2020 Annual Report from Out of the Blue & Breathing Space

In a year that will be remembered for its incredible challenges we responded to the Covid-19 pandemic by completely re-inventing our activities so that people could take part online and by post.

Read the annual report for Out of the Blue: Adult Mental Health and Creativity Service, and Breathing Space: Arts for dementia to find out what was achieved and how it made a difference to people during the pandemic. Click here (opens in a new tab/window)

”I’m a real hoot enthusiast. Something to look forward to in the week, hoot has saved my life a few times. hoot really has been a godsend through lockdown. It has been the best thing to look forward to each week.”

Woman stands on a beach smiling
Woman stands on a beach smiling

hoot awarded Level 2 from Quality 4 Health + Wellbeing

hoot is the only arts and health to be awarded Level 2 by Quality 4 Health + Wellbeing in Kirklees and we’re pretty chuffed about it!

Quality 4 Health + Wellbeing is the accreditation standard for groups and organisations delivering health and wellbeing services across the country. This means that hoot has had a full check up from external evaluators and we’ve been given the highest seal of approval for our commitment to excellence in all aspects of our service delivery. This includes:

  • The ability to put our service users first
  • Confidence in providing a safe environment
  • High quality service delivery and a culture of continual improvement
  • The ability to plan effective services based on need
  • Robust governance and management
  • Compliance with the Equality Act 
  • Positive workforce development
  • Continual improvement & Continued Personal Development
  • Commitment to setting and maintaining quality standards
  • Quality and confidence for funders

We’ve also demonstrated impact, leadership, partnership working and innovation in the development and delivery of person centred services, and that we have robust structures and processes in place that are reviewed regularly throughout the organisation.

hoot is now one of 18 organisations in Kirklees to be awarded the Quality 4 Health + Wellbeing accreditation. We’re exceptionally proud of the hoot team, especially our Operations Manager Lailla, for all the hard work that has gone into us achieving this accreditation. 

You can read more about Quality 4 Health + Wellbeing here: 


Woman stands on a beach smiling
Woman stands on a beach smiling

Walk In My Shoes - Here & Now

A hand with a pen writes on some paper

Project ended: 30/09/2021

hoot partnered with Lawrence Batley Theatre on their Here & Now project called Walk In My Shoes to bring people  people together across the generations.

Teaming the Lawrence Batley Theatre's extensive experience offering creative opportunities to young people with our ground-breaking Breathing Space groups for people with dementia and their carers and partners we brought together older and younger people to find out what it would be like to “walk in my shoes”.

Throughout Autumn 2021, young and old shared writing, stories and drama and discovered what they had in common and what was different about their lives. The experience was captured on film (watch below).

Walk In My Shoes was part of Here & Now, a national project supported by Arts Council England and Future Arts Centres, marking The National Lottery’s 25th birthday. Running in arts centres across the UK, Here & Now aimed to create new conversations and understanding between different groups of people who don’t usually have contact to develop new creative conversations. 

“It was fantastic to bring together people with such a diverse range of ages and experiences. The connections made felt even more exciting after 18 months of lockdown separation.” Breathing Space Project Manager, Moira

hoot featured in the Treasury of Arts Activities for Older People Volume 2

The second volume of The Baring Foundation's Treasury of Arts Activities for Older People has been released and you’ll find us on Page 113 with an activity from regular Breathing Space artist, Andrea Freeman.

We are  proud and excited to have been invited to share an activity in this wonderful collection, which offers a myriad of wonderful creative ideas for anyone to enjoy.

Download a copy here: 


Woman stands on a beach smiling
Woman stands on a beach smiling



hoot creative arts strives to ensure that its services are accessible to people with disabilities. hoot has invested a significant amount of resources to help ensure that its website is made easier to use and more accessible for people with disabilities, with the strong belief that website accessibility efforts assist all users and that every person has the right to live with dignity, equality, comfort and independence.

Accessibility on the website

Our website makes available the UserWay's Web Accessibility Widget is powered by a dedicated accessibility server. The software allows our website to improve its compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1).

Enabling the Accessibility Menu

The website's accessibility menu can be enabled by clicking the accessibility menu icon that appears on the bottom right corner of the page. After triggering the accessibility menu, please wait a moment for the accessibility menu to load in its entirety.


hoot creative arts continues its efforts to constantly improve the accessibility of its site and services in the belief that it is our collective moral obligation to allow seamless, accessible and unhindered use also for those of us with disabilities.

