Cathartic's programmes and services aim to benefit individual and group health and wellbeing, placing the impact of creativity at the core of all its services. Our creative practice and workshop delivery will be given in an inclusive, caring, happy and sensitive manner, with bespoke activities that meet the varied needs and interests of each individual or group. Each will have the opportunity to journey on their unique creative path.
The programmes will include a variety of both one-off workshops and longer running sessions, some culminating in a collaborative showcase. In offering regular creative workshops, Cathartic provides the opportunity for individuals to join in an inclusive and integrated environment, building confidence and self esteem. Participating in creative activity offers a release from anxiety and stress which provides space to gain new perspective on life and personal confidence. Through the creative journey, our participants will find new skills and interests which will present fresh opportunities, personal choices and improved decision making.
Cathartic provides more than just an activity: it offers a first step to social integration, recovery from illness, coping with grief, building self esteem, living positively with a disability, all within a safe, creative environment. In essence, Cathartic offers a route of self-discovery and learning, to develop personal support strategies to enrich general wellbeing.
Art classes can be a stimulating and fulfilling activity to help those in the later stages of life. It is proven to increase the quality of life, and people can discover a new way of expression. Art can also awaken responses and aid understanding for people experiencing memory loss.
Whether it is a craft-based activity or skilled watercolor painting, creating something can brighten an elderly persons day and help them communicate through a different medium. The ability to use a creative language as a form of self-expression can uncover artistic abilities that enhance the lives of the elderly by bringing happiness and fulfillment. The mindfulness of engaging in art encourages dignity, validation and a sense of purpose, and clients can re-establish a value in themselves and others. Through regular creative programmes, anxiety and feelings of isolation are decreased as therapeutic art sessions stimulate mindful conversation because of the enlightening opportunities that they bring.
Creative workshops for the retired and elderly, offering a stimulating programme of activities based on the theme of a ‘Time Capsule’. The workshops will be delivered in a supportive group environment and will promote positive memories, friendship, confidence and mindful stimulation. Activities are designed to challenge and encourage individual engagement and celebrate personal stories/ histories within a group setting: all building on and celebrating the life experiences and achievements of members of the group.
This service offers the unique opportunity to help document and celebrate past histories that can be enjoyed by family and friends for years to come. We will provide a sensitive and safe platform within your home, for you to be able to share precious stories. The stories and memories will be edited and transferred onto DVD and photos will be captured within a photo book.
Funded by Healthy Hub Watford
A Young Onset Dementia diagnosis is given to an individual diagnosed with Dementia before the age 65 years old. There are currently over 800 people living with Young Onset Dementia, the current youngest being diagnosed in their late 20's. We wanted to create a programme for people in Hertfordshire specifically living with this type of Dementia, as well as their loved ones / carers.
Funded by Hertswise, Age UK and hosted at The Cathartic Creative Cafe, this mindfulness arts programme provides creative and stimulating activities tailored to the needs, abilities and interests of both the service users and carers who are participating. The project could also provide respite for carers. It is hoped the project will inspire enthusiasm and creativity, and that the activities can be continued at home. For those with a YOD diagnosis, we feel that the opportunity to participate in art sessions (experimenting with materials, colours, exploring ideas and opening creative channels for self-expression) has extensive therapeutic values and will contribute holistically to the quality of life. Mindfulness and the stimulation of imagination is shown to contribute to the building of self-esteem and confidence. Creative sessions give freedom of expression and the chance to develop new interests, empowering service users with a sense of achievement, turning what can feel like trapped, negative time into positive, productive time. The art sessions will increase social interaction and communication between service users and carers that will provide a healthy diversion from discussions on care and medical matters. The work created, combined with the fun, social aspect will also help to create an uplifting atmosphere for all. Through the scope of our practice, we know that having the opportunity to access a creative activity can improve our sense of well-being, inspire our imagination to distract from the challenges in our lives.
