Posted by on Sep 26, 2015 in

September saw Crafty Business return from the summer break with a belter of a meeting!  Not only did we hear a talk by local musician and arts and health worker Hayley Youell from Creative Recovery, but we also celebrated our first birthday with a fantastic cake made for us by Anne Marie Oliver and lots of photos taken by Amy Law.

As usual we started the meeting with our short introductions, followed by Hayley’s talk about how she incorporated her passion for music and the arts into her interest in mental health. Here is her story…

Hayley was at uni when she had her first bout of depression and this experience would turn out to have an unexpected positive effect on her life. She started giving singing lessons to people when a lady, June, who was quite shy asked to learn just one song so that she would be able to sing at karaoke. Hayley taught her the song which gave a boost to her confidence and Hayley realised that there was a connection between creativity and health.

Hayley and her friend Helen Boutle listened to the need locally and looked at ways to fill gaps in the services already available and co-founded Barnsley charity Creative Recovery which helps people with mental health and substance misuse problems. The groups mission is to use creativity to bring about social change, grow community spirit and boost well-being and recovery. In 2008 the Live Arts Cafe was born, where people can come together to eat, socialise and collaborate with artists and performers. It is a fun and safe place be creative and focus on people and not problems in a friendly community.

Creative Recovery has since branched out to include other such as Recovery Through Art, Re:Sound and Uplift and 2014 saw the group recognised as Barnsley Mayor’s chosen charity. Widely considered a great success, it continues to positively change the lives of many Barnsley residents.

Recently Hayley realised that she’d lost sight of her own creativity and decided to focus on that. She applied to be an artist in residence at Barnsley Civic and now receives Arts Council funding to explore her own creativity again and create her own piece. She has an interactive event coming up on November 18th which will involve female entrepeneurs looking at identity and conflicts of when we go out in to the world. More information on this will follow!

Hayley’s advice:

  • If you’re passionate about an idea, share it as you never know who’s listening!
  • Try not to get bogged down in your work – give yourself the headspace to be creative.
  • Value yourself and what you do
  • Say yes to opportunities
  • Focus on your goals
  • Always ask ‘why?’ and ‘What’s in it for me?’
  • Develop your business, but also yourself too.










After Hayley’s talk we mingled, getting to know one another, had our photos taken and finally I got to cut the gorgeous cake! Happy birthday to us!