Creative Wellbeing for Ukraine

The Arts for Wellbeing organization I work for, Breathe Creative, was successful in securing funding from Arts Council Wales and the National Lottery fund to run a series of groups, one of which is the Growing Strong group with Mental Health Matters that I run in Bridgend every Friday.

In my other role as Refugee Support worker, I work in a team of six women supporting Ukrainians who have settled in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The refugees we support are mainly women and children, as Ukrainian men have to stay and fight. Some arrive at hotels and Welcome centres in Cardiff after an arduous journey. Some match with sponsers before they arrive through social media and charities, and some are matched by the team from a list of possible hosts. Many have children with them. Up until now, the team has been working hard to support in accessing basic needs: food, clothing, housing, and we are grateful to people who have offered space in their own homes as a temporary measure.

So I’m really pleased that Breathe Creative was able to offer this group once a week in Barry public library, with art and relaxation as a focus. Some of those that attended for our first week are already experienced photographers and artists, and the group will be flexible to fulfil their interests, as well as offering a healing space to come together to create.

By Katya Gritseva:


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