Creativity in January 2024


January at our Arts and Crafts Centre in Knaresborough was a busy one! Our artmakers and staff embarked on an adventure to explore rail safety, and the paper workshop was transformed into a canvas for vibrant still life drawings.

We’re also thrilled to introduce you to one of our many wonderful artmakers, Liv, who talks about why she loves coming to our Arts and Crafts Centre.

Rail Safety Day

This month, some of the artmakers and staff were lucky enough to do a spot of Rail Safety thanks to Northern Rail. The lovely Catherine took eleven of our artmakers and some staff to learn all about how disabled individuals can access rail travel safely.

They learned how to check which platform and what time the train would arrive, how to identify the disabled carriage, and inform the guard if they needed a ramp. They also learned about ringing ahead and asking for assistance!

Our artmakers played with the touchscreen ticket screens and planned journeys all over the country.

Catherine from Community Rail Lancashire was fabulous. None of it would have been possible without funding from Northern Rail.

Still Life in the paper workshop

Artmakers sat around a table drawing various plants and fruits

Our paper workshop has been getting creative with some still life drawing.

Still life is a discipline most artists will study in their lifetime, focusing on aspects such as form, texture, colour, and shape. It is a technique to encourage the artmakers to slow down, take time to observe, and feel, and even smell, the objects they are drawing.

We’re so pleased that our Artmakers are enjoying the experience; doesn’t it just look amazing?

Debs, who has Charles Bonnet Syndrome (a syndrome where people lose their sight and it is replaced by hallucinations), said, ‘It’s fun, I’m feeling the objects and the drawings around the objects, whilst also tearing paper around the object to make a collage’.

Artmaker Spotlight

Meet Liv!

Liv in the jewellery workshop smiling at the camera

Liv has been a full-time artmaker since September. Liv has a rare condition called SETD5 (Set Domain Contained 5). The first case of SETD5-related syndrome was described in 2014 and Liv was diagnosed in 2019.

Most people with SETD5 Syndrome will have speech and learning difficulties and over half are autistic. Liv is also autistic.

Here at the Arts and Crafts Centre, Liv is really excelling. She participates in the jewellery, woodwork, retail and pottery workshops.

Sometimes I find it hard to understand other people, when I go out I need support because I find it hard to know if people are being nice or not. It could get me into trouble.
I am also deaf in one ear, a lot of people with SETD5 have hearing problems, which means I find it hard to cross the road and things.
Before coming to Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre, I went to the college and when I was younger I went to a mainstream school. I found the class sizes hard and always found it hard to concentrate and make friends. I used to get in trouble a bit.
I like to try new challenges and explore new workshops, make new friends and make artwork that is unique to me; Henshaws is amazing.


Liv was also part of the recent rail safety day; she had such good fun that Liv’s mum emailed us some lovely feedback:

 I just wanted to say, Olivia and I loved the day out that was planned on the trains last week, Liv really enjoyed this. I’m hoping more will follow as I think it’s really good and gives them a variety of activities.

Liv’s mum

Henshaws graphic with pink and purple shapes

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