See with Fresh Eyes

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See with Fresh Eyes project launches new online exhibition showcasing how mindful photography and nature improves mental health

From the autumn of 2019, creative project See with Fresh Eyes has supported 40 people in their mid-life from around Gloucestershire who have experienced challenges to their mental health or wellbeing. This online photography exhibition launches this month and showcases their work, celebrating their creativity whilst documenting their journey through the project.

See with Fresh Eyes was delivered with funding awarded by the BUPA Foundation and delivered by Look Again with support from Create Gloucestershire, Gloucester Cathedral and Llanthony Secunda Priory. Course participants were referred to the project by partner organisations: The Nelson Trust, Headway Gloucestershire, Maggie's and Longfield, all charities that work with and support individuals and their families through physical and mental illness, or provide end of life care. 

“This online exhibition celebrates and demonstrates the incredible creativity of the participants.  It also provides a critical, accessible platform to raise awareness of the effectiveness of a creative, non-clinical approach to improving mental health and wellbeing.” Ruth Davey, Look Again

The project focused on using a blend of photography, mindfulness and being in nature to slow down, reduce stress and relieve anxiety and depression. Participants learned to see their lives from a new perspective, whilst building confidence and self-esteem, learning new skills and building connections with new people. The courses provided participants with creative, simple and fun tools for improving mental health whilst producing their own creative powerful photographs. 

“This course came at the perfect time. As someone living alone, shielding and undergoing cancer treatment in lockdown - the connection with others and learning to be mindful through photography was wonderful.  It helped me cope. I learnt to stop, be in the moment and take notice of all the beauty that surrounds me. I will forever be grateful for the Continued support Maggie’s offers and for introducing me to this wonderful course.” L.A. course participant

The University of Gloucestershire have also joined with Look Again to carry out research about the impact of the project on mental health and wellbeing. This will be available in the New Year.

See with Fresh Eyes online exhibition launches on Wednesday 25th November at 11am and will be available via www.seewithfresheyes.co.uk for a year.

                  

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Notes to editors:

Contact details for comments, images and interviews:

Look Again: Ruth Davey, Director, 07789 958895 ruth@look-again.org   www.look-again.org

 

Create Gloucestershire: Jay Haigh, Company Manager, 07897 12123 hello@creategloucestershire.co.uk

 

            

 

Gloucester Cathedral: Helen Jeffrey,
Community Engagement and Social Responsibility Manager,
Helen.jeffrey@gloucestercathedral.org.uk

 

Additional notes:

 

The Bupa Foundation is an independent charity whose purpose is to help people live longer, healthier, happier lives.

The Bupa Foundation runs and helps fund practical projects that have a positive impact on people’s mental health. Its programmes include Wellbeing for Educators which provides evidence-based wellbeing coaching to educators, a partnership with Mind which funds information resources to help young people aged 11-25 live mentally healthy lives, and support for local charities that help vulnerable people in their communities. www.Bupafoundation.org

  • The Five Ways to Wellbeing (developed by the New Economics Foundation, and used throughout the NHS) were used as a framework for each course and included:
  • Be Active: walking in nature
  • Connect: with self, family, staff and other participants
  • Give: inspire each other, share and exhibit photos
  • Learn: photography (simple, low tech tools and techniques focusing on looking and seeing), mindfulness (focusing on the attitudes of mindfulness) and resilience skills
  • Take Notice: increase awareness, appreciation and gratitude.

More information on the Five Ways to Wellbeing can be found here:
https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/mental-health-at-work/taking-care-of-yourself/five-ways-to-wellbeing/

 

 


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