Independent Arts


Independent Arts is an Isle of Wight charity, established in 1987, using the arts to improve wellbeing, quality of life and to reduce social isolation. We believe that art is for all stages of life and we deliver vital services across all ages, across the Island, mindful of the range of needs:

  • Often older people on the Isle of Wight are amongst the most vulnerable, including those in care homes and those on the fringes of social care

  • A higher than average number of children on the Island live in poverty (34%)

  • Mental health services are stretched, which can affect people of any age

  • Arts and wellbeing are interlinked and we focus on bringing arts to those who might not otherwise be able to benefit from them

Join in

Young people & families


Over 25s

Over 50s

Care homes

What’s on


Three years funding secured for Creative Hub in Newport

Independent Arts, the creative health charity for the Isle of Wight have been awarded three years grant funding from Reaching Communities. The grant will secure the future of the Creative Hub at 48/49 High Street, Newport, where more than 100 vulnerable residents of all ages enjoy a wide range of arts-based activities six days a week.

Independent Arts pioneered the use of arts-based activities to support all kinds of health problems more than 35 years ago. Nowadays, especially since the Covid pandemic, the benefits of such activities in helping people to connect and express themselves is widely understood by health professionals and artists alike.

Chief Executive Lisa Gagliani MBE said, “This funding couldn’t have come at a more crucial time when more people than ever need access to a safe place to talk, to craft or make music with each other and make connections. Loneliness is a huge problem across the Island for so many, across all ages, so we’re delighted to be able to stay open, including Saturdays from March.”

The grant can only be spent on activities at the Creative Hub, leaving the charity stillwith lots of fundraising to do for all the SingAbout sessions around the island, the schools-based sessions that help children to learn skills for life and to provide lots of sessions to help residents with advanced dementia in residential care homes. For the Creative Hub, the grant will fund an Operations Manager, a Programme Support Officer and several of the sessions that are offered throughout the week, led by local artist practitioners who are paid on agreed freelance rates. These sessions include Creative Café on Mondays, Make and Create on Tuesdays, Wellbeing Café on Thursday and Chess Craft on Saturdays.

Since being awarded the grant, the charity has recruited the team to continue the support to the local community:

Hub Operations Manager – Ralph Ridler has been appointed to this role with immediate effect. Ralph joined Independent Arts in 2020 as Community Fundraiser, where he has secured the support of several businesses, wrote local successful grant applications, ran matched funding campaigns and delivered on events such as Wight Proms, Ventnor Fringe and Cowes Fringe.

Programme Support Officer – Ali Atkinson joined in June last year as a Hub Coordinator. She now steps up her role to three days a week –

20th February 2024|

We run weekly workshops across the Island


Support us


You can play a part in helping your community

Find out about volunteering

Individual fundraisers

Your help can make the difference

Find out about fundraising

Corporate funders

We couldn’t do this without you

Find out about supporting us


Arts Council England logo
Community Fund logo
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport logo
Co-Op Foundation logo
Garfield Weston Foundation logo
Wight Aid logo
Go to Top