Social Entrepreneur Index Nominee: Art Sense Studio
Patricia Rangel, Managing Director of Art Sense Studio, talks to us about her passion for mental health support and how this encouraged her to start her social impact business.
What does your social enterprise do?
To bring together and foster peer to peer support amongst people with Mental Health Issues from the diverse communities in Tower Hamlets and beyond
To promote creative activities, mutual support and joint aid among our members.
To establish an arts and crafts club where participants interact in a supportive drop inn group environment.
To use visual arts, crafts and self expression to share skills, experiences and reduce isolation.
Group sessions with focus in promoting Mental Health and Well-being via creative expression.
Participants are invited to use the material provided, share skills and support each other in expressing themselves creatively with crafts and visual arts activities.
Peer to peer support is encouraged, facilitated by experienced mediators specialised in Community Art interventions.
Participants and member of groups are supported in taking creative risks and discovering the benefits of art as a therapy.
We also deliver talks, one to ones, tutorials, seminars, CSR projects in well-being via arts and expression.
What made you start your business up?
My passion for combining mental health support, psychology and community work with participatory arts, crafts and self-expression.
How do you measure your impact?
Via evaluation forms, feedback forms and testimonials.
What help did you have to start your social enterprise?
I took part in a series of Start Up support Programmes offered by Tower Hamlets, Universities and SSE.
How did you decide on what legal form would work best for your business?
I am still going to go evaluate the format I am at the moment and set up a sideline format.
What’s the best thing about being a social entrepreneur?
To be able to work with personal satisfaction, to contribute, to have freedom and to hold important values at the core of what we deliver.
What has been your biggest challenge when setting up and running your social enterprise?
To overcome my lack of experience as a businesswoman.
What advice would you give to aspiring social entrepreneurs?
To be resilient and to let go of pathways that takes up all your time and don’t lead you to be closer to your goals. These will be import as part of your learning processes.
What information sources would you recommend to help someone just starting their social enterprise journey?
Subscribe to a couple of very good newsletter as the SSE, your local VCS and make the most of all the great support programmes London has on offers for entrepreneurs and start ups.
What are your plans for the next 2-5 years?
To make Art Sense Studio a sustainable social venture, to increase capacity and to replicate the model across different London boroughs. Also to be able to offer consultancy internationally.