The project will culminate in a professional exhibition of work, to be held in a prestigious community establishment, and will showcase the personal development and individual achievements created by those participating. The exhibition will be advertised and promoted and will raise awareness of YOD within local communities and beyond Participants do not have to be naturally creative, as every activity is accessible. The group environment will encourage a support system and nurture friendships.
If you, or someone you know is living with Young Onset Dementia in Hertfordshire and you / they would like to attend the creative sessions, please do not hesitate to get in touch...
A new health and wellbeing service funded by Hertfordshire County Council and delivered in partnership with district and borough councils in January 2020.
Healthy Hubs are dedicated local venues where people can get health services, support and advice all in one place, making it easier to get help with a range of physical and mental health issues. Whether it’s stop smoking services, help to lose weight, mental health support, encouragement to get more active or even advice on how to cut down on your drinking - Healthy Hubs can help.
Each district in Hertfordshire will have a Healthy Hub which will be based in convenient and well known locations making it easy for people to make appointments or drop in to access the advice and support available.
Hertfordshire County Council’s Director of Public Health, Jim McManus said: “The Healthy Hubs are part of our District Partnership programme, through which we have already invested £2.3million into health and wellbeing services across the county over the last four years.
“This new initiative will see a further £1million invested over the next two years to enable each district to establish a Healthy Hub in their area, making it easier for people to pop in and get the friendly, professional one-to-one support they need to improve their health and wellbeing.”
It’s difficult to comprehend and imagine the reality of grief, and the turbulence it presents, until we're confronted with it. Grief and mourning come from loss and this arrives when we lose a loved one. We can also grieve the loss of our health, a relationship, a job, a pet, or something else entirely.
This flood of emotions can be very difficult to process, and, at times, we may not even realise what is happening to us. Grief makes us feel like we are not ourselves. It can change our behaviour and can bring with it low self-esteem, depression and physical illness. Confusion and a state of overwhelm can often make talking about grieving experiences almost impossible.
There is no quick solution to grieving and adjusting to loss: it is a long process. Art and creativity can start this journey by opening alternative channels to explore and provide an outlet for grief. Loss alters lives and for some, instantly diminishes their sense of purpose and responsibility. With the death of a loved one suffering with a chronic illness, an addiction or mental health issue, the responsibility and caring role disappears at the same time; this loss is also a bereavement. Through our creative sessions, we aim to provide a newfound purpose, to ignite new hobbies and passions and to form new friendships in a community of people trying to navigate their new role in life.
Above all, art can help us frame the story of our lives and appreciate the beauty that still surrounds us. Creativity and art can ensure that the new chapter of life is filled with purpose, with beauty, colour, vibrancy, sentiment and meaning.
Cathartic CIC deliver weekly bereavement sessions with 3 groups experiencing loss; adults, teenagers and children.
Our creative work will be focused on celebrating the lives of our loved ones, provide an opportunity for creative expression, build new positive memories, ignite new hobbies, friendships and purpose, and provide a safe place for people to start to rebuild their lives after loss. Our sessions will be full of fun, laughter and joy, sparking positive memories for all involved and providing a happy outlet and an escape from the loneliness that can be presented with a bereavement. Our sessions will always be delivered with the upmost sensitivity, compassion, discretion and respect.
Cathartic CIC aim to curate new artworks and deliver creative activities for patients, their families and staff in hospices and hospitals, in both adult and children’s services. We deliver weekly sessions for patients, families and staff to create collaborative works, as well as work on individual creative work. An example of a individual project would be memory boxes, where service users can create a time capsule of their lives, write messages for loved ones, document treasured memories and provide families with a welcomed memoir that provides a source of serenity, joy and comfort at their most difficult times grieving. These memory boxes are a combination of creative writing, creative art and film-making. Other sessions will include creating family artwork, making comforter blankets, designing headscarves, card making as well as therapeutic, mindful creative work. Our sessions will be full of fun, laughter and joy, sparking positive memories for all involved and providing a happy outlet and an escape from medical interventions. Sessions will be delivered with the utmost sensitivity and respect and we will ensure dignity for all is maintained within every aspect of our work.
