… Nestled away in Knaresborough’s town centre, lies Orb.

Intrigued? Read on.

An unassuming (former) garage lies just behind the high street in this picturesque market town, and it hides an incredible gem.

Orb is a community arts charity that operates on the increasingly accepted and understood premise that positive mental health can be promoted through the use of the arts. Recent statistics show that in the UK alone, around 1 in 4 people will suffer from poor mental health at some point, which means that you or someone you know may need the services that Orb offers. Whether it’s a mental health boost or a longer-term illness, Orb has what you need.

Art at OrbDeceptively small from outside, the TARDIS-like interior includes a collection of artistic spaces that allow its users to express themselves in whatever medium they feel comfortable with.

In the Art Space, for example, there is plenty of space for multiple service users to practice their painting, drawing, or even doodling skills as they choose to, and this has resulted in some beautiful work. There’s even a weekly arts class run by our very own art teacher, Sharon. The artwork produced is spread throughout the building, with masks, portraits and sketches decorating Orb’s walls.

Music at OrbSimilarly, the music studio has ample room for an entire band to rehearse and record a set using the recording desk, which is regularly used by in-house bands and the choir, who regularly perform at events at the venue.

Alternatively, there’s a DJ room in which users can fine-tune their mixing talents, which have also been used to create the Orb radio show. For anyone needing help with these activities, Orb has its own studio engineer, Andy. He’s available to help users with recording and mixing, and even song writing!

IT at OrbAs a third alternative, there’s the IT suite, which has software on each computer to allow users to create and improve images on editing software. Just as important as the artistic ventures is the digital engagement of the service users: everyone is able and encouraged to use the IT suite to help them interact with the world of social media, with volunteers available to help with using email, Facebook (or other social media) and blogging.

 

But wait, there’s more!

 

Garden at OrbDown a path to the back of the building, sits a surprise: Orb’s garden. Lovingly tended to by a team of volunteers and service users, the garden is at once beautiful and bountiful. Users are invited to help Orb grow its own fruit and vegetables, herbs and flowers; here, getting your hands dirty is positively encouraged.

No matter what the service users require, there is the space and the equipment for them to get involved, and there’s always a friendly face prepared to give their time to get them started.

If you’d like to see some of the art that is produced at Orb, and the work that goes on, why not check out our website, our Facebook, or follow us on Twitter or Instagram?

We’re certain that you’ll enjoy what you find.

If you like the sound of what we can offer you, feel free to contact Mark or Leon by telephone on (01423) 202028 or by email at admin@orb-arts.org.