Art Exhibitions

Pilgrim Hearts can put on art exhibitions by Anne House to provide a thought provoking and searching experience for viewers. Anne’s pictures painted on silk are not for sale, but prints and small postcards are available

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5. Creative Writing

Pilgrim Hearts obtained a grant from the European Social Fund to help disadvantaged ex-drug addicts through a course in creative writing at Yeldall Manor (a Christian run rehabilitation centre).

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