Throughout history, it has been known for artists to become even more creatively active when they are closer to death. In fact, many people (whether they are artists or not) with a terminal illness are often drawn to creative expression as a way of communicating their inner feelings – a vital step in coming to terms with dying. Above all, art can help depict and illustrate the story of our lives and appreciate the beauty that still surrounds us. Art in palliative care can ensure that the end of our life is filled with beauty, colour, vibrancy and sentiment.
We run a unique initiative that has proven to be very special and which has successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of combining young and old. Our creative programme combines a group of children (as young as two years of age) that visit a group of elderly people (all in their nineties) for 6 consecutive weeks. The sessions are filled with imaginative, engaging and stimulating activities that will entertain both old and young. This allows for unlikely friendships to form and a social tool that adopts positive change in the way that different generations perceive each other. Through an injection of youth to brighten lives, our mission is to tackle the loneliness that our older generation can face and improve overall health and happiness. The wisdom and life experience that our older friends have, also presents opportunities and greatly benefits the young people involved. The programme is truly remarkable.
Through our wealth of knowledge and experience with children with physical and neurological impairments and/or learning difficulties, we identify how difficult it is for some families to find appropriate activities that take into account individual care/ability/medical needs as well as personal interests. Some children with complex needs benefit from participation within the comfort of their own home - possibly with siblings or friends. Parents may enjoy respite whilst their child is being creative in their own environment, having fun as well as being physically cared for. This programme is also created for young people who suffer with anxiety issues and low self-esteem.
We aim to provide sensory, stimulating and creative experiences for young people who face challenges that others don't. Our expertise in adapting activities for a wide range of physical, mental and neurological impairments, provides a range of sensory and stimulating approaches to creative projects for some of the most vulnerable young people.
In our experience, we have discovered that the power of this programme can unlock unseen potential in our young people, leading them to find future creative opportunities and pathways that were previously considered unattainable. The individual focus given to each of our clients, allows for the development of their self confidence for them to strive to achieve more and more.
Our workshops of art-based respite programs during school holiday periods are designed for children and young people with disabilities and learning difficulties. Currently, there are a wide range of childrens' holiday programmes, but these mostly cater for able-bodied children. We provide a safe and inclusive environment for young people with physical, neurological and/or learning disabilities to come together and engage in an exciting, stimulating, ability-appropriate holiday programme. We encourage and promote inclusion and encourage friendships with an opportunity for vulnerable children to come together, identify with one other to form friendships, promote self esteem and build confidence in themselves and their artistic abilities.
For those with additional needs, going away for a short break can be a daunting task, often due to logistical challenges. Sometimes the only option a young person may have to engage in this type of activity, is for parental accompaniment. We appreciate the desire for independence and Cathartic is able to provide a short break respite service, which allows young people to enjoy time away, whilst with the discreet care and supervision of a chaperone. Our aim is to strike a perfect balance of care and independence.
Each trip is tailor made to encompass the individuals interests and passions. The young person is actively involved in planning the trips.
Art classes can be a refreshing and fulfilling activity for young people and adults with additional needs . It is proven to increase the quality of life, and people can discover a new way of expression. Art can also stimulate responses and aid understanding for people with neurological impairments. Whether it is a craft-based activity or skilled watercolor painting, creating something can brighten a persons day and help them communicate through a different channel. The ability to use a creative language as a form of self-expression can uncover artistic abilities that enhance lives, by bringing happiness and fulfillment. The mindfulness of engaging in art encourages dignity, validation and a sense of purpose, and clients can build confidence and self-esteem within themselves and their abilities. Through regular creative programmes, anxiety is decreased as therapeutic art sessions stimulate mindful conversation because of the enlightening opportunities that they bring.
