When words alone just don't feel enough, or the narrative to describe what is happening and how you feel doesn't come easy! Creative mentoring may be the kind of support that would suit you...
We aim to provide a relaxed environment where you can use the support and time with a mentor in the best format that matches your needs. We are all unique and connect with different activities that can help us to feel more relaxed. For some, having an activity to do whilst talking is the ideal way to access support, and is often described as having the freedom to say what is happening without the focus being solely on just them. Maybe your mentoring support is walking and talking? or painting and being creative? the most important thing is that you feel relaxed and safe enough to describe what is bothering you.
All of our mental health practitioners and mentors have had training in counselling/and or listening skills. They are people who understand that talking isn't always an easy task and appreciate that some alternative approaches to receiving support can really benefit some people. Mentoring is suitable for ages 8 years and above and can be on a one-one basis or as a group of people with similar needs.
An Individual Experience...
It can be as a group...
1-1in person or online...
Choose what you feel you need...
An individual experience
We have noticed how quickly people relax when they are taking part in something they relate to, for example; Anna loves using her hands and using clay modelling in her creative mentoring sessions supported her to relax whilst describing how she felt to her mentor. Anna kept all the objects she made and they now represent making positive steps towards feeling more confident in herself and her choices. Ian is 15 years old and loves photography, so his mentor found some places/views to photograph whilst they walked, took photos and talked. Ian found that having the extra space around him helped him to feel comfortable, he spoke about what was happening to him and being in the outdoors supported him to feel less overwhelmed. Lucy is a young parent, they felt isolated and are often seeking a space to get clarification and guidance on how to cope with negative thought patterns. Lucy met their mentor in our Gloucester room and spoke about the experiences of being isolated, the mentor and Lucy both did some colouring together. Lucy really enjoyed meeting someone weekly, and later found a group for parents/carers living locally and continued widening their community connections.
Each session is bespoke and arranged to support someone, taking into account their current situation, and providing access to guidance and support to move forward through what may be feeling like a tricky or difficult situation to be in alone.
Mentoring is different to counselling, counselling can be focused on exploring a core issue, or root cause, requiring some deeper level of support and reflection. Mentoring is usually more focused on dealing with a current situation and having a non-judgemental space to seek supportive guidance and have practical help when needed with managing the various symptoms that arise from feeling overwhelmed.
Mentoring sessions can vary in how they are arranged, and how the activities are shared, they can range between 30 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on time restrictions, availability and what kind of creative mentoring is chosen. The sessions can be weekly or every other week, again to suit your needs, and can be between 9 am and 6 pm Monday - Friday. If you are walking and talking we recommend that you arrange this between 9 am and 4 pm during the winter and 9 am - 7 pm during the summer months.
We have two locations, one in Cheltenham Town Centre and the other in Gloucester (just off Shurdington Rd) we are happy to arrange sessions within organisations or community settings if required. Anyone can self-refer if they are over age 16, referrals can also be made on behalf of someone else. Either way, you will be seen quickly and we aim to have bespoke support in place for you within two weeks of getting in touch.
But I'm not creative!
My name is Alexa Young
A common misconception among people is that we have to be 'arty' to be creative. This is so not true! Don't get me wrong - it's fabulous if we are talented and able to produce something spectacular and breathtaking, but being creative doesn't always have to be about what we produce; it can be about the creative process itself. It's about being absorbed and tuning out from our worries. It's about being in such a relaxed state that we forget about what's going on in our busy world and we focus solely on the present moment. (Janine Clifton 2022)
"A mental Health Tool Kit"
With many of us struggling right now with our mental health, and problems in our world that affect so many of us physically, emotionally, and mentally, we need now more than ever to focus on self-care and finding effective ways of creating a bespoke mental health 'tool kit' that we know suits our individual skills and needs. (Counselling Directory, 2022)
Could creative mentoring help you?
How to get in touch
Getting in touch can be the hardest part for some people.
We welcome you to reach out and start the process to receive some support from one of our mentors. A referral can come from yourself if you are over 16 years old, or from an adult/carer on your behalf.
Complete a referral form and send it back to us. We want this process to be as easy as possible.
We are here to help you.
Connecting with you
We have several spaces we use, these are in both Cheltenham and Gloucester. Both are easy to find and have public transport links and parking nearby
or onsite. Sessions can take place in a community setting, school or organisation.
Once we know your individual circumstances, we can connect you with the right person and together you can choose how we support you, and how often the support takes place.
Starting your Support
Creative Mentoring can be for anyone and is suitable for individuals on a 1-1 basis or
as a small group.
We support adults and young people, for either 8 or 16 sessions, depending upon your individual needs, age, ability
No creative experience is needed and the support can range from walking and talking, cray work or painting, colouring or sensory and sound.
Your support is unique to you!
Creative Mentoring Team
SJ - Project Lead & Creative Counsellor
SJ is a CIC project lead, counsellor and supervisor for Essential Space CIC. They have a particular interest in combining creativity with bespoke support for individuals and groups.
Sj believes that creative mentoring has no limits, it is unique to the people who are taking part. They embrace diversity and the freedom to express one's self, bringing forward possibilities of self-empowerment and a sense of self-worth. Creativity can enhance someone's therapeutic experience in a wonderful way.
Victoria- Project Creative Mentor
Victoria is a qualified counsellor with her own private practice in Cheltenham. Victoria is also a creative mentor for Essential Space. She has a passion for supporting young people through tough times using creative methods that she has taken from her experiences working in early years nurseries and organisations. Victoria brings a calmness to her work, which is hugely beneficial, especially when someone's world feels quite the opposite! She is hoping to support and work with young people and adults using creative methods that she can recommend as useful tools for life. possibilities.
Leann - Project Lead & Creative Counsellor
Leann is a CIC project lead, counsellor and supervisor for Essential Space CIC. Leann has a great understanding of how complex life can be, and how difficult it can be to reach out and express thoughts and feelings. Leann works creatively herself and believes that everyone should have the opportunity to explore their personal challenges with ease. Creativity allows the mind to find space for clarity and understanding, at times when using words alone is not enough.
Become A Project Creative Mentor
Would you like to volunteer for us? Or are you searching for some self-employed work that fits your skill set? If so, we are interested to hear from you, we are hoping you have some skills or appreciation for the following topics; creativity, listening to others, understanding and appreciating differences, having your own vehicle and can spare at least two hours a week.
If this sounds like you, please get in touch by emailing Leann and SJ on
Thank you and take care
Abi - Project Creative Mentor
Abi is a qualified counsellor and creative mentor for Essential Space. She believes that childhood/ life experiences shape us into who we are today. Abi appreciates the variety of ways in which someone can explore life's struggles when they're supported by another person. She has an understanding of how creativity can support the therapeutic process and has seen how people gain self-awareness and take back control of their lives and begin to live in a way they had always hoped.