Our Latest News

2013 / April

April news

8th April 2013

What's new?

We’re pleased to have over 600 registered people using Start2.   It’s great to hear how people are using the resource both in their personal and professional lives. We’re attracting international users and inspiring young people to make positive changes in their lives. We’ve been running monthly practical workshops, using creative activities so people can experience firsthand how creative activity can benefit them.


Inspiring youngsters in America to connect with nature

We recently heard from a Youth project in the US who’ve bookmarked Start2 as their top resource for providing fun and educational activities connected to nature and gardening. One young person was so excited by Start2 that he was inspired to go online and research American gardening and nature resources for the Youth project’s use.  His Youth Worker was very proud of him and she got in touch to tell us, and to say thanks for ‘sharing a great resource’, Start2.

A helping hand for exam stress

The London School of Tropical Medicine dropped us a line to say that Start2 is now one of their recommended resources for students in the run-up to exams, and will feature as a link on their student support materials.

Good Mood Recipes for Rampton

Rampton High Secure Psychiatric Hospital recently ran a workshop using our Recipe For a Good Mood creative writing activity. The group of lesbian and bisexual female residents and their friends got together to create some heart-warming recipes that will be displayed within the hospital for other residents and visitors to see. ‘The groups are often a little but reluctant at writing tasks’, said their activity coordinator, ‘but they all ended up really enjoying it….and there were some cracking recipes!’


Manchester University students and staff enjoy Start2 activities

Last month we had a stand and ran a Wellbeing Workshop at Manchester University’s Wellbeing Week for staff and students.
Our creative activities flew off the tables and this is what was said:


“I was trying to think positively today about my hour commute in to work, now I’m looking forward to it because I can do some of the creative writing activities on the train.”


“This is fantastic. I’m going to take it home to do with my children”


“I struggle to concentrate in lectures sometimes so I’ll try the Doodling activity.”


“I am impressed that Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust have come up with a preventative and creative service which will benefit people and enable people with mental health problems to come up with what works for them (in terms of recovery) and are not just given a diagnosis and pills to take. This did not exist when I used the service 10 years ago…. Now I can use Start2/creative activities to help myself.”



This month's workshop

This month The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF) are celebrating their ‘Befrienders’ service. This service encourages lesbian, gay and bisexual people to fulfil their potential and build social networks to decrease isolation. LGF have invited all the past and present service users to take part in a fun and confidence-boosting afternoon.  Start2 will be available all day to encourage peoples’ creativity, as well as inform people about what the resource can offer them.


Did you know?

Research shows that creative activity taps into “the creative potential” and improves our ability to think in flexible ways. Thinking flexibly helps us to gain the skills to solve problems more confidently and effectively, and cope with challenges.


Creative activity suggestions


Outdoor activity:


Spring brings us longer days and sunshine, brightly coloured flowers and scents, but what about the sounds of Spring? Our daily lives are so full of noise and distraction we can find it hard to concentrate, or simply to enjoy the world around us; too often the outside noise is drowned out by the chatter inside our heads. Why not try our noticing activity – Sound Map? This listening exercise asks us to absorb and record the richness and detail of sounds around us.  
Upload and share your sound map here.


Indoor activity


Not convinced it’s warm enough yet for outdoor activity?  
Try our spring inspired brain boosting Creative Writing ‘Word Association.’  This technique of writing uses a number of words that are all connected to one another in some way. The activity challenges you to invent short stories or poems, using the associated words.  This exercise is fun to do on your own as well as with a group of people, and is for all ages. It’s amazing how different each person’s piece of creative writing is, when using the same set of words.

Upload your writing to your own private Creative Writing Collection and add photographs. 
Read other’s work and share yours in the Communal Creative Writing Collection.



Best wishes


Start2 team