Headspace - A project close to my heart!



Bolton Octagon Theatre

Since January I have been involved with a project that is very close to my heart. I have been working with Headspace - a creative project for individuals who have experienced a mental health problem.

Mental Health I feel is something that is overlooked by society in general, and to be able to offer my skills ands services to a fantastic project was an opportunity I couldn't resist!

My involvement was to teach the participants about photography and techniques. The group had a wide range of skill levels from people who had never taken images seriously before, to people who were very experienced (and talented!)

Over the next few days I want to share with you some images that were taken by the participants on the course.

The images will shown to the public from 1st June at the Bolton Octagon Theatre.


Based at the Bolton Octagon Theatre, Headspace is an exciting and creative outlet for people with Mental Health issues, without direct focus upon these. A forum where people can freely express their unique traits, individuality and utilise their skills by primarily focusing on positive, personal, social and professional achievement and success and not on mental health. Headspace promotes positive change for the individual and challenges misconceptions often held by society.


Headspace has helped people to develop their skills because we are challenged to work at a higher level but in a safe environment. We are supported to try new things and to develop in depth understanding to a professional level. We are not treated differently because of our mental health problems.’ 

(Headspace Participant)



I have been working in conjunction with Lee Brennan of Stone Soup  who provides his excellent skills and talent to empower people from all sorts of diverse backgrounds. Thanks Lee for inviting me in to an amazing project!


The exhibition will focus on the theme of Transition. What that means for somebody with a mental health condition, how transition effects them and how that impacts on their daily life.  So kicking of the sharing of the images that will be exhibited below is an image taken and edited by Samantha. She is a new comer to photographer who doesn't even own a camera!




Girl in the Snow


I am 28, this was the first time I had stayed away from home in my life. It was different and I am glad I did it. This is what change and transformation means to me.

It was a snowy day, I thought it would be a brilliant idea where I was in the snow near the tree in background i love trees. turned out really great looks like I am walking and i am looking down. I just love this picture in the snow it is in my garden to.

I like it because it is different. It is transformation.

Samantha Leyland


What makes this image work is the poignancy of the beautiful words from Samantha. I hope you enjoy the series of images I will be sharing over the next few days and if you get chance please pop in to the Octagon Theatre in Bolton as seeing them printed large and presented properly is a different experience to seeing them on screen

Steven Bailey