The form of a website was chosen by us as it allowed us to be creative which reflects our placement as CREW is all about creativity and expression. It allowed us to express our views using a form which is out of our academic comfort zone, as students we are so used to writing essays and reports in contrast this allowed us to express ourselves using creative methods such as poetry as well as using images to voice our findings and learnings.
What we've learnt...
Importance of action research and reflexivity - The evaluation also followed an action research approach which allowed us to reflect and learn. There was a spiral of steps which enabled us to make a plan, modify and come up with new ways and ideas of exploring CREW.
Understanding power dynamics - CREW has helped to break down social injustice issues such as stigma, CREW goes against the idea of ‘power dynamics’ and ‘authoritative roles’ for example therapist and client. At CREW, everyone is equal and clients are in charge of their own treatment and recovery.
Importance of qualitative research - Exploring depth and meaning of an individuals lived experience as opposed to generalising them into a population.
Through Praxis we have also come to understand ameliorative and transformative change.
It has been evidenced that CREW has been very beneficial to service users, services and the community. In order to improve recommendations have been suggested:
1. More time
2. Implement drama as well as arts & music.
3. Improve access to a wider community.
From the findings it became clear,
That individuals felt support from family and peers,
Individuals felt connected and a sense of achievement,
CREW has helped them to find their place in treatment,
Creative self-expression has helped improve their mental health,
They have been able to communicate, heal and just be themselves,
CREW allowed participants to use art and music to share their stories,
Express themselves and liberate themselves from their pain.
Before CREW, hopelessness, sorrow and being left behind.
Was all they knew.
Let down by a system that was supposed to protect them
From the darkness within them.
Creativity and imagination lead them to innovation and determination.
People discovered abilities never known beyond their imagination.
Give support to one another. Through the ups and
the downs of their journey together.
Bridges of faith and community were build.
CREW has provided a safe environment,
Reducing mental health stigma and helping to break the silence,
It’s a non-clinical setting with lots of support,
From family, the community all of the above we found when writing our reports.
An Inside Look
What CREW Participants And Members Of The Public Had To Say...
“Uh because I’m a creative person and I, I need to have outlets for my creative expression (N: Yeah) and that was something that I was able to do […] it’s been a very difficult a few years. Um so it was a nice release from a lot of tension”
“It’s prosperous. I think it’s very fruitful for young people to have a space where they can just build their uh confidence skills, performance skills, interact with other people, safe environment. I think it’s really positive.”
“[…] it’s a very nic-friendly atmosphere you know everyone’s like which is cool and then it’s relaxed and um yeah the-the-the live thing was absolutely stunning, really, I was very impressed because it was very intimate you know, […] there’s no like barriers or anything, it was very direct […] it was true, you could feel that they really want to do something and then there’s, nothing was fake about it you know.”
“[…] it actually brought the family together because his dad came along to um when they did one of the-the final shows […] which was absolutely you know which was great […]”
“[…] in the musical performance right now like I feel like a really powerful sense of community and support, umm and a sort of like a sense that everyone’s here to encourage one another and what they’re presenting […]”
“Other people like me with creative minds who have been through some stress and are tryna harness the creativity as opposed to let the creativity take other them. I think it was quite useful, I think it was clever idea…”
"This is a rewarding experience…made me more confidence that’s what I have got from it.”
"They give you your voice, allow your voice to be heard as opposed to other services where they don’t”
CREW is a programme based in Haringey and originated in 2016. The project worked with those suffering from mental health using arts and music intervention to help individuals through recovery. Evaluations were completed in order to discover how individuals were affected by their experiences at CREW and how services/communities were affected by their experiences at CREW. The findings, recommendations & our learnings are reported within this website.