Adam’s Inspiring Member Story – Creativity and Community at Designs in Mind.

A young adult in a blue bandanna and overall using creative art materials.

Meet the Team – Adam’s Story of Creativity and Community as a Member at Designs in Mind

This week’s blog is a Meet the Team story, introducing Adam who has recently become a Member at Designs in Mind. To kick off the story I asked Adam, ‘how did you hear about Designs in Mind?’
Adam shared: “I first heard about Designs in Mind around 13 years ago when it was called the project group. I used to do a weekly session as a part of my pupil referral unit doing various different activities. I then became aware of the service again when I moved back to the area, this was through one of the public evening workshops. I’ve been attending the studio for just under a year now. I started my new referrals group at the end of January 2023 and became a full member in around April/May last year.”
We’re always keen to hear feedback on how Designs in Mind helps our Members with their mental health challenges and creative journey. Adam told me that: “Coming to Designs in Mind has definitely helped my mental health. After moving back to the area I had very little to do, so for a few years I found myself staying at home, this resulted in becoming very anxious and unsettled whenever I was in public. Designs in Mind has given me a bit of an anchor point, where I not only feel able to start pulling myself back into a social space but also be able to talk about any mental health issues I’m experiencing. The people at Designs in Mind understand what I’m going through. I’ve quite quickly gone from feeling like I’m unsafe when not in my room at home to wanting to be out of the house and at the studio as much as I can, which has done wonders for my ability to socialise and engage with things that I felt cut off from for a long time.”  As I wrote Adam’s words this made me smile and feel proud to be part of Designs in Mind!
From my own personal experience I often ponder what I’d be doing to manage my mental health challenges and well-being, if Designs in Mind wasn’t around. So it seems fitting to ask other Members sharing their Designs in Mind journey, the same ponderous question. Adam told me “I feel like I would mostly gravitate towards counselling or therapy which I’ve not personally found as helpful as coming to the studio. I feel as though I need a more personal connection with someone in order to really get things off my chest, that’s something that I’ve struggled to find outside of the Designs in Mind studio”.
I could really relate to Adam on this. Although Designs in Mind doesn’t offer ‘therapy,’ it is a warm hearted, inclusive, therapeutic place, full of artistic challenge in real-world environments. This makes it a great environment for flourishing well-being, a place to face mental health challenges and grow and achieve through our mental health journeys, together.
Adam continued to share: “I’m also became a volunteer with Designs in Mind, so outside of my studio sessions I do several days in the Designs in Mind shop. I’ve also come in for extra workshops and evening events such as the Christmas late night Bazaars. I enjoy all the extra opportunities available to us as members, as I love being in the studio and around the other members.”
At Designs in Mind we have such a plethora of different creative projects throughout the year. I always love to hear what each member has enjoyed the most. I enquired with Adam as to his favourite. Adam shared, “I’m a big fan of sculpture and three dimensional work  so my  favourite sessions have been the recent papier mache sculptures, which we did for a few weeks. I’m often wanting to do more of that outside of the studio, but talk myself out of it a lot! Being able to experiment in the studio has helped me to get over that fear somewhat, which has been great for my own personal craft.”
Long Limbed Handcrafted Pink Sculpture
 Unpainted Handcrafted Bendy Sculpture    Painted bendy handcrafted sculpture
Two of the questions we like to explore with Members that feel comfortable in sharing is, ‘Where do you see your life heading in a few years time? Has Designs in Mind helped you to look toward your future plans?’
Adam was happy to say, “Designs in Mind has definitely helped me feel more motivated to make plans in my life. I feel like having that community influence which Designs in Mind creates, means that I want to share things that I’ve done at the studio. Being a Member helps me feel more driven. I can actually start doing the things I’ve had on my mind to do independently. Being generally out of the house more often, has comforted me, now I feel like my life doesn’t just stop happening if I’m not out of the house. That’s been a big thing for me, I think it has really made things easier through coming to Designs in Mind.”
We thank Adam for sharing the positive experiences that Designs in Mind have presented and for volunteering in the shop and at our late night events. Adam has also helped to bring in extra income through sales in our shop over the Christmas period, which we are truly grateful for.
Blog Written & researched by Willow, Member & Social Media Coordinator