Arts and Wellbeing

face2face-logo-5Face2Face Dorset :: Zap Arts

We are very proud of our largest Arts & Wellbeing project so far – Face2Face Dorset. Face2Face used members of our art group – Zap Arts – to run workshops for the public around Dorset as part of the Time To Change campaign, using our volunteers to break down the stigma surrounding mental health. Initially set up for CMHT referral, we are now developing the project to permit GP and other agency referrals to the Zap Arts art group for people with lower levels of anxiety and depression. Funding applications are underway to allow for a two year extended evaluation of this model – but we were delighted to get a shorter pilot running with local Poole GP referrals in early Spring 2016, and further Awards For All grant to take us up to the end of 2016.

We are very keen to develop credible evidence of the value of this sort of experience – there are links at the bottom of this page to online research we have discovered so far.  We would love to add to this, or be part of a larger study.  We are developing links with Bournemouth University, but please get in touch if you can help with this.

Where possible, we endeavour to take account of Public Health England’s guidelines for evaluating Arts and Health projects…


Face2Face is an arts and mental health project set up by ZooFish Arts CIC and Richmond Fellowship as part of the national Time to Change campaign attacking stigma around mental health. The project offers meaningful volunteering opportunities for participants with lived experience of mental distress.

The project has two strands:

  • Face2Face – a team of participants who volunteered to engage the public in meaningful conversations about mental health at community events across Dorset. This part of the project is now on hold pending further funding.
  • Zap Arts – a free weekly art group in Poole, where participants learn a range of art techniques. Members volunteer to run free art activities to engage the public, setting the scene for these conversations to take place. Funding ran out in March 2015, but the group continues with volunteer support. We are actively seeking new funding to develop the project.
  • Some volunteers work on both teams.

We have worked with over 50 participants, with some thirty receiving training in a range of skills other than art; participant representatives sit on the Face2Face steering group and 3 have been employed by the project. Volunteer attendance at public events has been good, and we have maintained excellent attendance at our Zap Arts workshops.

 Evaluation Material for Face2Face, including an external evaluation report and a presentation used with partner agencies.

ZooFish Arts Face2Face project – Arts and Health South West Prize 2015


Face 2 Face Final Report 2 0

Face2Face website –

Face2Face – social media:

Funding source – Time to Change: anti-stigma national campaign –

composite logos arts health award

Recent Feedback

‘This is about as creative as I have ever felt’

by project participant