We at Orb are convinced that creativity can play a huge role in personal well-being, and Orb is full of creative people who share this belief, putting their diverse skills into practice for the benefit of all those involved.

From our base in the middle of Knaresborough, we have now begun to make connections further afield, with the aim of building links with other organisations who share our values and practices. By sharing our skills and expertise, we hope that this will enable all of us to have a greater impact and reach.

Last week, a group of Orb staff, volunteers and group leaders met at Wetherspoons to pool our thoughts and experiences, as part of the national ArtWorks Conversations initiative. Billed as “developing practice in participatory settings”, and sponsored by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, this initiative involves holding 100 similar conversations across the UK, over a 10-day period.

Our session was led by Adrian from the Heads Together charity in Leeds, who have recently opened Chapel FM, an arts centre in Seacroft, East Leeds. Over the course of a lively and thought-provoking sixty minutes, Adrian encouraged us to talk about what we all do, why we do it, how we originally got involved, how we can best encourage others to get involved, and how we can positively influence the way in which our work is perceived.

We now hope that, having begun to develop these wider links, we can build on them to enable future creative collaborations, both for our own good and for the benefit of the communities we serve.