Inspiring Minds

Learning for Health award


Learning for Health Award

Inspiring Minds is delivered by mental health charity START and aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the people of Salford through the delivery of creative arts and horticulture activities. Almost 500 learners per year benefit from their person-focussed programme, enabling them to gain new skills and qualifications, and ultimately find the aspiration to lead a better life.

“We support people from areas of high deprivation who have been referred from primary and secondary mental health services, presenting with a variety of mental health concerns. We aim to help learners improve their confidence, self-esteem, resilience and wellbeing, while reducing their isolation and loneliness. Our programmes include 12-week taster and accredited courses in woodwork, art, ceramics, photography, craft and horticulture.

“People referred to START come as an aspiring  artist or student, not someone with a mental illness. Creativity and learning become the vehicles from which people get better.

Our programmes lead to a wide range of outcomes for learners, including improved social connection and mental health, progression to further education, and securing employment.

Paul, a participant at Inspiring Minds, said: “I was referred to START due to my mental health. I progressed to college and then university, achieving a first-class honours degree. I was the first in my family to ever go to university and achieve a degree. I now give back to the charity and volunteer within the art classes that helped me to achieve so much. START has changed my life and I am so grateful.”