The Big Give Christmas Challenge

Double your donation when you give online between 28 November to 5 December towards the Big Give Christmas Challenge.

Your donation will support our charity's Art For All By All learning programme enabling us to provide artist-led creative learning for local people who would not ordinarily have this opportunity.

Watch this video to find out how your support will help people living in Surrey

Why your donation matters

Our charity’s Learning Programme creates access to art and to craft for thousands of people across Surrey who might not otherwise have this opportunity. Through artist-led workshops, we help people to learn new skills, gain a qualification, build self-confidence and experience how art and craft can enrich their lives.

These workshops are delivered free-of-charge to groups supporting young people in overcoming challenges such as homelessness, to charities helping people with a learning disability to achieve their full potential and to organisations working with young offenders and women prisoners to rebuild a better future.

The more I escape into my art, the more confident I become, as an artist and a person. It's a lifesaver.

- Deborah, HMP Send

Explore Refresh Express

‘I have gained the confidence to have a go at any type of art or craft. The mental health benefits are multiple. To turn up at a class and have to think of nothing except what you are doing is amazingly calming’ - participant, summer course 2023.

Since 2021, the Watts Gallery community programme has been trialling and running social prescribing courses for adults in Surrey, who are experiencing issues such as depression, anxiety and loneliness. Social prescribing ‘is an approach that connects people to activities, groups, and services in their community to meet the practical, social and emotional needs that affect their health and wellbeing’ (definition from the NHS).

These 6-week Explore, Refresh, Express courses support participants to spend time in the galleries, chapel and woodlands at Watts Gallery and take inspiration from nature and the art around them. Using art and creativity, we are working to bring people together, and to provide safe, gentle and supportive artist-lead sessions, to support wellbeing and mental health. The outcomes are particularly drawn from Mary Watts’s creative practice and continue Mary and G F Watts’s belief that art had the power to provoke social change.

‘It has been a lifeline for me. It massively helped my confidence and social anxiety. Expressing myself comes much more easily now’ - participant, autumn course 2023.

This programme is delivered in partnership with Voluntary Action South West Surrey, whose Social Prescribing Link Workers refer participants to take part in the course, and Creative Minds, to appoint an artist who has the skills and experience to support adults with mental health needs.

For more information, contact the Watts Gallery’s Learning and Engagement team at

We are grateful to the Borrows Charitable Trust, Robin Privett and the Big Give for their support.