Engaging with arts and crafts is a proven way to improve your mental wellbeing, with everything from learning a new skill to just attending an art gallery having a plethora of beneficial effects.
But while the current cost-of-living crisis may be forcing households across Gloucestershire and beyond to cut back on leisure activities like days out to museums and galleries, New Brewery Arts is on a mission to make the arts accessible to all.
The innovative venue in Cirencester offers free entry to its gallery and studios all year round, with its programme of insightful and inspiring exhibitions, such as its upcoming Fibreshed event, being free to visit, too.
It has a packed programme of craft workshops for both adults and children, covering skills including sewing, painting, ceramics, drawing, printing and even jewellery making, with subsidised fees available to those who need them.
Anyone who lives in Gloucestershire or the Cotswold District that feels they would benefit from access to craft and creativity but is unable to take part in classes due to personal circumstances - such as mental health problems, chronic illness or financial constraints - can apply for a bursary of 50 or 100 per cent of the cost of a class and any materials required.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for people who haven't received a bursary from New Brewery Arts in the past and can be done online at newbreweryarts.org.uk/support-with-fees or over the phone.
New Brewery Arts is also passionate about supporting local artists, providing studio spaces, exhibition opportunities and the chance to sell products in its craft shop.
While its current studio spaces are all occupied, local artists can apply for residencies at New Brewery Arts when they're available, giving them a dedicated studio to work in and visitors a chance to see the process behind each piece, meet the makers and buy products from them directly, helping them sustain their artistic practice and make a livelihood from their skills.
Its craft shop is packed with beautiful, handmade items from stationary, gifts and homeware to original artworks made by local and British artists - and is part of the nationwide Own Art initiative, which allows eligible art lovers to apply for an interest-free loan from £100 to £2,500 to buy contemporary art and crafts, to help make art ownership more accessible, too.
As a charity, New Brewery Arts relies on support and donations to provide many of these opportunities, with volunteers playing an integral role in the running of the venue. Visitors can donate in person or online at newbreweryarts.org.uk/how-to-support-us.
To find out more about New Brewery Arts, subsidised classes, studio spaces and volunteer opportunities, visit newbreweryarts.org.uk.