About Chilli Studios & Partners

Heads & Tales is lead by the Mental Health & Arts charity Chilli Studios, and made possible through funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery Players. Collaboration is deeply important to this project and hence we are working with a range of exciting partners. Please see below for further details and links.

Chilli Studios


Charity reg: 1116957  Company reg: 05028177

Set up in 2004, Chilli Studios is a registered charity that delivers services to those who are, or are at risk of experiencing diagnosed mental health problems, and those who experience other forms of social exclusion within their communities. Our Aim is: Improving mental health through Creativity. Our mission is “to provide a sustainable service that engages people in creative activity, which promotes social inclusion and interaction, develops skills and ability which builds resilience, enables potential and improves wellbeing.”

Our organisational objectives are:

  • To promote service and engage new members (beneficiary term), supporting social inclusion
  • To use creative participation as an intervention to prevent deterioration
  • To develop members’ involvement in activities that support recovery
  • To signpost and support members to achieve goals within realistic timeframes

We have been delivering a user-led creative studio service to over 800 individuals since 2006 with currently 653 registered members. Referrals come from a range of agents: 49% GP’s, 28% Community Psychiatric Nurses, 10% Social workers 8% Psychologists 5% Psychiatrists

We are based within a vibrant inclusive community space near the centre of Newcastle. It provides a creative service in many disciplines from multimedia to ceramics and lots in-between. Studio space covers over 240msq, includes creative professionals and numerous volunteers. It is highly regarded as a professional and innovative small community based service.

Members and referral agents have described the importance of the social environment fostered by the studio, how Chilli Studios staff help members grow in terms of their self-esteem, how the studio gives members something to look forward to and a place to learn valuable skills which in turn, can prove therapeutic both socially and emotionally.

“The Artroom is invaluable to me. It is my primary social interaction and the only place I can express myself creatively doing artwork and sculptures. Its so good to have somewhere I can be myself and people don’t judge me for my mental health. It is a warm community type place.” – Camille, Chilli Studios member


“Just helps 100%, tenfold, I think a lot of problems I’ve had, I’ve had antidepressants thrown at us but to make yourself happy you have to make yourself proud of yourself and this got me back to doing my art – I’m like a different person, I was diagnosed with social anxiety but now I am talking to people more.” – Simon. N Chilli Studio Member


“I think Chill Studios is an incredibly important resource for people …. coming to terms with the real deficit imposed on them by their mental health problems. Its importance is even greater today than ever…in my opinion it provides a unique range of support ….and brings in an important but often overlooked part in recovery” – Dr Sankalpa Basu (Consultant Psychiatrist, NTW NHS Foundation Trust)

Funders & Partners

We hope to further partner with cultural venues, organisations and other specialist research academics and freelancers.