“Feel Good, Live Well!” – How Make Good Social Is Connecting People Through Creativity

Make Good Social wants to connect the people of Sheffield through art, hosting a number of upcoming ‘playshops’ to unite a community through creativity and foster a welcoming environment for anyone who needs some extra support.

The social club was created by disabled artist and activist Sam Cleasby, neurodivergent designer and maker Caroline Hayes and artist Charlotte Warren who lives with chronic illness. The trio believe that being creative, alongside talking to like-minded people, will allow Sheffield locals to feel good and live well.

Make Good Social is a safe space for adults to tap into their childhood and play through different artistic means. The group wants to stress that you don’t need to be an artist to get involved, as the aim is to create a no-pressure environment that’s just for fun.

After being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2003, Sam has been campaigning to raise awareness about the condition ever since. For those living with the condition, Sam wants to promote body confidence and break down the taboos by encouraging people to share their own experiences.

“I’ve lived with a chronic illness for the past 20 years, and the thing that I used as therapy was art,” Sam told Exposed. “I got my degree in Fine Art at the age of 42 and I’m currently doing my Masters in Disability Studies and the combination of these two things have been my passion for a long time.

“My last surgeries ended with me in a coma fighting for my life. The things that got me through were friends who allowed me a safe space to talk and share and a love of creating.”

Alongside this new project, Sam also runs the So Bad Ass blog to share her story and open up conversations about disability, invisible impairments, IBD and ostomies.

“The things that got me through were friends who allowed me a safe space to talk and share and a love of creating.”

“Coming together with two friends who face their own challenges, we knew we wanted to make something special; we wanted to make something good,” said Sam. “Bringing people together in accessible, safe spaces to talk and get back to the basics of play and art is important to us all. And so, Make Good Social was born.”

Co-founder Caroline can also vouch for the value of creative, social pursuits when it comes to overcoming personal hurdles, telling Exposed: “Following a 30-year career in corporate design, it took perimenopause and a late diagnosis of ADHD to make me realise that in order to have true self-worth, we need to play to our strengths rather than fight on through our weaknesses. The thing that gives me my real creative spark and inspiration is the company of and connection with other humans.

“I am lucky to have like-minded women in my life who also have struggles and also realise the benefit in creating and sharing. For me, sitting alongside a friend, talking and making is one of the best therapies possible and that is where I find my happy…

Also, cake helps. Always.” 

Make Good Social’s first event is collage-making with all the materials needed being included in your ticket! The club has accessible space for people of all abilities and there is also the promise of homemade cake. It will be held at Smithfield Studios on Thursday 2 May and runs from 7-10pm. 

Tickets here


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