‘Moving On’ Stories
Access to College coursework Exhibition
Access to College course Artwork
Moving on means different things to different people, but broadly it refers to progress of any sort. What everyone has in common is the need for time to progress, and the support to do it successfully.
The experience of a period of mental distress or illness can affect confidence. Roles and relationships may be damaged or lost, and we may feel isolated and without support.
Unfortunately there is still some stigma around mental illness in our society, and this can cause social exclusion, which can be difficult to overcome. For these reasons, people need help when they are moving on from mental health services into opportunities in the wider community.
Start’s staff team work closely with each individual student, as well as with other staff involved in students’ care, to help make moving on from Start successful.
Goals for the future, including where a student (service user) may wish to move on to after Start, are discussed from day one, and this helps students to become comfortable with planning ahead. All planned steps are based around students’ aspirations and strengths, as well as their support needs
Moving on plans are as various as the students that come to Start. Some students aspire to set up their own studio. For these students, we encourage independent use of the studios at Start but regular support is still offered.
Some students take part in voluntary work placements both within and outside Start. A much-enjoyed option for instance is to take on a training placement at Start in workshop assistant skills.
Art and design is now thought to be a particularly effective subject for developing life skills that are transferable to all sorts of situations. A report commissioned by the Design Council, ‘The Thinking Comes Free’, highlights the distinctive thinking skills acquired by those who learn to ‘design-think’. It recommends the use of people with design skills in many diverse settings. This makes Art and Design education an excellent choice for career development.
Start also helps students to look at their skills in a more general way. We talk about ‘Transferable Skills’ or ‘Life Skills’, by which we mean skills that can be taken from one subject area and applied to other subjects or tasks – for instance good time management or working with others are skills that everyone needs in their lives. We aim to help students view the skills they pick up at Start in this way.
Perhaps the most popular moving on option is into education. We have good links to local mainstream education and have successfully helped many of our students to move on to college through a partnership programme called Partnership by Design.
‘Attending Start has opened up opportunities to me that I never dreamed of. I now act as Teaching Assistant at Start and in an Adult Education environment … I feel as though I am doing something positive by helping people. It gives me a sense of achievement to pass on my skills.’
‘Going to University to study Art was always a dream, and now I've realised that dream. A lot of that’s about having been at Start. I don't know that I would have got here without Start.’