Tanio groupBreathing Space, from community arts organisation Tanio, is a series of creative workshops that take place in seven communities in South Wales. Once a week, the groups gather in community spaces to spend time exploring the arts, using a variety of mediums selected by the participants. 

Each group provides opportunities for participants to try new art forms; explore and amplify their creative voices; build friendship and community; and grow skills and confidence that can help them in their everyday lives. 

Some of the locations are in geographically isolated villages, where prospects are limited and arts provision is few and far between. The consistency and regularity with which the groups meet is vital to their success and the impact they have on the participants - knowing that there is a safe, warm, inviting place where they can see their friends and spend time doing something for themselves is paramount for Breathing Space participants. 

Many of the participants are unpaid carers, experiencing health inequalities, struggling with mental health, or face unemployment. Breathing Space helps them to feel empowered, grow their wellbeing, and achieve balance and perspective in their everyday lives.

One of the Breathing Space participants said, “I lost my partner and my mental health went into crisis. I felt lonely, depressed, was having panic attacks, and having to take tablets to leave the house. I pushed myself to try new things to help me get out of the house. Now I look forward to each session and I can leave the house on my own without taking medication. I laugh with people and feel part of a community. This is a safe space for me to open up with how I am feeling and I feel that I matter.”

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