Creative Options is a voluntary charity set up by Frances Heather, a retired NHS mental health Occupational Therapist. The project is managed by a committee of trustees and run by a part-time project leader and members with lived experience of mental health issues. They offer support, train-ing, mentoring and opportunities to people experiencing mental health issues.

They currently offer a weekly drop-in at Freemantle United Reformed Church 257 Shirley Road, SO15 3HS, and other mid-week groups across the week at Freemantle Community Centre, Randolph Street, Central Baptist Church, Devonshire Road, Polygon SO15 2GY and The Third Age Centre, Cranbury Terrace SO14 OLH. They also get involved in a number of extra-mural activities and sports across the city.

How to get involved
Anyone who has experienced mental health issues is welcome to be involved, together with carers, relatives and friends. They also welcome people as volunteers; especially those with lived experience and/or skills they would like to develop and share. We particularly encourage service-user led initiatives.

They accept referrals from the statutory services and welcome people to come along and visit us and for individuals to apply to join us. The committee is run by a number of service-users who are members and help to run the project. The committee meets on a bi-monthly basis. They have monthly member’s forums where people can discuss various topics and express their views. They also have sub-committees for fund-raising, social committees etc., and run small groups on healthy lifestyle and wellbeing.
Format:- 10.30—11 a.m.—meet and greet, tea and coffee, 11 00 a.m. Quiz 11.30 a.m.—member’s forums or committee meetings, creative writing, p’s and q’s group (help with paperwork, benefits etc.,) or discussion followed by tutored activities—sewing, ‘Create4 cash’ (income-generation projects using people’s artwork skills). 2nd week of the month ‘wellbeing Wednesday’ - massage, self-care, healthy lifestyle talks, relaxation, mindfulness. Encaustic art, pottery and floristry (termly). Afternoon activities include ‘knit and relax club, music appreciation, support group and Recovery Star with Michelle 1-1 fortnightly.

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