Autumn 2022 Newsletter

Arts & miNDs

Arts &miNDs is a 6 week pilot group, to ascertain the need and demand going forward of a social group with an arts based focus in Glossop for the Neurodivergent community. Its run by Sonja Quirk, who is neurotypical, but with 25 years’ experience in social care, said “I have been working on doing this for a few years because of the amount of referrals we have from, mainly, autistic people who feel they ‘don’t quite fit in’ with our mental health or learning disabilities groups so I have started training and working with organisations like Derbyshire Autism Services and the Neurodiverse Self-Advocacy group to cater for this community”.

The timetable for this group is different to our other groups, it is peer led and guided by the participants. We have ideas and themes – such as ‘special interests’ and Arts in Health but as a group we design the session and we are hoping to have an exhibition later in the year. Watch this space!” Sonja also said “I’m really excited and a bit nervous about this and hope I get it right!”


On the 26th November 10-4pm, it is the Friends of Victoria Hall Christmas Craft Fair. As usual GAP will have a stall of our beautiful handmade products, made by many of our wonderful participants and volunteers. And we will also have our tombola!

Arts for wellbeing session for young people!

We are pleased to say that we have increased the number of sessions we are running for young people.

*We now have 2 sessions on a Wednesday 4-5:30pm and 6-7:30pm, for 11-18yr olds.

*We continue to run on a Friday 12:30-2:30pm for 14-18yr olds who are not in school or college fulltime, including some who come out of school to attend.

*We also have a session for older, young adults, Wednesday 1-3pm, for 18-30yr olds.

*And we are excited to have just completed our pilot project, of a short 6 weeks Arts for Wellbeing course in St.Philip Howard School.

We are always willing to do what we can to support young people who may be anxious or nervous to attend. For example we can offer home visits or visits to Victoria Hall before the sessions so young people can see what we do.

Volunteer Focus: Eva

I spent my childhood in Stockholm. I trained and worked as a Speech and Language Therapist in a Learning Disabilities Team. I enjoyed life in Sweden but then LOVE struck! Graham and I got married and we settled in Sussex. Our three sons grew up near beautiful Ashdown Forest (Winnie the Pooh’s One Hundred Acre Wood). I was fortunate to retrain in the creative field as a Textile Artist. Graham was asked to relocate to Manchester so we moved to lovely Broadbottom in 2014.

Not knowing anyone “up North” I was delighted to start volunteering as GAP was starting to offer regular sessions in 2015. It’s been great seeing GAP evolve and expand.

Clare is an ace Art Teacher. She inspires us to play with both new and familiar art and craft techniques at Arts For Wellbeing. Everyone is experimenting at their own pace. We learn about famous artists and also new trends. Every term has a “theme”. There’s usually an end of term party celebrating our attempts and newfound skills.

As a volunteer, I make sure everyone is greeted and offered their favourite cuppa in the friendly atmosphere at Victoria Hall. I assist Clare and show how to use art equipment and applying design ideas. It’s a pleasure meeting local people from all walks of life, many of whom become regulars at our sessions. I’m grateful for sporadic staff training over the years.

Eva Thomas, Textile Artist