Cathartic prides itself on its work with children and we have introduced an exciting new avenue to bring joy, happiness and laughter to celebrate your childs special birthday- a bespoke, imaginative and play stimulating party for your child and their friends. To make it that little bit different, all our parties are designed around your child's interests and needs. The two hour package will include creative and stimulating activities, where each child will leave with their very own creations, provided in a safe and nurturing manner. Our staff are fully trained and very experienced with working with children with disabilities and special educational needs, ensuring that your child and their group of friends will have the party of the year!
Home-Start Watford & Three Rivers was established in 1993, following collaboration with the local Social Services Teams, the Watford CVS and our first Chair Betty Reed.
Since then the scheme has grown year on year and currently has 7 members of staff and over 100 volunteers who support families, work in our charity shop and govern our scheme.
The thriving Management Committee made up of Trustees and Advisors all of whom bring specialist skills and experience to support the scheme.
We are based in the centre of Watford. The family support service for families in the Watford & Three Rivers and Hertsmere area in Hertfordshire was set up to offer a service, free at the point of access that would be available to all and completely independent of statutory agencies.
Built on the success of the Watford Young Filmmakers Festival and with the generous support of Warner Bros Studios Leavesden, Hertfordshire Film Festival is run by Watford Palace Theatre in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire and Cathartic.
For young people living with physical, neurological and learning difficulties, as well as mental health conditions, we feel that the opportunity to participate in film making programmes (with exposure to this popular art form, experimenting with new technology, exploring ideas, learning new skills and opening creative channels for self-expression) has extensive therapeutic values and will contribute holistically to the quality of life for our communities most vulnerable people. Mindfulness and the stimulation of imagination is shown to contribute to the healing process of some of the conditions these young people must deal with, as well as progression of self-belief. Creative sessions give freedom of expression and the chance to develop new interests, empowering them with a sense of achievement, turning what can sometimes feel like trapped, negative time within a normal day, into positive, productive time. The film programmes will increase social interaction and communication by bringing together like-minded people, with all the creative tasks bespoke to the group / individual, allowing them to always achieve. The process of creating a film from idea to realisation will provide a healthy diversion from discussions on the medical and social issues that some of these young people suffer with. The work created within the programmes, combined with the fun, social aspect, will also help to create a huge sense of purpose, achievement and success.
Through the scope of our practice, we know that having the opportunity to access a creative activity can improve our sense of well-being, inspire our imagination to distract from the challenges in our lives. In our experience, we have discovered that the power of this film making can unlock unseen potential in our young people, leading them to find future creative opportunities and pathways that were previously considered unattainable. The individual focus given to each of our clients, allows for the development of their self-confidence for them to strive to achieve more and more.
This mindfulness, arts programme provides teenagers with tools and techniques to help build resilience against the challenges that can present themselves in a young person's life; peer pressure, bullying, social media control, body image, exam pressure and low self esteem. The group environment will encourage a support system and nurture friendships, demonstrating to the young people involved that they are not alone in their thoughts. The group structure will naturally begin to build confidence and will create an instant network of peer support that can be so desperately needed in some young peoples' lives. The programme will initiate group discussions and activities, as well as individual reflection and creative tasks. All programmes will culminate in a parent/ carer consultation and each child will leave armed with tools that will help relieve some of life's pressures and anxieties, often so prominent in a young person's life.
Working in collaboration has one main important idea: allowing time for imagination and exploration. Cathartic offers the opportunity to bring people and groups together, to collaboratively design spaces and displays. The formation of such displays initiates a talking point within the establishment, and promotes happy and delightful memories. It is important to make sure that all partcipants are involved from the outset, so that it doesn't just become decoration, but rather a process from design to completion. It is a belief that makes sense in any artistic partnership, that each valuable contributor has made their mark in a project from the outset.
We work in a variety of different organisations including: schools, care homes, retirement villages, hospitals and corporate workplaces
We are more than happy to meet, discuss and plan any of our programmes to tailor to your individual needs. Please get in touch!
Wenta Business Centre, Watford, England WD24 7NE, United Kingdom