The Escape Story

'It’s that moment when you realise you’re having so much fun that you forget volunteering changes lives…because its changing yours'

Escape Story

Escape helps people of all age groups to work together on art and heritage projects, building strong, happy communities and supporting wellbeing.  Escape Arts became a charity in 2003, as a result of two local organisations: Escape, founded by Robin Wade in 1997 and Community Art in Action, founded by Karen Williams the same year, joining forces under a shared vision.

For over 20 years Escape has developed a diverse programme of creative and heritage-led health and wellbeing workshops, both in Stratford from our home at the The Old Slaughterhouse Community Heritage & Arts Centre and across Warwickshire.  Part of Escape’s success is using this creative innovation to engage and to celebrate powerful stories of people, place and time in a vibrant, empowering way, which has a wider impact, our core belief being that ‘enhancing people’s lives strengthening our communities’.  We are also very fortunate to have an office and work space at Foundation House thanks to Stratford Town Trust.

Escape has a sister project Nuneaton Escape, based at Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre that coordinates work in Nuneaton and North Warwickshire. We are in the process of taking on a new lease for venue situated at Nuneaton Train Station the ‘Station Gallery’ working with West Midlands Railways and local arts organisation Art Alert to develop a thriving arts and heritage hub for the town.

The charity also operate a programme of both community and commissioned outreach programme in schools, health settings and at community events/festivals promoting health and wellbeing across Warwickshire.  Our model is built on inclusion, integration and independence, unpinned by enhancing well-being evidenced through evaluation and ‘Quality for Health’ policy, with programmes, locally led and embedded in the heart of communities.

Escape’s role is to find innovative ways to engage communities, working at grass roots level and through partnership work to ensure those most isolated in our communities are involved and included.

I felt depressed and isolated, I believe if it were not for Escape I would not have the support network to gain the confidence I now have. Escape and the family I feel l had there are still there for me and have been a necessary support to get me where I am today” – Escape Youth Volunteer

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