A Ceredigion-based charity has been awarded a transformative grant to fund a new arts therapy room facility and a programme of participatory arts throughout the county.

Aberystwyth and District Hospice at Home Volunteers (known as HAHAV), has been awarded a UK Government Levelling Up grant which will fund programme of participatory arts, creative, cultural and heritage opportunities for people with chronic, life-limiting or life-threatening illness, their carers, and bereaved people across Ceredigion.

The funding will also enable the creation of a new arts therapy room facility at Plas Antaron, HAHAV’s Living Well Centre in Aberystwyth.

The arts therapy room will form part of the charity’s planned renovations during 2024, and will leave a legacy for the Ceredigion community for years to come.

Not only will hundreds of HAHAV’s own clients be able to access therapeutic activities within the facility, but it will also be available for other non-profits to hire at a modest cost, through a “community asset” scheme.

The participatory element, delivered in partnership with local arts in health organisation Haul, will include a variety of projects including a partnership with Tregaron Hospital and a creative project around expressing grief in South Ceredigion.

Two projects have already launched in Aberystwyth - participatory arts looking at heritage and a textiles series exploring “sense of place”.

One client, Rachel, who recently underwent a double organ transplant said: ‘Taking part in this art project at Plas Antaron has been a lifesaving distraction.

“It has given me confidence to try new things, to get out and meet new people. After each session I go home, eager to work on my own art. And the group is so encouraging, I just love it being creative, learning and having fun.’ Dr Alan Axford OBE, HAHAV’s chair of trustees, added: “We are delighted to receive further support from the UK Government and Ceredigion County Council, to make our dream of a dedicated arts therapy room a reality.

“This generosity allows us to bring forward our plans and will transform the way we can support vulnerable people into the future.

“We’ll also be able to deliver a comprehensive programme of creative activities across the county, including some harder to reach rural areas over the coming months. Our sincerest thanks, for this life-changing support!”

Bryn Jones, Arts Facilitator for Haul, said: ‘The SPF funding has created a wonderful opportunity for Haul to work in partnership with HAHAV and to deliver a diverse range of arts participation projects, this may be visual arts, crafts, writing, music, dance, or film. We know first-hand the power of arts and how it can build self-confidence and a sense of pride in both people and communities.’ If you would like to take part in any of the activities, please call 01970 611550. No prior art experience is needed, and sessions are free.

To find out more about this project or HAHAV’s other services, visit www.hahav.org.uk or call 01970 611550.