Sam had been suffering from schizophrenia and anxiety for most of his adult life. In his late forties, he approached his GP to get support for his anxiety, panic attacks and the side effects from a mood stabiliser. His GP referred him to our Richmond Wellbeing Service. During one of his sessions, Sam was then told about our Peer Group Network.

Sam decided to try Crafty Minds, an art group which took place at the Vineyard Community Centre in Richmond. He was reluctant and nervous about attending at first. Not knowing anybody, he arrived early for his first session and got some lunch in the centre where he could watch to see what the group looked like from another table. After observing the participants for a while and the different materials they used, Sam joined the group. Over time, he became a regular member.

Sam used to bottle up his feelings and not talk to people which has caused him to become very unwell in the past. However, after a few months attending Crafty Minds, he made some new friends which has helped Sam to feel more comfortable and able to express his thoughts and feelings through art.

Since joining Crafty Minds, Sam has produced dozens of collages, taken part in art workshops such as designing and making masks and leaf etchings, and submitted his artwork for an art exhibition RB Mind curated at the Stables Gallery, Orleans House in Twickenham. Due to the boost in confidence he has gained from the group, Sam has also brought a new camera and started taking photos of street art and areas of London.