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A Focus on: Stella Yates, Business Development Manager

A Focus on: Stella Yates, Business Development Manager
What is your connection with Creativity Works?
I am the Business Development Manager with Creativity Works
How did you first come across Creativity Works?
I first learnt of Creativity Works when involved with the Golden Key programme based in Bristol. Creativity Works were involved in developing an arts strategy for the programme and also in commissioning work for the innovative visual interpretation of the business plan for the IF (Independent Futures) Group within the programme.
What made you want to work with this organisation?
I have long believed that creativity is an important factor in people’s lives and that it contributes so much to wellbeing. From my experience working in museums and galleries I have seen how culture and arts projects can bring communities together and develop individuals. Creativity Works has proven itself able to make real and lasting changes to the lives of both groups and individuals. It is great to feel I can support the work of such an organisation.
Which projects have you been involved with / how have you helped support Creativity Works?
In recent months I have been researching various funding routes to provide the means of delivering the organisation’s ambitious business plan. There are also a range of possibilities using   artists and the creative process to deliver commissioned health and wellbeing services. I have attended commissioning events, considering our partnerships, both new and existing, reviewing how we can create innovative models of delivery. There is great pressure on budgets to provide for increasing demand so innovation is key in responding to this.
What have you enjoyed the most about working with Creativity Works?
I have enjoyed meeting and working in a new team of staff and volunteers and seeing the success they have had to date. I was very impressed with the artwork created for the Fresh Art project and discovering the breath of potential there is for future work and commissions.
What have you found surprising about Creativity Works? 
I have been surprised at the number of people who have heard of the organisation when I attend events and the number of times the work of the organisation has cropped up in official case studies or documents concerning social prescribing for mental health and wellbeing.
In what way has Creativity Works been of value or support to you?
I value the opportunity I have had to learn more about mental health issues. As a society with increasing pressures, we need to understand the importance of looking after our mental health and how to recognise when others need our support or understanding.
What has been your biggest professional, personal or creative achievement to date?
To have kept going and to continue to learn and create new ideas and solutions to problems. I have had the good fortune to have been involved in many exciting regeneration, arts and cultural programmes and projects right across the south west from Cornwall to Gloucestershire and Dorset. My role has always been to make the changes to existing methods of doing things and to think through solutions that are preventing things from happening. So sometimes having dogged determination (or perhaps it is plain old stubbornness!) can pay off in the end!
In my personal life I always consider the importance of family and the way your life with family members develops over the years.
On the whole I think it is very typical not to stop and take time to consider your achievements – you are always aiming for the next goal. Perhaps we should reflect more and acknowledge our work and achievements along the way.
Do you have any creative aspirations for the future (with or without Creativity Works)?
I use creativity in both my working and personal life – whether improving the garden or arranging things in the home. I would like to get back to creating visual art which I used to do but I have rather lost the skill. It would be great to master a musical instrument such as the piano or guitar!

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