In an ongoing effort to continually improve and remediate accessibility issues, we also regularly scan our website with UserWay's Accessibility Scanner to identify and fix every possible accessibility barrier on our site. Despite our efforts to make all pages and content on our website fully accessible, some content may not have yet been fully adapted to the strictest accessibility standards. This may be a result of not having found or identified the most appropriate technological solution.

Here For You

If you are experiencing difficulty with any content on the website or require assistance with any part of our site, please contact us during normal business hours as detailed below and we will be happy to assist.

Contact Us

If you wish to report an accessibility issue, have any questions or need assistance, please contact hoot creative arts:

Telephone: +44 (0)1484 516 224

Woman laughing at the beach
Woman laughing at the beach

Cookies Policy

What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files (normally numbers and letters) which a website may put on your computer or mobile device when you visit a site or page. The cookie will help the website to recognise your device the next time you visit and remember your preferences.

This website’s use of cookies

This website uses the standard implementation of Google Analytics that does not use advertising features. This service transmits anonymous website traffic data to Google servers in the United States. It does not identify individual users or associate IP addresses with any other data held by Google. A visitor’s IP address is used to determine their physical location but the IP address itself is not data that can be accessed through Google Analytics. All data in Google Analytics is aggregated and anonymised. We use reports provided by Google Analytics to help us understand website traffic and webpage usage.

How to control cookies

If you don't want to receive cookies, you can modify your browser so that it notifies you when cookies are sent to it or you can refuse cookies altogether. You can also delete cookies that have already been set. You may refuse cookies from this website by clicking the ‘Decline’ option when asked whether you want to consent to cookies.

A woman stands outside in nature smiling
A woman stands outside in nature smiling

Privacy policy

Here at hoot creative arts, we are committed to protecting your personal information and we want you to feel assured that any personal information you give us is held securely and safely.

This Policy outlines your rights regarding your personal information, including what personal information we collect, how we might use it, how long we keep it for, and how we keep it safe.

When processing your personal data we comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018.

1. Who we are

Hoot Creative Arts Ltd

Bates Mill, Milford Street, Huddersfield, HD1 3DX

01484 516224


Data protection contact: Gavin Clayton;


2. What information we might hold about you

The type of personal information data we hold on you can include the following:

  • name, address, telephone number(s), email address, IP address;
  • date of birth, race and sex, where relevant;
  • your history relevant to the support you receive from user
  • records of your correspondence with us;
  • medical/health details where relevant;
  • criminal records;
  • your Benefit(s) and other such information;
  • photographs;
  • your case studies/stories;
  • donations/gift details
  • survey responses

3. How we collect information from you

We collect information about you in the following ways:

When you interact with us directly: This could be if you ask about our activities, register for an event, make a donation to us, apply for a job or to do volunteering or otherwise provide us with your personal information. This includes when you phone us, visit our website, or get in touch by post or in person.

When you visit our website: We gather information which might include which pages you visit most often and which services, event or information might be of most interest to you. We may also track which pages you visit. We do this to make improvements to provide the best service and experience for you.  We also use cookies to help our site run more effectively

Social media: We may also obtain information about you when you interact with us on social media platforms. The information we receive may depend upon any privacy preferences you have set.

4. How and why we use your information

We collect your personal information to be able to provide the support and services that you have applied for, and to sign you up for events. These may include when:

  • you register for an activity/event;
  • we take photos or videos and you give your consent for us to use these;
  • you choose to share your story or endorsement;
  • you make a donation or engage with our fundraising activities;
  • you apply for volunteering;
  • you visit our website;
  • you sign up for our newsletter
  • a family member or friend contacts us on your behalf;

We also use your personal information where we:

  • provide you with volunteering opportunities, ways to donate and ways to fundraise;
  • for internal administration
  • to respond effectively to complaints
  • keep a record of your relationship with us;
  • need to comply with the Charities Act 2016 and follow the recommendations of the official register of charities, and the Charity Commission
  • need to update you with important messages
  • contact you about our work
  • invite you to participate in surveys or research;
  • keep in touch with you on information that you have said that you would like to receive or that is in your interest to receive.

