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 20 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

Blue box with words Carmel Thomason senior creative support worker in white


Senior Support Worker

Blue square with the words Kathy Griffin Creative Support Worker in white


Creative Support Worker

Sally Internal Artist


Internal Artist (Visual Arts)

Jonathan Creative Supoort Worker


Creative Support Worker

Red square with a picture of Rob and words Rob Crisp and job title in white


Internal Artist - Music

Red square with words Lailla Tanveer Operations, Finance & Admin Manager in white


Operations (Finance & Admin) Manager

Holly Communication & PR Officer / Participation & Progression Co-ordinator


Communication & PR Officer / Participation & Progression Co-ordinator

blue square with a picture of Tor and words Tor McKenzie and job title in white


Out of the Blue Service Manager

CEO Gavin Clayton



Yellow square with picture of Qudsia with text Qudsia Hussain and Job title in black in the left hand corner


Communication & Design Officer

Yellow background with picture of Kelly, with Kelly's full name and job title placed in the top left hand corner


Project Manager for Creative Pathways and Evoke Creative Health Network Coordinator

Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees

yellow background with a picture of Jackie and her name written in the top left corner with Director, hoot underneath

Jackie Astbury

Director, hoot

blue background with a picture of Claire and her name written with Director, hoot

Claire Richardson

Director, hoot

Director, hoot

Jonathan Hague

Director, hoot

red background with a picture of Charlotte and her name written with Director, hoot

Charlotte Goulding

Director, hoot

yellow background with a picture of David and his name written with Treasurer & Director, hoot written in the top left hand corner

Dave Barnes

Treasurer & Director, hoot