Time to Talk – Time to Change

Talking about mental health…

Zap Arts

Weekly art group in Poole

Art in the Park

Gallery Exhibition – Upton Park

The Big Draw Day – Poole Park


Innovation :: Evaluation

We are not afraid to try new ideas – from Gyotaku fish printing at a food festival to using iPads to stimulate dementia patients. We are keen to establish what works too, and some form of evaluation is part of every project.

Over Thirty Years’ Experience

We each have over ten years experience working with a wide range of disadvantaged and disability communities, as well have teaching experience within the FE sector.  We sometimes engage other community artists with different specialist skills, for example to work with under 5s.

Enthusiasm :: Breadth of Skills

Rachel and Richard both work and exhibit as artists in their own right, and can deliver high quality art programmes across a range of media… Where possible projects will include some exhibition of work created.  We have a passion for what we do…

What we do

Art and Health

Over thirty years between us running arts-based projects for all sorts of community groups, often disadvantaged but nearly always with some objective to improve wellbeing.

Art and Environment

Wherever we can, we like to take our projects outdoors – preferably to experience a closer sense of nature than the usual – but a good park will do if there is nothing else.

CPD Opportunities

We often run art and environment based day workshops designed as CPD opportunities – suitable for employees in stressful, public facing sectors: health, education, social services…

ZooFish Arts are:

ZooFish Arts CIC uses arts and environment based projects to work with disability and disadvantaged communities across a range of ages, primarily in Southwest England. We specialise in delivering projects that incorporate sculpture, land art, digital photography, ceramics, horticulture and sensory exploration of the environment. Between us we cover most art and craft forms, and if we don’t do it, we know someone we trust who can….

ZooFish Arts CIC

An experienced educator, Richard has been running community and participatory arts projects for over a decade, and still finds this an exhilarating aspect of his working practice – part education, part problem solving, part exploration, part celebration. Arts based activity (photography and ceramics/assemblage) is often used to underpin other goals – from return to work to developing community leadership.


Richard Jeffery – Photographer and 3D Artist

Rachel has worked with mental health and similar service users in both Dorset and further afield for over 10 years. Her workshops, often based around nature, are lively and full of a range of fun and explorative activities, planned and delivered to suit the needs of each group. Learning is accessible, helping to develop new skills and raising self-esteem and confidence. Workshops promote inspiration and encourage interactivity. Rachel is also a member of the Dorset Coppice Group.


Rachel Huggett – Sculptor and Community Artist

The third director of ZooFish Arts CIC, Anna has worked with young people and adults in different educational settings for 10 years. She has worked to engage community groups in meaningful conversations about mental wellbeing and to support people with experiences of mental health problems. Anna now works as a horticultural therapist, facilitating creative engagement with the environment through nature and art. Her PhD research in education and wellbeing, promotes participatory learning and action for community-led projects.

Anna Sowter – Horticultural Therapist and Researcher in Education

Face2Face Dorset / Zap Arts

Phew! Anyone would think looking at this site that we’ve been off doing other things – but nothing would be further from the truth… In 2013 we won an Awards for All grant to set up ZAP Arts – a weekly art group for people in the Poole area with experience of mental distress (although we have a couple of regular members from much further afield).  We work with Richmond Fellowship at their base in Eastgate Lodge in Poole Park,…

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St Ann’s Hospital Project – December 2013 Exhibition

This first ZooFish Arts project at St Ann’s Hospital came to an end on 6th December with a temporary exhibition in the meeting room.  Great to see the work hung, and a pleasure really that most of the participants couldn’t be there because they had moved on and left the Hospital’s care…. The two mosaic seats at the heart of this project will be installed in the next week or so in the hospital grounds – we hope to be…

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Recent Feedback

‘I found walking around the woods, focusing on the environment around me, enabled me to practice mindfulness as my usual thoughts were put aside’

by client