We may also collect and use “sensitive personal information” about you.  This is information that can include information about your health, race, ethnic origin, and sexual orientation, religious and political beliefs. Where we hold your sensitive personal information we will treat that information with extra care and confidentiality and always in accordance with this Policy.

We will only use this sensitive personal information for dealing with your enquiry, training, services and quality monitoring or evaluating the service we provide. We will not pass on this sensitive personal information without your express permission except in exceptional circumstances, which might include anyone reporting serious harm to yourself or others, or if the law requires us to do so.  Where you have given us your express consent to use your sensitive personal information, for example, by submitting your story, we may publish it.

5. Sharing your information with third parties

The personal information we collect about you will be mainly used by our staff. We will never sell or share your personal information with organisations so that they can contact you for marketing activities. We also never sell any information about your browsing activities.

We will never share your personal information except where:

  • you have given us your permission to do so;
  • have genuine concerns for the safety and welfare of you or others;
  • we are required by law, for example to law enforcement agencies, judicial bodies, government entities, tax authorities or other regulatory bodies;
  • it is necessary to protect Hoot Creative Arts, for example, in cases of suspected fraud;
  • we have engaged third party suppliers who help deliver our services, including fundraising agencies. In these cases, we have set up a written contractual agreement that will ensure that those organisations can only use the data provided for the specific purposes we direct them to do, and that they have in place strict security requirements in order to protect your personal data in compliance with the law.

6. Keeping your information safe

We take looking after your information very seriously. We have implemented appropriate physical, electronic and managerial measures to protect the personal information we have under our control, both on and off-line, from improper use, access, alteration, destruction and loss.

Unfortunately the transmission of information over the internet is not always completely secure, and while we have done our best to protect your personal information sent to us in this way, we cannot guarantee the security of data transmitted on our website. However, we have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

7. Transfer of your information outside of the UK

We have no requirement at this time to transfer any personal data outside of the UK. Should that change in the future we will take all reasonable steps to ensure any 3rd-party with who we have shared the data has in place appropriate measures to protect your information in accordance with both the UK Data Protection Act 2018 and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

8. Link to other websites

Our website may contain links to other websites run by other organisations. While we try to link only to sites that share our high standards and respect for privacy we cannot guarantee that this is the case. Therefore, we cannot take any responsibility for the content or the privacy practices employed by other sites. Please be aware that advertisers or web sites that have links on our website may collect personally identifiable information you. This Policy only applies to our website and does not cover the practices of those other websites or advertisers. We therefore encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit.

9. How long we hold your information for

We will not retain information for longer than is necessary and reasonable for the relevant activity for what it was collected. The length and time we retain your personal information for is also determined by operational and legal considerations, for example, we are required to hold some types of information to fulfil our statutory and regulatory obligations.

10. Marketing communications

We will only contact you about our work and how you can support us (marketing) by phone, email or text message, if you have agreed for us to contact you in this manner. However, if you have provided us with your postal address we may send you information about our work and how you can support us by mail, unless you have told us that you would prefer not to hear from us in that way. You can update your choices or ask us to stop us sending you these communications anytime by contacting us using the contact details in section 1 above (Who we are), or using the unsubscribe link at the bottom of relevant communication.

11. Legal basis for using your information

Data protection requires us to rely on one or more legal grounds to process your personal information. We consider the following grounds to be relevant:

  • Consent: where you have given us consent to do so;
  • Performance of a contract: where we are entering into a contract with you;
  • Legal obligation: where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation, for example, where we might be ordered by a court to do so;
  • Vital interests; where it is necessary to protect the life or health (for example, in the case of medical emergency suffered at one of our events) or a safeguarding issue which requires us to share your information with emergency services;
  • Legitimate interests: where it is reasonably necessary to achieve our aims. Where we do so we make sure that we take into account your rights and interests and will not do so if we feel that there is an imbalance to your rights.

12. Your rights

You have various rights of the personal information we hold about you which are set out below.

