As part of our workshops, we often ask our participants to provide anonymous feedback we might share. The generosity of this information helps us understand what participants have gained from the experience as well as how we might improve and evolve our delivery.
Using thematic analysis (a qualitative research methodology), we explored participants pre and post-session responses from our recent Creative Refuelling workshop for Parents and Carers. The session was held 20th January held at the Exchange Arts Centre in Twickenham. The analysed feedback (detailed below) provides rich data on the participant’s interests, needs and goals as well as insight into the impact of the workshop process.
The analysis showed that participants’ main reason for attending the workshop was to find new ways to enhance their own wellbeing (to relax, destress, find a creative outlet, seek inspiration, negotiated change) and the wellbeing of their children. They were also curious about the session content including, potential links between art, the natural environment, mental health and mindfulness.
Prior to the session’s start, participants felt a mix of apprehensiveness, stress and curiosity. For the most part they felt good and ok, but also noted feelings of tiredness.
In terms of goals, participants hoped the session would help them find ways to enhance their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of their families, provide a positive creative experience and an opportunity to learn new ideas.
After the session, 91% of participants felt calm and relaxed, better than previously, and excited to try more. One participant mentioned feeling tired.
82% of participants said they achieved their workshop goal. The remaining participants, who had not set or achieved their goal, noted a sense of wellbeing and ‘feeling better for having come’. Participants said they found the process absorbing, positive and fun. They enjoyed focusing on the process (versus the end product) and learned new skills to help them de-stress and connect with positive memories. One participant noted she would have liked more opportunity to connect with others, while another participant felt self-critical of her painting.
Participants took away a range of insights from the workshop experience including the beneficial impacts of meaningful creative activity to enhance wellbeing. They also recognised the importance of finding time and giving oneself permission to recharge and explore potential through creative media. One participant noted, “this is the first time in years that I have been offered support in terms of my needs in relation to my daughter’s mental health.”
Other comments included expressions of thanks and enjoyment, interest in joining a longer workshop programme and expressions of appreciation that sharing artwork and feelings were not required.
- “Lovely, simple, educational”
- “It was a positive experience”
- “I had no goal, but achieved a sense of wellbeing and focus”
- “I liked it. I would enjoy art as therapy as I don’t like talking therapy.”
- “I found it absorbing and the process was fun.”
- “I learned some new skills and gained information on destressing.”
- “A great, creative way to focus the mind.”
We are now registering interest for next Creative Refuelling Workshop for Parents and Carers. Please register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Workshops are FREE OF CHARGE, but donations towards our work with young people are grately appreciated.