Who we are and what we do
The Project Group (Oswestry) CIC is an arts based community interest company (not for profit) working largely on art commissions for the public and private sectors. We have expanded our activities to include community and public workshops, a retail range and the development of workshops and commissions for corporate clients.
We provide a creative environment for individuals, in touch with mental health services, to achieve at their own pace. We aim to provide an environment in which individuals can flourish, make decisions and take up opportunities to gain the self-belief to move forward. By developing the consultancy and workshop programmes, members (who as service users are often cast as passive receivers) can become advisers, facilitators and highly skilled specialists and trainers.
Chris Smart, of Silva Productions, has produced a film which encapsulates the ethos of the group and what it means to members. The film can be viewed on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrUuX_tfeUg
In our studio space in Oswestry town centre, our equipment includes:
- a glass fusion kiln
- a ceramics kiln
- screen-printing facilities
- a graphics suite
- a laser cutter
- sewing machines
Through our business and community programmes we work with young children, school aged children (through the Pupil Referral Unit), adults with learning disabilities, disabled artists, local and professional artists networks, village hall committees, the corporate and retail sectors, and professionals (NHS, both clinical and management, architects, builders, etc)
The Project Group now has around 35 members from across Shropshire. We foster a culture of achievement. Through this culture members gain in confidence and self esteem, showing motivation and commitment, achieving well above their own expectations.
Members are involved in all aspects of group projects and management, taking up roles and responsibilities as well as paid opportunities. Most members have received CRB clearance to work with children and vulnerable adults.
Adopting the CIC model of organisation formalises the user-led nature of the Project Group by placing the Executive Group in the key decision making role. The Executive Group is made up of staff, volunteers, external and member representatives. The member representatives have an inbuilt majority at all times.
We have strong working partnerships with Shropshire Primary Care Trust, local councils, secondary and further education, Shropshire Arts Service, Shropshire MIND, National MIND, disability arts and artists’ networks, Craftspace (West Midlands), Arts Council West Midlands and pilot projects with the corporate sector.
Current and Future Developments
Third Sector Minimum Standards Pilot Site
The Project Group has signed up to be a Third Sector Minimum Standard Pilot Phase 2 project. This will assist us in achieving greater parity with NHS, local authority, independent sector health and social care providers.