About us

about hoot, about us

Who we are 

hoot creative arts is an arts and mental health charity based in the town centre of Huddersfield, England. We offer a diverse range of creative activities that support mental health and emotional wellbeing. We have been running for 18 years.

We recognise that care and maintenance of our mental health is a normal and vital part of our lives and working creatively with the experienced, skilled and compassionate team at hoot can help you establish creative self care techniques that are fun too. 

     Our delivery is for a range of groups and settings and includes :

  • Adult Mental Health services
  • People living with a diagnosis of dementia and their carer
  • End of life health services
  • Criminal Justice System
  • Wellbeing at Work
  • Children & Young People’s projects
  • Supported Residential settings
  • Safe and Secure digital platforms

hoot is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and in 2020 were proud to be given the Health and Wellbeing lead for Kirklees Year of Music 2023. We are jointly commissioned by Kirklees Council, Kirklees and NHS Kirklees CCG to provide a creative arts programme within the adult mental health service across Kirklees. This commission encourages strong working links with other local charities as part of the Working Together Better partnership so where other options could be helpful we can signpost and make introductions that integrate services and make it easier to get the support you may seek.

Quality for Health and Wellbeing Level Two LogoAge Friendly Standards LogoWell Good Charter Logo

 

 

History and ethos

Creative Expression, making a mark and being seen and heard is fundamental to being human. We believe that we all have a creative and imaginative capacity that is of central importance to our mental and physical health, wellbeing and happiness. Our aim at hoot is to nurture and support your recognition and use of this creative capacity.

During 2020/21, prompted by the resurgence of Black Lives Matter we have been holding regular discussions amongst the staff team around Inclusion, Diversity and Equity in the Arts, what we at hoot have called the IDE(A). We have challenged our individual behaviour, practices and unconscious biases and this continues professionally in our recruitment (of staff and participants), programming and marketing. These discussions have been really useful and are ongoing, but we now move into an action phase to address IDE(A) across all our operations and IDE(A) will be a priority from this point on. We encourage everyone associated with hoot to raise questions and challenge as this is the only way we will make real progress as an organisation, as individuals and as a community.

About Arts and Health

Recognition of the links between Arts & Health or between Culture, Health and Wellbeing, we know, have existed since modern humans emerged between 200,000 to 100,000 years ago. We have long felt the need to understand our existence and re-present it in one form or another. Telling a story, singing it in a song, painting an image of it or writing it down - the aim is the same - to come together, hold a moment in common for a time and therefore share the lives we lead with one another, be heard and/or seen and enjoy the connection and community bond that creates. That fundamental need for human connection that the arts, culture and in particular participatory arts with its shared creative engagement provides is vital, as was evident during the height of the pandemic in 2020-21.

Over the last 20 years as the evidence base has grown Arts & Health has become more accepted by the infrastructure around arts funding and of the health service. To read more we will continue to post links to articles and organisations here and abroad along with recent research into the field. If in doubt just remember our phrase and you won’t go far wrong….Being Creative Makes You Feel Good.

Graphic with words saying Being Creative Makes You Feel Good
Graphic with words saying Being Creative Makes You Feel Good

Our team

Here are the lovely folk who work here at hoot

Qudsia Marketing & Admin Officer

Qudsia

Marketing & Admin Officer

Tor Out of the Blue Service Manager

Tor

Out of the Blue Service Manager

Michael Creative Pathways Project Manager

Michael

Creative Pathways Project Manager

Lailla Operations (Finance + Admin) Manager

Lailla

Operations (Finance + Admin) Manager

Kathy Creative Support Worker

Kathy

Creative Support Worker

Sally Internal Artist

Sally

Internal Artist (Visual Arts)

Moira Breathing Space

Moira

Breathing Space Manager

Jonathan Creative Supoort Worker

Jonathan

Creative Support Worker

Holly Marketing & Admin Officer / Participation & Progression Co-ordinator

Holly

Marketing & Admin Officer / Participation & Progression Co-ordinator

CEO Gavin Clayton

Gavin

CEO

Rob Internal Artist (Music)

Rob

Internal Artist (Music)

Jess Singing

Jessica

Singing / OPDP

Carmel Senior support worker

Carmel

Senior Support Worker

Woman laughing on a beach
Woman laughing on a beach

Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees

Amanda

Amanda McKenzie

Natasha Interim Chair of the Board

Natasha McCreesh

Interim Chair of the Board

Dave Treasurer

Dave Barnes

Treasurer

Claire

Claire Richardson