Daytime creative workshops and activities are open to all ages (including for those of working-age (which has been identified as a specific gap in Chelmsford).

The ideas Hub runs 2 sessions each day which can each cater for a maximum of 12-16 participants per session. They encourage local residents to connect and make friends in a safe environment around similar interests, within their local geographical area, often creating self-supporting groups as well as developing and improving skills and knowledge, which helps to support a better fulfilled life.

The workshops are fully inclusive, where all ages, abilities, and cultures rub shoulders, chat, learn skills, and make new friends. The workshops during the school holidays are run as intergenerational workshops.

Workshops offered include: Visual Arts, Silk Painting, Sewing/ Knitting/ Crochet, General arts and crafts, and ‘Shed Inside’ wood crafts (‘Shed Inside’ workshops are designed to be more attractive to men. These are similar to a concept called ‘Men Shed’, but differ in that they cater specifically for those with reduced mobility who cannot attend a local ‘Men Shed’).

College students and artists are also offered the opportunity to run their own workshops and to try out new workshop concepts, such as pottery or pyrography.


Case study: improving skills

C. did an MA in art psychotherapy in 2007 but shortly after became a full-time carer for C’s parents and disabled sibling. In 2013, C. found the Ideas Hub and participated in a range of creative workshops. C. was then encouraged to run C’s own workshops and exhibit C’s work starting with the Sensation Festival and regularly since. This extended C’s network and rebuilt C’s confidence and skills. C’s has now regained a Health Professional Council (HPC) registration and recommenced C’s career…

Grants and partnerships: The Ideas Hub has just received a £500 grant from Leeds Building Society to develop materials adapted to woodcraft attenders with reduced mobility.

The Shed Inside is a partnership with Maldon CVS/ Essex Shed Network: