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White Brush Strokes

Qualifications and Training

Awarded in June 2023

Master of Science by Research
Arts in Care Settings:
Embedding and Sustaining the cARTrefu Approach in the Social Care Sector

An Arts in Health Masters Project Funded by KESS2 East (Knowledge for Economy Skills Scholarship) in partnership with Age Cymru.

School of Medical and Health Sciences

University of Bangor

Using a mixed methods approach and engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, this study addressed the following research question:

What are the barriers and facilitators to embedding and sustaining arts provision in social care settings?


The research highlights:

1. Aspects of the cARTrefu programme that are most appreciated by stakeholders

2. Aspects of the cARTrefu programme that present challenges and how these might be addressed

3. Ways of securing buy-in to ensure the long-term sustainability of the programme.


The research involved completing a rapid evidence review and collecting primary data via Social Care Innovations Labs (#SCIL) and interviews with stakeholders.

My thesis can be found here:

Alongside this qualification was also awarded a Postgraduate Skills Development Award.

KESS 2 is about preparing and training individuals to contribute to research as professionals. We also aim to promote higher-level skills amongst the Welsh Government’s priority R&D sectors. Hence there is a skills development element embedded in every KESS 2 scholarship. 

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July 2018

NSPCC Child Protection: An Introduction

Online SafeGuarding Training Course

October 2017

Arts Award Adviser

Qualified in delivering Arts Award Qualification in levels:
Discover, Explore, Bronze & Silver

July 2012

BA (Hons) Visual Arts Degree

University of Salford
Greater Manchester

July 2008

Most Improved Visual Arts Student Award

University of Salford
School of Art & Design
Student Prize


BA (Hons) Visual Arts
Foundation Degree

University of Salford
Greater Manchester

Relevant Work History

Mapping Work

May 2022


Mapping work for Denbighshire County Council.


Embedding and sustaining creativity in social care practice with older people: Mapping the Creative Conversations and cARTrefu approaches - Penny Alexander and Diane Seddon, School of Medical and Health Sciences, Bangor University.


Mapping work undertaken to:

o Align the Creative Conversations and cARTrefu approaches with the learning outcomes detailed in the Good Work Dementia Learning and Development Framework, the North Wales Dementia Strategy, and the All-Wales Dementia Care Pathway of Standards.

o Identify evidence gaps and areas for future research and practice development.

Artist in Residence: Re:collection

April 2020-August 2021

Collaborating with Ticky Lowe and Lisa Heledd-Jones on the Re:collection "Imagine Colwyn" Project.
The purpose of the project is to work collaboratively as a small team to co-produce 3 reminiscence collections themed according to the 60s, 70s and 80s. We also created activity resource packs for people to partake in creative reminiscence activities at home during the pandemic.
Colwyn Bay

Litter Prevention Community Art Project

February 2020-September 2020

Working with schools and community groups to deliver text and analogue based art workshops to empower local residents to care for their estate and surrounding environments.
Caia Park, Wrexham

Phase 3 cARTrefu Artist
Delivery of Care Home Training

Jan 23rd 2020

Introduction to cARTrefu for care home staff.
Training Care home staff to deliver quality participatory art workshops.
Queen Elizabeth Court Care Home, Llandudno

Reminiscence Collection Curation and Object Handling Workshop

January 2020

I was invited by Ticky Lowe (Making Sense CIC) to curate a collection from the 1950s collection at Cai Dai museum which we later took to Plas Gwyn nursing home to share with residents there. My collection was inspired by childhood holidays.
Plas Gwyn Nursing Home

Phase 3 cARTrefu Artist
Delivery of Care Home Training

November 2019, 4 sessions

Training Care home staff to deliver quality participatory art workshops and learn to form long term activity plans.

Pen y Garth Care Home, Wrexham.

