The Project Group (Oswestry) CIC (now Designs in Mind)

Website:  N/A
Email: N/A
Telephone/Fax: 01691 655140
Address: The Project Group (Now Designs in Mind) , 17a Cross Street, Oswestry, SY11 2NF

History of The Project. Please click on this link to go to Designs in Mind which has developed out of The Project Group

The Project Group was a voluntary arts based community business whose members are, or have been, in touch with Adult Mental Health Services. Membership is achieved through a successful referral process, initiated by a mental health worker, psychiatrist or GP within Shropshire and South Staffordshire.

Referral agencies include:

  • Community Mental Health Team
  • Social Inclusion and Recovery Service
  • GP practice
  • Enable
  • Assertive Outreach Team
  • Early Intervention in Psychosis Team
  • Prison In-Reach (via Community Mental Health Team)
  • Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team
  • Hospital nursing and Occupational Therapy staff
  • Community substance misuse team.
  • Pupil referral unit

Potential members do need to be formally referred. So if you are interested, talk to your mental health worker or GP.


The Project Group has been commissioned by Shropshire Council to design and create artwork for six PFI (Private Finance Initiative) buildings around the county. We have come up with exciting and varied proposals to transform these buildings in the different sites. Small teams a re working on the development of the individual pieces.

In addition to the overall budget for the 6 sites, the Project Group had raised a Business Development Grant from Oswestry Borough Council, and funding from the Arts Council, in order to use one of the commissions as an opportunity for development of the group’s activities. This larger project, at Louise House in Shrewsbury, will further enhance the group’s ability to deal with total environments and will result in a new portfolio for the group. We will involve 3 artists at the site who will work with us on the development of the proposal and will teach us new and transferable skills.

The six buildings are:

  • The Lantern, Harlsescott, Shrewsbury
  • Louise House, Shrewsbury
  • Abbots Wood, Shrewsbury
  • Helena Lane, Ludlow
  • Four Rivers Nursing Home, Ludlow
  • Raven House, Market Dayton


The Project Group has years of experience in facilitating workshops for a wide range of groups. Workshops are supported or led by our members. Our aim is to make our facilities, as well as the group’s experience, accessible to an increasing range of people through:

  • community workshops
  • in-service training
  • public workshops
  • corporate workshops
  • workshops offered by other people and organisations within our studio

In developing consultancy and workshop programmes, Project Group members (who as service users are often cast as passive receivers) become advisors and skilled specialists.
We also hold workshops for members to develop their own skills, expertise and confidence, in the form of Master Classes.


Project Group members work as individual artists to design, develop and produce a range of retail products made from glass, felt, textiles, recycled material and ceramics, and these are sold at seasonal Fairs.


Dr John Tolliday, Associate Specialist Psychiatrist working in Community Mental Health in Oswestry, is presently in the early stages of a research topic studying the effectiveness of The Project Group as an intervention in the treatment of mental illness. This study is being assisted and supervised by Dr Eleanor Bradley, reader in mental health at Staffordshire University and the Ethics Committee and the Research and Development Committees of the South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. The study design will be a Qualitative Study which involves in-depth interviews with clients who have concluded a period of time with the group. The intention is to publish a paper in the scientific literature validating the work that The Project Group does as a therapy for mental illness in general.

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