Derbyshire Mind project aims to spread the healing power of hobbies

A Derbyshire charity has a launched a series of events aimed at improving mental wellbeing through experiencing and enjoying the therapeutic effects of a new hobby, activity or developing new skills.

Derbyshire Mind has embarked upon a new season of activities under its Enjoying Derbyshire programme, which aims to bring people in Derby and across the county together for courses including mindfulness, mindful craft workshops and line dancing.

Among the classes to have already started is a mindful crafts class at the Quad in the Market Place, Derby, where participants are welcomed and encouraged to participate in a short mindful meditation to start the class before getting creative in a relaxed and supportive environment.

Its November class is already fully booked and there are only a few spaces remaining in December, with participants having reported a sense of achievement, having felt engaged in the activity and a sense of feeling better at the end of the class than at the start.

Elsewhere, other sessions include line dancing in Swadlincote, an Introduction to Accessing Your Potential course for those who want to increase their self-confidence and an evening mindful drawing class in Littleover.

Mindful craft classes are being held at the Quad in Derby, where participants are welcomed and encouraged to participate in a short mindful meditation to start the class before getting creative in a relaxed and supportive environment. Penguin PR: public relations, media and communications.

The programme has been put together by Nicola Ward, community development worker at Derbyshire Mind, who has spent the last six months getting in touch with organisations who are experienced at delivering specialist workshops to take successful projects to new areas.

Nicola’s appointment was made possible thanks to a donation from Hazelwood company Lubrizol, which has been raising money for Derbyshire Mind over the past two years.

So far, the activities Nicola has delivered as part of her fact-finding work have included papercraft workshops and viewfinder sessions, which use instant cameras and art materials to encourage participants to focus and reflect on a small snapshot of the world around them.

She said: “There is an ever-growing body of research showing that a hobby or activity can have huge positive effects on people’s mental health and when we consider that one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year, we can understand the kind of impact that this programme could have.

“We have already had fantastic feedback from people who have got wonderful stories about the effect it has had on them and the new things that they have discovered.

“New activities can lead to new opportunities, but for some of our participants, the motivation to get going or the anxiety associated with going into new situations can be overwhelming.

“We work with the venues and practitioners delivering activities to make sure people are welcome, supported and know how to get to the venue.

“Some of the workshops can raise difficult topics too, so having mental health first aid trained staff present allows us to deliver workshops safely and with confidence.”

To ensure workshops are accessible and without barriers where possible, the Enjoying Derbyshire workshops and events are free at the point of access and have been organised throughout the day as well as in the evenings and on Saturdays.

To find out more about Derbyshire Mind’s Enjoying Derbyshire project and the activities on offer visit


For further information please contact Simon Burch on 01332 416228 or contact

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