Who can join Start?
Start is part of secondary care mental health services. This means that you need to be referred to Start and also that you need to be eligible for the service. Your Care Coordinator and you can read more here about who is eligible for the service.
You can apply to join Start if you live in Manchester, and you are diagnosed with severe and enduring mental illness and/or critical or substantial social care needs. If you would like to join Start, talk to your Care Coordinator or Social Worker. Your Care Coordinator will need to follow the steps here for the recovery pathways referral process.
What happens next?
Once we receive your referral, you will be invited to come and look round the studios at Start, and talk with us about your needs and goals, to help you and us to decide whether Start is the right place for you.
What They Say:
I'm happy with my art. I'm impressed with my own work ...you get the help you need to learn more about something you enjoy.
Start Service User
Do I need experience of art or gardening?
Start welcomes those with an interest in learning about art or gardening. No prior experience of these subjects is necessary.
Whether you see what you learn at Start as a hobby or as a future way of life, the team at Start offers commitment to helping you realise your aspirations.
What could I do at Start?
The Start team are here to help. With our support you can study mosaics, painting and drawing, ceramics, textiles, photography, animation or gardening. As you gain confidence you might like to join in with visits to galleries and museums, and work towards special events and exhibitions.
What are the classes like at Start?
Start offers small and friendly group sessions where you can learn art and gardening. Our staff team are qualified in art and gardening and have many years of experience working in mental healthcare. We also have an Occupational Therapist who can offer extra support to people at Start.
“I often come to my Start session feeling tense and anxious, but gradually I relax and concentrate on my session. By the time I leave I feel much better”
“The staff are friendly and encouraging. Even though I had no art experience before I came here, I’ve begun to enjoy art so much that I think I want to carry on with it after I leave.”
All people using our service are called students. When new students join Start, they take part in a series of 12-week taster courses in the various activity areas, so everyone gets the chance to experience a whole variety of new skills.
Students can discuss the length of time they need to use services at Start, and generally this is decided by looking at their needs and goals. Sometimes students stay for a few months, others for a few years.
You will have regular reviews to which CPA Care Co-ordinators or other workers are invited. You can bring a friend or family member to these meetings if you'd like to.
You negotiate personal learning goals with the staff at Start, which are updated at each tutorial. In this way you'll be supported to decide what you want from your time at Start, and we'll also help you plan your next steps after Start.
Start in Manchester is part of Recovery Pathways, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust.
Recovery Pathways is a mental health service that helps people to lead valued lives by providing or enabling access to high quality support, activity, training and employment services.Recovery Pathways is committed to the principles of social inclusion and working towards an individual’s recovery.
As employees of the Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust the Start staff are part of a mental health care team, and your placement with us is part of your Care Programme. Our staff keep computerized records of your attendance and your progress in the sessions. Other staff involved in your care are able to share this information. This enables everyone to help you get the most out of your time at Start, and support you in following your Care Plan.
Start staff can come to your Care Programme Approach review if you would like them to - just discuss this with your Care Coordinator or your tutor at Start.
Please note that smoking is not allowed on Start’s premises.
Follow this link for the Leaflet for staff referring someone to Start