ABOUT

EVERY CLOUD

Every Cloud is a charity run by volunteers, offering a variety of activities, events and services to support the mental health &
well-being of all in the community.  

 

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Every Cloud Background

Every Cloud Arts & Crafts was launched as a not for profit co-operative in 2014 by a small group of individually talented artists and crafts people, supported by a facilitator, who were still on a journey of recovery from poor mental health and/or living with the life-long condition of Aspergers. Nearly all these members had discovered their creativity through TWIGS (Therapeutic Work In Gardening in Swindon) and or DASH (Discovering Autistic Spectrum Happiness), both of these organisations supported Every Cloud to provide the next stepping stone for these individuals by exploring their personal and professional potential as independent artists and craftspeople. The name – Every Cloud Arts & Crafts- was chosen by the founder members and speaks volumes of their hopes and aspirations,  since then, many members lives have been positively transformed.

In 2016 Every Cloud Arts & Crafts came to the Farmhouse at Stanton Country Park.  As a big green open space and nature reserve it offered members a calm, reflective and inspirational environment in which to be creative. It also gave members an opportunity to open a week-end Tea Room and Garden for visitors to the park, providing  finances to sustain the core costs of Every Cloud Arts & Crafts. The Tea-room has been, and continues to be, wonderfully supported by independent volunteers from the community as well as volunteers from within Every Cloud Arts & Crafts itself.

Between 2017 and 2020 Every Cloud Arts & Crafts developed a commitment to sharing the benefits of being creative to support individual health and well-being more widely in the community, with a  programme of publicly accessible art and craft workshops, led by members and associate members; family events and children’s art and craft activities, including autistic children; and responding to a request from the Council’s Community Navigators Team to run a therapeutic group for people with long term health conditions and experiencing social isolation.

In 2020, when everything was brought to a halt by Covid, Every Cloud took a bold decision to spend all their reserves from 3 years fundraising in the Tea Room to restore the empty Barn on site to become a useable weather proof space in order to provide more opportunities, post pandemic, to  enable more people in the community to experience the restorative effect of engaging in the creative arts. We were supported with a grant to employ an ecologist who supervised our work in the Barn under a licence from Natural England to ensure enhanced mitigation for the swallows that return to Stanton Park in April to nest and for the bats who fly in occasionally to rest whilst out hunting at night.

Where we are now?

As of October 2021 we transferred from being a co-operative supporting individuals into Every Cloud Swindon as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (known as a CIO registered with the Charity Commission - no 1196161). This enables us to widen our services to the whole community as enshrined in our charitable purpose “to promote and protect the mental health of people living in or around Swindon by providing the facilities for the engagement with the creative arts and nature”

This permits us to continue to spread our wings!

Our current activities include

  • A monthly social afternoon with activities and tea and cake for families with dementia in partnership with Swindon Carers and Home Instead called "Silver linings".

  • Responding to referrals by local GPs and the council’s Community Navigators Team by expanding the therapeutic art group.  

  • Working in partnership with a housing scheme for people with learning difficulties to access volunteering opportunities and/or the therapeutic art group and a catering team providing work experience and paid employment also for young people with learning difficulties.

  • Supporting young people with social and communication difficulties to engage in a regular Art Club.

  • Supporting an Every Cloud Home Educators group and Swindon Tuition Centre Forest school and holiday club by offering access to the barn for their nature & craft  based curriculums.

  • Facilitating a monthly “Children’s Hour” to engage families with young children in nature and crafts. 

  • Through local, independent artists, we host art exhibitions including Swindon Open Studios and a public programme of art and craft workshops throughout the year

Public Benefit
Mental health problems are a common human experience. They can happen to anyone, at any time. They affect about 1 in 4 people in Britain and are the reason for over 50% of GP consultations.
Positively managing our own mental well-being can contribute to both the way we feel and how we cope with life’s daily stresses as well as those big life events that have the potential to knock us down and to become mental health problems.  The use of the arts to support health & well-being as a public health resource is now much more widely understood.

Developing opportunities for the community to engage in creative activities, in a country park setting that is tranquil and relaxing, effectively doubles the value of the experience and improves the quality of life and mental and emotional well-being of all those who take part.
If you would like to support us, why not consider
becoming a volunteer?

For more information please contact:
Trustee, Anne Billingham by texting 07796 530 560

or email: anne.billingham2@btinternet.com