Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

Vanessa Weibel and Kelly Robinson, 16.04.2018
Embedding wellbeing in youth projects
During February and March, 10 young volunteers at Dulwich Picture Gallery in London created five short films and co-produced a workshop for a Gallery Late.

They learned about the collections and history of the gallery; were introduced to the New Economics Foundation’s Five Ways to Wellbeing and mindfulness techniques; and experienced a wellbeing-themed creative art activity run in collaboration with the SLaM Recovery College of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

They were inspired by these experiences to create the films and workshop.  

Volunteers were given opportunities to meet a variety of gallery staff and project partners. This chance to connect with and learn from professionals and individuals from different backgrounds enriched the project and expanded the volunteers’ networks.

We ensured they were given adequate time for breaks and socializing as time to decompress is important, especially during a project with set outputs and objectives.
Volunteers were asked for feedback throughout the project.

This enabled us to tailor the sessions to the participants’ changing needs and interests, and helped keep them present and engaged at every step of the project.

And staff incorporated wellbeing concepts into the activities and the project methodology:
the five ways to wellbeing informed a holistic approach to the project design and content.

The volunteers have co-created resources that will be promoted in a variety of ways by Dulwich Picture Gallery and partners such as the SLaM Recovery College, to encourage young people to use gallery spaces and collections as inspiration for activities to improve mental health and wellbeing.

Learning from this pilot collaborative project will be embedded into future wellbeing-themed workshops for different audiences, and these volunteer roles will be continued and enhanced following participant feedback.

This film documents the aims and process of the project:

Vanessa Weibel is an arts and heritage consultant and Kelly Robinson is the community programme manager Dulwich Picture Gallery