The Power of Creativity

Do you feel connected with your creativity? 

Is creativity something you value, or do you see it as something for other people, not you? 

For Caitlin Marshall, Director and Co-Founder of Makeshift Creative, creativity is a powerful tool in supporting and managing our experiences of mental health, trauma, chronic illness, wellbeing and recovery. 

Makeshift Creative is a very special organisation, based in Wollongong but working with people around Australia, with programs designed to help people build literacy around creative activities and try their hand at creative skills like painting, music, sewing, writing and craft. 

“Often as adults we tell ourselves we’re not good at things, so we shouldn’t even try. But there’s a wealth of evidence showing that creative activities are really good for us, they’re really good for our nervous system, and for reconnecting with new parts of ourselves. Finding joy, delight and fun,” says Caitlin.

While the pandemic has meant Makeshift Creative’s in-person program of events was paused, their ReMind courses and creative foundation courses have been really well received in the virtual space. 

“For some people, virtual events are much more accessible, especially for people with disabilities, limitations around travel or even because they’re based in remote areas,” says Caitlin.

“It’s interesting, because we always assumed an online version would be a second rate experience to being in a room with people, but it’s actually meant we can engage with people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate. We send all the materials out to participants – they get a box with some amazing creative materials – even a ukulele!”  

With NSW reopening, the team at Makeshift Creative is exploring a hybrid return to events – with a mix of in-person and virtual delivery. 

Still on the schedule for this year is a four-week Soothing Stitching + Textiles course, with a focus on finding calm through embroidery, and using stitching to support positive mental health. 

For NDIS participants, Makeshift Creative is currently working with Connect My Community Consultancy to achieve registration as an accredited provider, and they already work with people who are on self-managed plans. 

“We have self-led programs as well as group-participatory programs. We’re conscious of designing our courses and programs so that there really is something for everyone,” says Caitlin.

Find out more about Makeshift Creative and sign-up to their newsletter for updates at: https://www.makeshift.org.au/ 


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