  • Access to personal information: you have the right to request access to a copy of the personal information we hold about you, along with how we sure it, why, who we share it with, how long we keep it and if it is used for automated decision making. It is free of charge.  Requests must be in writing and evidence of identity must be provided.
  • Right to object: you can object to our processing of your personal information where we are relying on legitimate interests and there is something on this reason you wish to raise an objection. You can also object to any marketing use. You can do so by contacting us using the contact details in section 1 (Who we are) above.
  • Consent:  where you have given consent you can withdraw it at any time;
  • Rectification: you can ask us to change or update any inaccurate or incomplete personal information held on you;
  • Erasure: you can ask us to delete your personal information where it is no longer necessary for us to use it, you have withdrawn your consent, or where we have no lawful reason to deep it.
  •  Portability: you can ask us to provide you or a third party with some of the personal information that we hold about you in a structured, commonly used, electronic form, so that it can be easily transferred;
  • Restriction:  you can ask us to restrict the personal information we use about you where you have asked for it to be erased or where you have objected to our use of it;
  • No automated-decision making: this means where an electronic system uses personal information to make a decision without human intervention. You have the right to object if it has a significant impact on you unless you have consented, it is necessary for a contract between us or is permitted by law. We do not currently carry out any automated decision making.

Please note, some of these rights only apply in certain circumstances and we may not be able to fulfil every request.

If you wish to exercise any of these rights or make a complaint you can contact us using the contact details set out in section 1 (Who we are) above. You can also make a complaint to the data protection supervisory authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office at

13. Monitoring

Your communications with our teams (including by telephone or email) may be monitored or recorded for training, quality control and compliance purposes to ensure that we continuously improve our customer service standards.

14. Changes to this Policy

This Policy may change so please remember to check back from time to time, this is version 2.0 and was last updated in February 2020. Where we have made changes to this Policy, we will make this clear on our website or if necessary contact you about any changes.


---------------------- END ---------------------

A woman stands outside in nature smiling
A woman stands outside in nature smiling

Face to face, remotely - how hoot went digital

In March 2020 when national restrictions were put in place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic organisations across the UK were challenged to drastically transform the way in which they supported the people they worked with.

The team here at HOOT Creative Arts rose to the challenge, and developed and implemented a number of new ways people could access creative activities that benefitted their mental health and wellbeing at a time when many more people were experiencing isolation, loneliness and mental ill health.

In this feature, we explore how Creative Pathways manager, Michael, used technology to make sure that HOOT artists could still be face to face with people signed up to HOOT’s creative activities.


HOOT’s Creative Pathways project focuses on offering creative activities for wellbeing to people with enduring mental health difficulties who are receiving inpatient care, or living within supported accommodation.  

For many of Creative Pathways' participants community based services and activities are often either unsuitable, or unable to support their additional needs at the current point on the individual’s recovery journey.  Creative Pathways brings the therapeutic benefits of arts and creativity directly to these people, supporting them to participate to their full potential.

Social isolation is a key issue for people experiencing mental health difficulties. Even within residential settings, people can often be socially isolated with limited social interactions with other residents, and low attendance at activities within their ‘home’ communities, i.e. the setting in which they live.

Creative Pathways activities have focused on bringing people together with a shared purpose, to create something together - whether that’s a piece of music, a poem,  or a piece of artwork to feature in the building or gardens where participants currently live. Through the activity, people build social connections and bonds with each other and with the staff who support them, and this in turn supports improved wellbeing as part of their recovery.


In March 2020, when the national lockdown came into force it was a priority for Creative Pathways project manager, Michael Dollan, to find a sustainable way of continuing delivery to ensure that residents didn’t lose the valuable community that was building around activities and the relationships developing between peers who had previously been isolated.

Lockdown presented many new challenges so it was essential that the Creative Pathways activities were simple enough for staff teams to incorporate into their new routines whilst still offering positive benefits to those attending. Drawing on his experience in using everyday technology to support access to activities, and with some inspiration from a famous TV series, Michael set to work developing a model of delivery that could ensure that the people living in supported accommodation could continue to meet and work together on something creative, whilst crucially still being guided by and interacting with a HOOT artist in real time. Hoot’s visual artist Sally Barker joined Michael in trialling the process themselves in order to troubleshoot, before a trial session was attempted with the NHS partner staff.


