Barnsley’s UPLIFT ARMY stormed The National Museum Conference in Liverpool yesterday! Uplift is run by Action Space Mobile, and is one part of its Arts on Referral scheme. It is also part of Creative Recovery, a group of projects that use the arts in aiding recovery from mental illness and recovery from addiction and are run by Hayley Youell and Helen Boutel. Through the group, its members have all become artists, performers and poets in their own rights and often perform for audiences. Yesterday they showed museum bosses and curators from around the UK through a performance and talks the importance that museums and the arts plays in the recovery process, and just how vital those services are in the importance of everybody’s well-being. I caught up with Hayley today to find out exactly what went on in Liverpool yesterday.
‘Me, Helen and nine member of UPLIFT visited the Museum Conference, along with James Brunt, who as well as being a member of our committee is also with Barnsley Museums.
‘The group went along in their uniforms as The UPLIFT Army. We have been working with Pif Paf, a brilliant theatre company, in coming up with a unique performance. James spoke gave the museum’s view, collaborations with UPLIFT and how it’s made them look at the way they engage with their visitors in a different way.’
‘The UPLIFT members all spoke about their experiences with recovery and how being part of the group has helped them. Following this, I tasked the audience to think of the barriers they might face in museums if they were in recovery. The audience was made up of museum staff from all over the country, from front of house staff to strategic planning and so the action plans they came up with, to tackle those barriers, were all different and useful and it was clear that everybody there appreciated it and found it both useful and enlightening.
You can find out more about UPLIFT at the following addresses: