Creative Retreat: Art and expressing ourselves

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A creative space just to be

About this event

Make Space is a organisation made up of people with experience of self-harming or supporting someone who has. The majority of our team also identifies as queer.

Words can be difficult. This space offers an opportunity to express yourself without them. This event offers you space to explore what creativity means to you, and how you could use this to help you be well.

Intended as a creativity retreat, this space is whatever you need it to be. The session will be facilitated by graffiti artist and experiences art-therapist, Cleo Heard. We will spend time together developing a creative practice and will not be “making” or “doing” anything in particular. You may want to draw, paint, collage, write something, make sculptures, work with light/shadows or movement. You can use anything you like as materials — recycling, clothes, software on your computer/laptop/phone, pens, paint, paper, blue tac, old magazines. You are also welcome to bring things that other people have made.

There will be opportunities throughout the session to share your work and explore how it intersects with the experience of being LGBTQ+ and being someone with experience of self-harm. Anyone who would prefer not to participate in discussion or share their work will not be compelled to do so.

We are able to send out activity packs to those who feel unable to gather materials or would otherwise find it difficult to do so. If you would like an activity pack, there is space on the registration form to request one.

Please note: This event is exclusively for those who identify as LGBTQ+ and have experience of self-harm. If you do not identify as either LGBTQ+ or as having experience of self-harm (see definition below), but would still like to come to one of our sessions please email us at and we can keep you updated about future events.

This event is one of a series of events exploring LGBTQ+ self-harm. The program is run by make space in collaboration with Action to Prevent Suicide. All places are fully-funded and require you to sign up before receiving joining instructions. Please note there are a limited number of places on each event, so if you sign up and can no longer attend please let us know ASAP.

To find out more about the rest of the programme, see our events page.

Defining Self-Harm

We recognise that self-harm is complex and varied, and so we hold a broad view that encompasses a range of experiences and understandings. For the purpose of this event, we are defining self-harm as acts which cause harm to the body, where this harm is the purpose and the focus of the act. No one will be asked or expected to share details of their experiences of self-harm as part of this event, or to justify their attendance in any way - if the event feels relevant to your experience then we’d be really pleased to have you join us.

Keeping ourselves (and others) well while attending our sessions

This event focuses on self-harm and a range of different mental health issues. This may bring up difficult things for people attending. We also recognise that people have different experiences of self-harm, and we ask you to be sensitive to this when joining. This is currently a one-off event, not intended as a form of ongoing therapy or support. For more information on sources of support, see the signposting information sent out with the Zoom link.

We have pre-paid 30-minute debrief sessions with a therapist who identifies as LGBTQ+ for anyone who attends the session and feels they may need support afterwards. These sessions are available immediately after events. They are arranged independently of make space and are arranged by emailing the therapist directly. We will give their email address at the end of the session.

We ask that if you can, please keep your camera on during the call. We respect that privacy issues may make this difficult; nobody will be turned away for having their camera off or individually asked to turn their camera on. While our sessions are interactive, you are welcome to join even if you do not want to contribute or would prefer to do so via the chat function.

If you have questions please email us at

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