As part of our 10-year commitment to Moston, Harpurhey & Charlestown we are continuing the delivery of the SICK! Mental Health Arts Programme (SMASH), a creative social prescribing project that offers participants a range of innovative experiences designed to:

  • Help improve how participants feel
  • Increase their understanding of mental health and illness
  • Enable them to meet and share their thoughts with others who are facing similar
  • experiences
  • Increase confidence in talking about their experiences
  • Provide new creative tools for exploring and expressing mental health experience

Supported by The Pilgrim Trust, this iteration of SMASH will have a focus on engaging Women and Girls struggling with their mental health.

We are looking for exciting and diverse artists to deliver creative workshops and/or facilitated conversations to participants referred to us through various mental health services in the community and wider city.

Participants referred to SICK! will consult with our Creative Producer and a dedicated Mental Health Practitioner to develop a menu if engagement for them, they will also both be present through the delivery of all the elements of the process to offer support, continuity and help maintain a safe working environment for all involved.

The 2 elements we are looking for artist for are:

  • Participatory workshops (CREATE): artist led workshops developing creativity as a way of exploring their own experiences. The sessions will be carefully pitched to enable participants to participate in ways that they are comfortable with. These sessions are aimed to be up to 2-3 hours long for a group of up to 10 participants.
  • Creative Conversations (TALK): Facilitated conversations with artists about their work, the challenges they have faced and their approach to managing their own mental health and wellbeing. We envisage these to be intimate events for a group of up to 10 participants.

You can lead either a workshop(s) or be the subject of the creative Conversation series, or both. All sessions will be held at a venue in Harpurhey on Monday mornings from 10.30am between April 2023 – January 2024.



For the workshop we are asking artists to submit their proposal for a stand-alone workshop between 2-3 hours in length with a brief outline of content, objectives and outputs.

For the Creative Conversations we are asking for a brief outline of the sorts of themes/topics and discussions you would be interested in leading.

From there we will consult with you to find a relevant focus for the event based around your portfolio and artistic practice. Each Creative Conversation is aimed to be between 1 – 1.5 hours.



The deadline for submissions is 15th February 2023. Please send all applications to:


For the workshop delivery the fee is £200 per session inclusive of planning with an additional £40 for materials.

For the Creative Conversations the fee is £200 per event inclusive of planning.


Between the delivery period of April 2023 – January 2024 we will host 10 workshop sessions and 10 Creative Conversations.

It is the hope that the activities will:

  • Enable participants to create new personal connections
  • Support participants to generate creative dialogue and enable participants to look afresh at their experiences
  • Enable participants to connect with the cultural provision in Manchester as audiences, participants and volunteers/staff
  • Develop creative and employability/life skills, raising aspirations and linking to the regular provision of partners
  • Provide a vehicle for sharing practical information and sign-posting to other services and provision

The project builds on a successful our many years of working with those with mental health issues, and our own personal experience of issues of mental health.

We look forward to hearing from you!


You can download our information pack for this call out by clicking here.