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Leap of Faith

‘If we realise by ourselves how strong we are, then others will realise.’

Leap of Faith participant

Leap of Faith, a pioneering project at YSP, explores ways in which women who have experience of trafficking, domestic violence or mental ill health can use creative expression and equine assisted therapy to benefit wellbeing and creativity.
Responding to contemporary artist Katrina Palmer’s The Coffin Jump (2018) – a major co-commission by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, and YSP – Leap of Faith reflects the courageousness of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY). This extraordinary group emerged at a transformative period for women – moving out of passive domestic confinement to enter the battlefield on horseback and administer first aid – and inspired the creation of the artwork.
Led by YSP’s Art & Wellbeing Coordinator, Rachel Massey, Leap of Faith brings together participants from two local authority areas that border the Park, in partnership with Ashiana Sheffield, Kirklees WomenCentre, with Heidi Dawson from Glint [Horse Assisted Development].
Leap of Faith aims to help participants gain the confidence to express themselves, to develop positive relationships, and to build positive new memories. Activity includes creative sessions devised by the participants themselves in conjunction with lead artist Kate Genever, and Palmer as well as equine therapy, which has been found to enhance positive behaviour and wellness. Further therapeutic support is provided by group analyst Jacinta Kent, and opportunities for reflection and evaluation have been offered by Dr Harriet Rowley, Lecturer in Education and Community at Manchester Metropolitan University.

‘At YSP, we use a range of approaches to help people engage with the art. We are interested in exploring ways to support people to engage with their own creativity and self-expression. This is a unique opportunity to work with women, therapists and artists and create something together, inspired by The Coffin Jump and other art at YSP’

Rachel Massey

Leap of Faith is part of YSP’s Arts & Wellbeing programme, which takes inspiration from the New Economics Foundation’s ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ and is informed by work with experts including artists, mindfulness practitioners, musicians, yoga teachers and others.

The Coffin Jump is co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and YSP, made possible with Art Fund support. Special thanks to Sir David Verey, The Henry Moore Foundation and The Clothworkers’ Company. With additional support from Melanie Gee, Larissa Joy and thanks to Midge & Simon Palley, Nicholas & Jane Ferguson and Tony McCallum.

‘Our horses are the true educators in our work. They don’t do role play, so noticing how they respond to our behaviour and energy offers us a unique insight into ourselves and our relationship to the world’

Heidi Dawson from Glint

Download the Leap of Faith report.