Wishing Well – Participatory Photography Project

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About the Wishing Well Project

The aim of the Wishing Well is to improve the health and well-being of local people in Crewe through the provision of a range of participatory activities and learning opportunities identified and requested by the community.

It has grown into a thriving community support system providing a wide range of health related services and activities to local people and is highly valued by health and social care professionals working with patients and clients living in the area. Their key goals are to:

  • Empower and support the community and social participation
  • Encourage confidence, ambition and personal development in the community
  • Provide local services and activities to encourage a sense of well-being in the community.

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The Participatory Photography Project with Wishing Well

The project was a 6 week participatory photography project delivered at the Wishing Well’s Jubilee House in Crewe town centre. The participants were a group of 8 young adults who were service users of the Wishing Well’sdrop-in scheme for young adults with learning difficulties (including those on the Autism spectrum and with Asperger’s). The participants took part in the project as part of their ongoing development and learning at the Wishing Well project.

The main aims of the project were:

  • to assist the service users in learning new photography skills
  • to facilitate the service users in working together and collaborating
  • to provide the service users with alternative channels for communication
  • to encourage the service users to appreciate seeing things from alternative points of view

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Each weekly session was broken into 4 main phases:

  • Discussion: Using photographic prints as a starting point, the group would discuss topics including individual perceptions, points of view and experiential differences.
  • Practical: Working alone or in teams the group would be given a photography based task (e.g. photo treasure hunt) to complete within an allotted time frame. Each team or individual would then present the work created back to the rest of the group.
  • Reflection: The group would discuss and share thoughts and experiences of that weeks session
  • Independent Task: Each participant was asked to carry out a simple photo project during the following week to be presented back to the group at the next session

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At the end of the project the service users each selected 20 of the images that they had created during the project that meant the most to them and created a photo scrap book. The feedback from the Wishing Well project and the service users was extremely positive. Service users all reported improving the general photography skills and confidence in using a camera. The service providers reported that the project had had a positive effect on the service users especially in promoting team work and understanding of others.