About Inside Out Community
Inside Out Community is a thriving community of artists, volunteers and members who use art and creativity as a way of maintaining their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
We run a range of well-being artistic workshops for adults with emotional and mental health needs. The programme involves visual arts, music, creative writing, dance and movement, and is delivered by professional artists with a sensitivity to mental and emotional health challenges.
Our groups are open to people recovering from mental ill health; experiencing a crisis of wellbeing; or who would like to access the healing powers of creativity to maintain positive mental and emotional wellbeing.
All workshops are free and open to any participants without a prior referral. In a safe, non-judgemental environment, participants engage in an artistic activity and receive beneficial effects of therapeutic arts.
Arts workshops run in Ipswich and the surrounding area. We are committed to promoting the benefits of arts for mental health and emotional wellbeing in the wider population.
One-to-one creative mentoring sessions are available for people who are unable to join the groups due to ill health.
Inside Out is a creative community dedicated to promoting arts for health to all, and the provision of high-quality arts and wellbeing programmes for people experiencing the sometimes-overwhelming emotional challenge of life's inevitable adversities and traumas.
About Our Team
Most of Annabel’s youth and early career was involved in theatre arts – as a performer, writer and director before focussing more on theatre in education, devising workshops for schools and residential centres and working with people of all ages and abilities. In 2012, she began a new path as a psychosynthesis counsellor, gaining experience with clients in a variety of settings. Since moving to Ipswich, she works in private practice but is looking to bring her love of theatre more consciously into therapeutic spaces and learn about the power of storytelling to bring healing and transformation.
Trustee and Co-Founder
My vocational life has been in mental health care as a psychiatric nurse and college lecturer. Before retirement I worked as a community mental health nurse in Ipswich. I founded the Inside Out Community with a drama therapist colleague Jan Addison in 2003 and have been active in the charity as a workshop facilitator and trustee since that time. My creative interests are sculpture, creative non-fiction and poetry.
Ed is a social entrepreneur, he is the director for Led Creatives CIC and Community Hub Ipswich CIC. He specialises in community growth, promotion and event organisation. He is very connected with various creative people and organisations in Ipswich, he hopes to help Inside Out Community by sharing his expertise and connections to give the organisation a new lift.
Katie has worked in the Arts and administration for over 20 years. She specialised in theatre at University of Hull, Scarborough campus before training in acting and performance at City Lit, London.
Since first attending Inside Out Community workshops during a period of ill health back in 2017, she has gone on to join the staff team; first in an administrative capacity and later as a workshop artist where she shared creative techniques she discovered during her own recovery with Inside Out Community members and partner organisations. Katie has remained passionate about the importance of creative practice as a tool for healing and continues to support Community Arts. Katie now sits on the Board of Trustees and is Inside Out Community’s current Secretary.
I’m 43 and am married with 3 children. I was diagnosed with Asperger’s in July 2019 after a period off work with depression and anxiety. My journey with Inside Out Community began in October 2020 whilst on a horticulture course at Otley College (the technician happened to be an art mentor too!). I had 20 hours of 1 to 1 mentoring though Inside Out Community and also had another 20 hours though YLOH. This was instrumental in giving me something to cling onto. I fairly quickly established my own style and this culminated in an exhibition at the Frame Workshop in Ipswich in March 2023. I am excited about taking on the role of a trustee, and hope my neurodiversity can shine through this role.
I have worked in the voluntary sector with vulnerable adults for over 30 years and have been a practising artist for even longer.
Joining Inside Out in 2016 as a Programme Leader brought these two areas of my life together. My main responsibilities are putting together our creative workshop programme each term, and organising our outreach work which includes co-tutoring a creativity and wellbeing course for the Recovery College with Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust.
I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved with the Inside Out Community since 2016 as an associate artist, and more recently as a hub support.
I’ve always been enamoured by art and its potency to provide routes to wellbeing and aid healing, and through the creative workshops provided by Inside Out I have witnessed first hand how art can bring about change to benefit the lives of the Inside Out community members.
I am a Dance Artist using contemporary dance and creative movement with a sprinkle of other world and pop dance styles.
I have danced for as long as I remember. I love the sense of being fully ‘present’ in each moment, personal expression, physical challenge and connectivity within my body and with others. I also love enabling others to enjoy this, explore their own creativity and share ideas. So, it is my pleasure to lead Moving Minds
As well as being Writer in Residence for Inside Out Community, I run the Write Minds creative writing class, and I am a Creative Mentor. I love how Inside Out Community puts creativity at the heart of everything it does. Every day, I am inspired by the students’ well-written stories, thoughtful insights and community spirit.
Music Project Lead
I am a freelance professional musician, and have been working with Inside Out Community for over 12 years. I am also the co-founder of Musica, which is a complementary charity which specialises in creative activities for people with disabilities and mental health challenges. I love seeing how the members grow in confidence and their pride in their accomplishments during Music Project sessions.
Helen Carless & Tasnim Alam
Administrative Support Assistants
Our newest members of the Inside Out Community team, Helen and Tasnim are the superstars behind all your enquiries. Managing our inbox, bookings and social media accounts.
Welcome Helen and Tasnim. Great to have you on the Team!
"Inside Out take the time to connect and find your level, boost your confidence and your ego and your creativity."
Credentials and History
Inside Out Community was founded in Ipswich in 2003 by Jan Addison, a drama therapist and Peter Watkins, a mental health nurse, poet and author.
Together their vision was to create an organisation that would offer high quality healing arts workshops to anyone experiencing emotional/psychological distress in the face of the unavoidable adversities and traumas of life.
Their aim was to develop a programme that would include a wide range of expressive art forms – the visual arts, dance, drama, creative writing, ceramic sculpture, music, singing, storytelling, photography and film making – all led by local practicing artists who could share their skills in supportive and inspiring ways.
The programme was to be accessible and free; open to anyone drawn to explore their personal creativity, with others, as a pathway to recovering their wellbeing and mental health.
Today, Inside Out has achieved all of this and more, offering an exciting portfolio of virtual and face to face arts and wellbeing programmes which run throughout the year, and hosting numerous showcase events and exhibitions bringing arts for health into the public arena.
Inside Out Community became a charity in 2010. It is run by an active board of trustees, a creative staff team, associate artists and volunteers. In 2021 the charity received the Queens Award for Voluntary Service and a special commendation for it’s work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
At Inside Out Community we bring a professional fusion of artistic innovation, mental health experience and empathic, compassionate, practice to our work. Our creative therapeutic workshops give members the opportunity to set their own goals when it comes to improving their emotional wellbeing, social engagement and life enrichment and work with us to achieve these.
The professionalism, good governance and achievement of the organisation has been recognised in recent years by grants from the Suffolk Community Foundation, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and The National Lottery, amongst others.
Inside Out Community is fully compliant with quality assurance requirements.
there are many ways you can support the ongoing work of Inside Out Community.