Welcome to our Art, Health and Wellbeing section. This is your chance to take some time out for yourself.

My name is Penny and I am the Training and Development Officer at SAMM. I have a Masters in Art, Health and Wellbeing.

I have over 16 years of experience of teaching art and craft workshops and have studied many different approaches to therapy and recovery.

I have experience in many areas including textiles and I specialise in the ancient heritage craft of felt making. Using the arts to relax and connect with yourself after a trauma can promote wellbeing and recovery.

When you take part in a relaxing activity it can give you some space to get your thoughts together. You can chat with someone else while you do this, or you can be alone and write some thoughts down afterwards.

Research shows that engaging in this kind of activity can help:  

  • Manage pain – physical and mental
  • Relieve anxiety, stress and depression
  • Boost your mood
  • Improve concentration
  • Improve communication skills
  • Improve fine motor skills
  • Connect with the world

Empowerment Weekends

We run art and craft sessions at the SAMM Empowerment Weekends where people have the chance to speak with other bereaved people and find ways to relax and explore different coping mechanisms.

Feedback from retreats

“I want to go home and paint!”

“Never thought I could paint or produce anything like this.”

“I didn’t know I could paint.  I am thrilled!”

“Loved the session.  Can’t wait to do some more.”

“This is the best thing I’ve done in 10 years. I just can’t concentrate anymore. That was a great hour and a half.”

Art is not a luxury”
Thomas Walshaw, Communications & Development Manager for Paintings in Hospitals

“Arts provide a bridge back to ourselves and to others”
Dr Val Huet, CEO of British Association of Art Therapists.

“Creative activities empower me to own my own recovery”
Dr Katherine Taylor is a clinical psychologist and Arts and Mental Health Innovation Programme Manager for Greater Manchester’s iTHRIVE team

Memorial quilt

The quilt has offered an opportunity for SAMM members to permanently include their memories of their loved ones and acts as a visual way of raising the profile of the work we do here at SAMM.  We are looking forward to sharing the final masterpiece with you, as soon as it is complete.

Throughout lockdown we have been working alongside a professional textile artist to make a beautiful Memorial Quilt. Members have been asked to stitch a small square of fabric in memory of their loved one. 

 These are being put together by the artist who will ensure all the tributes are combined to create a beautiful art piece.  Quilts are traditionally all about memories, warmth and love and we are calling the project ‘Remember Me’. 

It is an opportunity to pay tribute to our loved ones but also a reminder to remember to be kind to ourselves.

This is what you said about making the Memorial Quilt:

“Love doing this because it gave me some peace in my mind for a few hours.”

“Doing something in memory of my son, L. Being part of the SAMM family and friends and remembering all our lost loved ones.”

“Doing something that I have never done before and thoroughly enjoyed it. Very therapeutic.”

“The concentration needed to create something like this helps to switch off from problems.”

“I have done many crafts since M died. I have found it very helpful.”

“I feel part of something and the feeling of being connected to others, living and surviving a tragic loss. S was 22 years old and brutally murdered by her boyfriend 6 years ago. My love goes to all of you living with an aching heart from a lost loved one.”

“It’s relaxing, a form of meditation.”

“Would definitely do this again. It helps me enormously.”