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OCA wellbeing: Gardening for mental health

Lockdown in mid-March prompted two responses. First was a recognition that getting outside for parts of the day without bumping into other humans would become a very valuable thing. Second, I had some new time, that used to be spent travelling and trolling the train companies about their poor service, and I could put this to good use by sorting out my embarrassing back garden.

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OCA wellbeing: What’s in your wellness toolkit?

It’s a challenging situation we find ourselves in, and I realised that all of my usual ‘wellness tools’ are unavailable to me owing to the restrictions in place, so it’s no wonder even little day to day issues feel more difficult.

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OCA creative challenges: Making poseable dolls

In this workshop we will be looking at making a very basic art doll with a completely soft body and sculpted clay face, but the skills that you will learn by doing this can be applied to more complex and ambitious projects.

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OCA creative challenges: Sewing & embroidery – the basics

Whatever reason you have for wanting to learn to sew or embroider, this workshop will take you through from basic stitches to embroidery techniques, including writing styles and decorative finesse. Below you will find a step by step slideshow and a downloadable pdf. Enjoy and share your creations with us using #WeAreOCA. 

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Student stories: Alistair McIntyre

OCA Student Alistair writes about how creating work helps his mental health and wellbeing.

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OCA & SANE: A new partnership

We are very pleased to announce that we are working in partnership with the leading mental health charity SANE to support mental health. We are working together to deliver SANE’s new Creative Awards Scheme, a new initiative to enable people suffering from mental health or caring for people with mental health issues to access the visual arts and harness their creativity. 

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Mental health

In ten short years, the discussion around mental health has opened right up, in no small thanks to the sterling work of charities such as Mind, and prominent figures discussing their own issues.

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#StopStigma It affects all of us

In Higher Education this is probably the top issue talked about in terms of supporting students, so much so that the Government announced a new University Mental Health Charter in collaboration with the charity Student Minds in June, which is all about working out what is good practical support and rewarding institutions that display this…

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How will learning something new boost your emotional wellbeing?

What did you learn today, this week, this year? As we grow older we need new opportunities and different environments to unleash our creativity.

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Art, activism & ending violence against women

The 25 November marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the first day in the United Nations campaign UNiTE, launching sixteen days of activism against gender-based violence that culminates on 10 December – International Human Rights Day.  

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