On 27th May the first session using this methodology was delivered by Sally, to a group of participant residents in a local Rehabilitation and Recovery Hospital. Sally appeared live in the session via video call on a tablet device, whilst a second camera focussed on Sally’s own artwork. This approach allowed attendees to clearly see and hear the artist leading the session, with the whole group gathered (socially distanced) at the start to watch Sally’s demonstration of techniques. The portability of the tablet meant Sally could still ‘walk’ around the room and respond to directly to individual participants’ queries through “face to face”,  tailored individual support or demonstrations – just as she would if there in person. This all meant the sessions could run as close as possible to a “normal” in person session

Running sessions in this way was not without its challenges and Creative Pathways focused on making delivery as simple as possible for all involved. Some art forms translated more readily to this format than others, and the artist needed to respond and interpret quickly and sensitively, to see beyond the limitations of camera and screen.  A 4G tablet device was purchased in order to mitigate WiFi problems, and was fully set up for us before being sent to the location. Michael also provided an accessible guide to using apps and settings which would allow any staff member to set up for the session swiftly, and support them to troubleshoot any minor technical issues. In addition, all arts resources were purchased by HOOT and delivered to the service/accommodation directly in time for the session each week.

The ‘buy in’ from NHS colleagues and their solution focussed approach to engaging with this new delivery method at a time of great stress and massively increased workload clearly demonstrated their belief in the efficacy of the work, and it’s benefits to their service users. Staff also said that they have themselves found this delivery beneficial, and that it has supported reduction in their workload during a very stressful period of time.


The Covid-19 pandemic meant some of our participants had not been able to leave their unit, or see friends and families since lockdown began. Through this unique delivery method and its focus on enabling the interactions between participants, staff and artist, Creative Pathways has allowed session attendees to build confidence and develop social bonds with each other, despite lockdown and other public health restrictions. People who attend the sessions regularly chat together during and after the activity, and staffs say that the activities are always mentioned to medical staff during ward rounds. 

Since 27th May 2020, HOOT has delivered 21 Creative Pathways activities live and direct to supported accommodation or in-patient services. The positive outcomes hugely outweigh any technical issues or other problems and the delivery partners are invested in working closely with Creative Pathways and HOOT to ensure that activities can continue.


This model of delivery is robust and has the possibility of delivering many types of visual arts or creative writing activities in a number of in-patient or supported housing settings. With more technical equipment, there is also capacity for further growth in order that more people with enduring mental health needs can benefit from improved wellbeing and social connection through participation in creative arts activities. In our evaluative conversations NHS colleagues said that they would highly recommend other services engaging with Hoot using this methodology.

Creative Pathways is funded by Lloyds Bank Foundation until 30th June 2021, however  HOOT is working hard to find ways to sustain this important service that bridges the gap with wider community services, and allows people with enduring mental health difficulties to discover how being creative can make you feel good.


To get in touch about Creative Pathways, please contact or 

A woman stands outside in nature smiling

An update on hoot services

Based on the Government’s announcements on the 12th July, and in conjunction with the rising case numbers in the Kirklees area, the hoot team are busy at work reviewing what this means for our sessions returning in-person. 

The majority of building works have been completed increasing ventilation within the building, and we are carefully considering what the removal of legal guidance means for how we keep people visiting the hoot building safe & well.

We are now discussing the logistics of:

  • Running shorter but more frequent activities with smaller groups of people
  • Running trial volunteer meetings in-person to test our new building movement protocols
  • Running activities at an outdoor location 
  • Offering activities first to people who have not been able to access our activities since March 2020
  • How running in-person activities might change the online programme

At hoot we maintain our commitment to keeping safe all those people who work here or join in the fun of our creative sessions. To that end we will work hard to enable everyone to participate safely as restrictions lift on 19th July and once again those of us with long term health conditions (LTCs) may feel an increased risk in mixing publicly and in groups.

Through our digital, telephone and blended offer (SPECTRUM) we will support continued, renewed and new engagement in the work at hoot and we look forward to working with you all in the coming weeks and months as we move through this phase of the pandemic together.

What’s next? We want to know more about how those who use our services feel about returning to in-person activities and what would help them to feel safe. To help us to do this, we’ll be asking people who attend hoot to fill out a short form to tell us how they’re feeling. We will keep you updated as our plans develop, and if circumstances change due to local, regional or national restrictions and guidance.

We have a duty of care to every person we work with and as always, our goal is to return in the safest way possible for everyone. 

Gavin Clayton, CEO hoot creative arts

Last updated July 2021

A woman stands outside in nature smiling