New wellbeing space at Preston's Harris art gallery and museum

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A new gallery at Preston’s flagship museum explores how art can improve wellbeing.

Visitors to the Harris art gallery and museum will be able to take time to slow down and relax in the space, which launched on Monday.

A range of wellbeing activities will also be on offer including creative writing and mindfulness inspired by the Harris’ art collections.

It means the NHS’s Lancashire Recovery College will be based at the Harris every Monday offering a programme of free wellbeing workshops.

Caroline Donovan, chief executive at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to add the new Harris Gallery to our Recovery College outlets.

“Health and Wellbeing is so important and is influenced by many factors.

“The Recovery College’s free courses are accessible to everyone and provide an opportunity for people to explore many different activities and courses that could have a real benefit to their everyday lives.

“We are grateful to Preston City Council for making this space available to us.”

The gallery was developed through visitor consultation sessions where local people were asked what sort of activities they’d like to see and what art work they find relaxing.

As of Monday Lancashire Recovery College is offering two free wellbeing courses – one in the morning and one in the afternoon – which everyone is welcome to book onto.

Courses include dealing with anxiety, art and chair-based exercise.

Over lunchtime staff and volunteers from the Recovery College are available, either in the gallery or in the Harris café, for visitors who want to talk about living well or if they want to be advised on other wellbeing services in the region.

Coun Peter Kelly, cabinet member for culture and leisure at Preston City Council, said: “This is a fantastic partnership that will see Lancashire Recovery College have a base in Preston at the Harris to promote wellbeing.

“In addition to their fantastic range of free courses it’s great to have the College’s staff and volunteers at the Harris one day each week to help us all talk about our wellbeing.

“This is a great new partnership – and we hope the Harris will become a wellbeing resource for people in Preston.”