ABI Choices and Inclusion Matters groups recently enjoyed a creative Personal Development Programme facilitated by ABI Choices Case Officer, Sergio, and Community Inclusion Officer, Kathryn. Participants from both programs joined for four engaging sessions throughout March, where they learned about decoupage and printmaking techniques.

The sessions explored not only artistic expression but also the relationship between creativity and stress reduction. It also explored the importance of building new connections and expanding social networks for improved mood and mental well-being was emphasised.

In order to gauge the impact of the programme participants were offered the opportunity to give their feedback in survey form and the results were overwhelmingly positive. All participants agreed that the sessions helped them build valuable connections and provided a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Additionally, 85% fully agreed that participating in these sessions positively impacted their mental health and well-being.

 Participants also expressed their thoughts on the experience through comments:

 "It was good meeting new people and seeing old friends again. I enjoyed learning new printing techniques."

 "I went into decoupage as a complete beginner, but after four sessions, I'm fully capable of doing it myself."

 "I have really enjoyed the sessions and the connections I made. I look forward to participating in future workshops."

The programme’s success highlights the significance of collaboration between Cedar's services and engaging with participants in the planning process. Feedback is vitally important to us and so is co-working. Inclusion Matters and ABI Choices eagerly anticipate future collaborative opportunities.

Image tile shows full group looking and smiling at camera. Individual shots of service users doing art at tables.


What is ABI Choices?

 ABI Choices is a specialist Training & Rehabilitation Service delivered across Northern Ireland by the Cedar Foundation. We support adults with an acquired brain injury to engage in activities in their local community. This is aimed at developing their personal capacity, resilience, health and wellbeing. ABI Choices offers goal-directed support to participants to progress from the service when they have achieved their goals. Visit the full service page here.

What is Inclusion Matters?

InclUSion Matters supports people with disabilities, especially those who experience isolation, to build new social networks within their local communities. The service is focused on encouraging peer support and enabling user-led networking to help participants become involved in social, leisure and recreational opportunities within their local area. Visit the full service page here.