Spring School 2019

The 2019 Spring School focused on young people’s mental health and storytelling.

12th – 15th March 2019


This was an intensive residential school for health professionals, researchers and arts practitioners in a beautiful location in Dorset. We stayed in a lovely house together, The Mount in Swanage, and spent our days in the wonderful coastal nature reserve, Durlston County Park. The location is an important aspect of the Spring School and the natural environment provides a backdrop, stimulus and inspiration for the creative exploration together.

The focus of the Spring School is experiential learning, from and with each other, and with our invited practitioners. A volunteer from Durlston Country Park, an experienced mental health support worker, joined the Spring School to inform future projects in the locality.

In 2019, the Spring School was for two and a half days (three nights). Participants and facilitators cooked and shared meals together and everyone contributed to shaping the experience.

Participants contributed £100 towards accommodation and food, if they were able to afford it. The 2019 Spring School was subsidised by the Fine Family Foundation.

The evaluation of the Spring School was in the form of stories submitted by participants. Learning from the 2019 Spring School will inform planning for the 2020 Spring School.

We considered the questions:

  • How can the art of stories support healthy young minds?

  • How do we help young people tell their stories?

  • What is the embodied significance of storytelling?



This was an intensive residential school for health professionals, researchers and arts practitioners in a beautiful location in Dorset. 6 participants joined the facilitators:

Alex Coulter, Director of Arts & Health South West

Paul Dieppe, Trustee of Arts & Health South West and Emeritus Professor of Health and Wellbeing, University of Exeter

Sue Isherwood, Chair of Arts & Health South West and consultant for Leading Learning, a leadership programme for the National Culture Forum

Kate Massey-Chase, PhD student at University of Exeter working on Applied Theatre in mental health, examining the skills and capacities young people need to successfully manage the transition between Child & Adolescent and Adult Mental Health Services

Visiting Practitioners contributed to the Spring School programme:
Dr Steve Killick (website)
Lucy Voelcker (website)

2019 Report

To read the full summary report from the 2019 Spring School please download the PDF below:

Spring School 2019 Report


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