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Start in Manchester is an NHS mental health organisation with a bit of a twist. They are an art in mental health organisation, nationally recognised as a leader in its field, who offer therapeutic services based on the experience of creativity. Through art and gardening courses the team help to “maintain mental wellbeing, develop coping strategies and self-care skills, and regain the confidence to move back into mainstream life.”

Working with people experiencing long-term mental difficulties and distress Start offer a mix of skills to their students (all mental health service users) including visual arts, horticulture and occupational therapy. When service users join Start they usually have no or very little previous experience of art however they find their talents are drawn out through the creative, supportive learning environment. To find out more about Start click here.


The images displayed on this page are a selection from Start’s galleries, including drawing and painting, ceramics and mosaic work. Start not only exhibit their service users’ work but they have also completed a number of commissions which is my favourite thing about the project.


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