Charity Corner: the Knaresborough centre putting mental wellbeing first
Last updated May 16, 2021
Orb Charity Corner
Operations manager Elizabeth Marshall and David Littler creative and wellbeing projects manager

An arts charity in Knaresborough puts mental wellbeing at the forefront of everything it does making sure local residents have the space to express their creativity.

Orb Community Arts offers numerous different classes and 1-2-1 sessions to support people who may be struggling with their mental health.

In this month’s Charity Corner we wanted to acknowledge Mental Health Awareness Week and highlight one of the district’s smaller charities doing all it can to support people.

The charity offers different classes from guitar lessons to a ukulele orchestra; you can lay down your own track in the studio or plant some vegetables in the garden.

Set up 12 years ago, the charity has evolved into a centre with over 200 users and seven core members of staff as well as plenty of volunteers.

Orb arts room

The charity’s art room is decorated with artwork created during the sessions.

The charity’s strapline “positive mental health” is what it aims to achieve. It hopes to remove the stigma surrounding acknowledging your mental health and make it as important as physical health.

Leon Fijalkowski, strategic director, said:

“Since moving to Knaresborough a decade ago we have grown. We are there for everyone including people who may think they don’t have poor mental health. Our centre can help you speak openly about your mental health and do something about it.”

In the summer the charity will be working with the Woodland Trust to explore the Nidd Gorge offering mindfulness, drawing and foraging classes. The charity are passionate about the embracing nature and the impact it can have mentally.

orb recording studio

David Littler in his natural habitat is one of the charity’s music studios.

The charity relies on a number of funding streams and charitable donations.

During the pandemic they received a £65,000 grant as part of the covid response fund from the National Lottery.

It welcomes people from across the district and says moving onto zoom during the pandemic has helped them reach more people.

If you want to find out more about the charity you can get in touch here.

orb garden

The garden is the pride and joy of several of the users. It includes several vegetable patches, a pond and a hobbit hole for reflection.


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