Workshop Facilitator

Nov 2019, 6 sessions

The Carriageworks, "Building Creatively" Community Engagement Project. Working with the community surrounding Denbigh to address isolation

Workshop Facilitator

Nov 12th, 2019

Following my week long residency at Blind Veterans, Llandudno, I returned for a one-day long workshop.

Project Coordinator: Helfa Gelf

July 2019-Ongoing

Freelance coordinating of North Wales' largest Artist Network including coordinating the North Wales “Open Studios” events across Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham.

Artist in Residence: Blind Veterans

October-November 2018

Blind Veterans 1 Week Residency
Funded by Helfa Gelf. 
I worked at Blind Veterans respite building in Llandudno as artist in residence working with partially sighted or those with loss of vision.

Artist in Residence: Wrexham Maelor Hospital

July 2018

Wrexham Maelor Hospital

Funded by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board “Creative Well” Programme and Helfa Gelf, I worked on the Erddig and Evington wards at Wrexham Maelor under mentor Ticky Lowe. We worked at bedsides on these acute wards. During the 10-day residency Ticky Lowe and myself worked collaboratively with patients from the Wrexham community. Conversations were recorded as transcriptions using typewriters to be developed post-residency. We co-wrote a reflective journal which was added to the blog We had made a postcard and three “legacy” pieces for the hospital corridors.

Masterclass Workshop Facilitator

Criw Celf Children's Art Workshops

Criw Celf Flintshire: 

1 remote session, July 2020

3 days, March-April 2019

3 days, June-July 2018

Criw Celf Wrexham:

2 days, April-August 2020

3 days, Feb-May 2019

Artist in Residence: Age Cymru Phase 2, cARTrefu Care Homes Project

July 2017-2019

24-hours of arts interaction per residency working in care homes with residents, staff and families.


Residency 1: St David’s Care Home, Rhyl. September-December 2017.


Residency 2: Hollybank Care Home, Deeside. July-September 2018.


Residency 3: Willowdale Care Home, Buckley. September-December 2018.


Residency 4: Croes Atti Care Home, Flint. January-March 2019.


Residency 5: Phoenix House, Sandycroft. March-May 2019.


Residency 6: Morfa Newydd Care Home, Holywell. May-July 2019.

Project Co-Ordinator
Criw Celf and Portffolio

April 2017-April 2018

County Co-ordinator for Arts Council Wales' Grant funded "Criw Celf" and "Portffolio" schemes in Wrexham.
National project for MAT school pupils in Wales.

Freelance position.

Workshop Assistant: Criw Celf Wrexham

January 2017-April 2017

Criw Celf, Oriel Wrexham
In this paid role I assisted various local artists to deliver their sessions to a variety of age groups, ranging from 9 to 14 years old. My reliability and work ethic in this role let to me being invited to become coordinator for Criw Celf Wrexham.

Creative Consultant/Workshop Facilitator

August 2015

Stockport Learning Disability Resource.
For one week I worked fellow artist Tracy McGuinness-Kelly undertaking creative consultations with adults with learning difficulties. Our objective was to communicate with the people in order to ascertain their preferred living conditions and make provision for their future. Prior to the week of work, we prepared interactive 3D props to encourage creativity. During the week of consultations, we made a large mural of a cityscape of "dream homes". We also conducted one on one sessions with participants to create collages of their own personal ideal living situations.

Workshop Facilitator

April 2015-October 2015

Stockport Women’s Centre
In this voluntary role I held weekly craft-based workshops for vulnerable ladies at the centre aimed at promoting confidence and relaxation in a very informal environment.

Children’s Arts Club Assistant

July 2015-August 2015

After a local club successfully obtained a grant from Stockport Council I was invited to work weekly as an arts assistant. The club was held at a local community centre near my home, for deprived local children during the summer holidays.
Offerton Community Centre

Gallery Assistant and Workshop Facilitator

April 2014-July 2015

Mental Health and Well-being charity
"Arts For Recovery in the Community"
ARC Gallery,
Greater Manchester

I hope my work interests you. Call Penny Alexander today to learn more about the studio.

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