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About us

 

For more than 20 years Art & Soul has used creative activity to improve the emotional wellbeing and mental health of people living in south west London. Over that time it's run over 300 therapist-led art workshops and coordinated more than 20 exhibitions of participants' artworks. 

Based on UCL Museums Wellbeing Measures our workshops have  been shown to enhance wellbeing by 34% over each session.

Our Vision

Improve mental health and emotional wellbeing through the arts.

Our Mission

Provide creative workshops, exhibitions and events that actively help to improve the mental health and wellbeing of people of all ages in the local community.

How we got started 

Art & Soul initially began as “We can draw!” art classes organised by founding member Maggie Hughes, to support her husband Trevor after a stroke had left him with emotional challenges. In 1998 the name of the group changed to Art & Soul and the project evolved to include adults with a range of mental well-being and coping challenges. 

 

In June 2017 we became a registered charity (1173268) and welcomed Sir Vince Cable as our patron.

Paintings on display
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Art & Soul are currently recruiting a freelance programme director (parental leave cover). Please click here to download further details and how to apply.

Our trustees

Liz Sokoski

Liz Sokoski


Chair

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Loveday Shewell
Vice Chair

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Alastair Beveridge
Treasurer

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Rachel Tranter


Rachel Tranter
Trustee

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Our team

Betsy Lewis-Holmes, programme director

Betsy manages all aspects of Art & Soul’s team and programme, including planning, fundraising, partnership development and evaluation. She comes from an arts and exhibitions background, and has over fifteen years experience in arts project management. Prior to working for Art & Soul, Betsy managed various projects in arts including commissioning artwork for hospitals through Richmond Arts Service and ran a volunteer ‘arts for health’ programme with UCL Museums, taking museum objects to those in hospitals and day centres. Betsy has recently completed a PhD in medical history with the University of Exeter. 


Ursula Kelly, art therapist

Ursula is an HCPC registered art therapist and experienced artist educator. She has been working as a freelance artist educator since 2009 where she creates, delivers and evaluates bespoke projects for a wide range of groups. She has worked with all major London museums including the V&A and London Transport Museum as well as running specialist arts-in-health projects for ACAVA (for those directly affected by Grenfell) and within Pupil Referral Units. Ursula joined the Art & Soul team in 2020 and leads the ‘Remote Connectivity’ programme, our main group for adults experiencing mental health challenges.


Gwen Ramsay, artist and artist educator

Gwen is a talented artist and artist educator who is passionate about encouraging everyone to be creative. Since 2007, Gwen has worked with schools, young people and adults as well as families on creative learning programmes privately and in Museums including the Tate Modern, The London Transport Museum and The Royal Academy of Arts. Gwen pioneered many social prescribing projects including ‘Chat and Draw’ at Orleans House Gallery and ‘Prescription for Arts’ at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. In the rest of her week, apart from painting and walking her dog Gus, Gwen manages Culture4Keeps, which is the arts and culture service for Children in Care in Kingston and Richmond, and does occasional sessions for the John Soane museum.


Morgan Sinton-Hewitt, workshop assistant

Morgan supports all our online workshops and joined Art & Soul in 2021. She is an artist with experience of making work across different media which spans the past 20 years. As an educator, she has 14 years of experience in designing and facilitating socially engaged art with communities, schools, galleries and individuals. She has worked with particular emphasis with SEND groups and individuals and believes that everyone has a voice, a story, the capability and right to make art. Morgan has a first class undergraduate in Psychology and has collaborated with different interdisciplinary researchers and artists on different research projects relating to embodiment. 
 

Olivia Bladen, workshop assistant

Olivia is a freelance educator with experience delivering art activities in museum settings. She was Family Programmer at the Royal Academy of Arts for two years and has produced content for a wide range of other organisations including Bethlem Museum of the Mind, London Transport Museum, Hastings Museum and Gallery, Dulwich Picture Gallery, and the National Gallery. She has an academic background in art history and as well as leading practical art workshops has developed independent research into talks and articles. She has also previously worked as the administrator for the charity Art History Link-Up, which offers a free A Level in Art History to state educated students. Olivia joined Art & Soul in 2021 to work on our children and young people programme.
 

Heather Whitt, project coordinator

With over 11 years experience in the museum world, Heather is lucky enough to have worked with a range of museums, galleries and creative spaces across London. She now works freelance under her consultancy Mindful Museum, which supports museums, galleries and arts organisations to programme with wellbeing in mind.    
 
In addition to her knowledge of programming wellbeing-specific activities, Heather has a bank of experience in programming, delivering, and evaluating a wide range of engagement programmes, events, and exhibitions. This experience spans visual arts, heritage, storytelling, drama, music and literature. Her specialisms include arts engagement with family audiences, and managing apprenticeships and workforce diversification programmes. 

Our supporters

Art and Soul relies entirely on the generosity of the organisations that support us to fund all our activities.

Civic Pride, Richmond

Civic Pride Fund

Richmond Parish Lands Charity

Richmond Parish Lands Charity

Richmons Community Volunteer Service

Richmond Community Volunteer Service

The Cranfield Trust

The Cranfield

Trust 

The Hampton Fund

The Hampton

Fund

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The Baring

Foundation