Justlife’s Creative Studio, based in central Brighton, is a safe space for anyone who is homeless, or has experienced homelessness to explore art in a supportive environment. We aim to help artists improve their confidence, learn new skills, make meaningful connections, and build on their strengths and interests. We also aspire to improve public perceptions around homelessness.
The studio provides peer support, workshops and studio space for homeless artists to come together and express themselves. We also host exhibitions, provide mentoring, and work in partnership with numerous services and artists in Brighton.
Before Covid-19, the studio was open several days a week for art exploration and workshops - some of which are run by local artists, and some are run by beneficiaries of the studio to enhance their confidence and leadership skills. We continue to run a reduced program at the moment in a new larger studio space where we are able to maintain social distancing and adhere to Covid-19 safety guidelines. Workshops can include:
The studio is run as a collective: beneficiaries play a key role in decisions about how the studio is run on a day-to-day basis, and we always make sure everyone’s ideas are heard, valued and considered.
76 clients / professionals identified an improvement in physical or mental health, and 25 identified an improvement in their substance misuse.
physical / mental health appointments were arranged or attended by a health engagement worker.
In Brighton, we've provided health engagement work to over 700 people, resulting in a 33% reduction in unplanned hospital admissions and a 47% reduction in hospital readmission rates.
63 of our Brighton clients reported an improvement in their motivation to take responsibility for themselves going forward.
In the last year, over 244 people experiencing homelessness have attended the Creative Studio’s activities.
After 6 months, beneficiaries noted an improvement in their social skills, confidence, general health, and engagement with support services.
The May 2019 Artists Open Houses exhibition featured 10 artists from the Creative Studio.
During lockdown, we've loaned tablets and sim cards with data to enable beneficiaries to participate in Zoom workshop sessions.
Coming to the studio has changed my life. I've achieved things I never thought I could. I have been sober for the longest time in years. And it's not only Justlife who have helped make that possible, but the people who come here... They are a huge inspiration to me.Creative Studio participant
Creative programmes are extremely effective in improving confidence, self-esteem, skills and opportunities for people experiencing homelessness. Art can reduce anxiety and loneliness, and even help people overcome trauma by enabling them to express stories that are sometimes beyond words.
Creative activities help people to develop wider interests, provide them with an opportunity to socialise, and do something constructive. Sometimes, participation in creative activities may represent someone’s first step on the road to addressing more complex issues.
Our Creative Studio gives beneficiaries a support network and stronger ties with their community. We’ve seen our artists develop positive friendships, increase their self-esteem, feel more empowered to work towards independent living, and believe that change is possible for them.
All my inspiration came from Justlife, it gave me hope. I thought my work was no good, but now I know I can draw. Coming to Justlife reminded me of what I can do and what I can enjoy. I didn't know I had a creative talent until I found it at Justlife. Living in emergency accommodation, the studio keeps me grounded.Creative Studio participant