Get Creative was a series of workshops aimed at both undergraduate and postgraduate students, planned and delivered by Newcastle University Library Education Outreach team in collaboration the University’s Student Wellbeing Service.
The workshops built upon the success of an earlier wellbeing project the Education Outreach team had run with secondary school students. When unpacking why this project had worked so well, it was discovered that it had unconsciously included activities which encouraged students to connect, be active, keep learning, give to others and be mindful – all of which are known to contribute to our wellbeing (See the NHS’s Five Ways to Wellbeing).
The Get Creative workshops were consciously designed to incorporate the Five Ways to Wellbeing and included the opportunity for participants to meet other students and learn new skills including origami and journaling, watercolour painting, poetry writing, print making, willow weaving and stained glass making.
The activities in each workshop took their inspiration from Newcastle University’s Special Collections and Archives. For example, the stained-glass workshop took inspiration from the Leonard Evett’s archive, whilst the Bloodaxe archive provided inspiration for the poetry workshop. After time to browse the Special Collections materials, a creative practitioner worked with the students for the remainder of the session. The workshops were very well received by those who took part and the School of Anatomy have successfully applied for further funding to trial running four workshops with their medicine students as a pilot to running the sessions with more students in future years – their focus will be on bones from our Medicine Through Time collections!
Feedback from the students has been incredibly positive:
“I really enjoyed meeting new people and the mix of heritage and activity “
“It’s therapeutic and a great way to breathe a little bit from the university workload and try something new”
“Fun and relaxing! Something new – get to view special collections too – very unique, interesting experience!”