Get Involved: The Repair Centre


We are currently recruiting for up to 10 people in recovery from substance use issues from Greater Manchester for a new project.

Participation will support social re-integration, increased employability and promote wellbeing through high quality hands-on learning and engagement with contemporary art.

What is it?

“The Repair Centre” will support people in recovery, their family, friends or significant others, facing additional barriers to work by improving employability through creative, practical, and soft skill development, whilst facilitating new thinking about recovery processes and acts of repair. 

A blended approach to learning offers a programme of real-world professionalising experiences, and insights into creative/cultural industries. 

Recovery is a process of transformation that reconfigures a person’s identity. Working with the transformative qualities of art and creative mending the project will explore the parallel between these processes. We will use creative thinking together with object making, to explore your recovery journey. Utilising the visual arts as a tool for health and wellbeing we seek to open-up new ways of knowing and understanding recovery.

About and what will happen?

“Kintsugi (gold joining), or kintsukurai (gold repair) is a Japanese repair technique that takes ceramic destruction and makes a broken object into a new entity. It leaves clear, bold, visible lines…and gold to mark the scars, it never hides the story of the object’s damage”.

(Bonnie Kemske, ‘Kintsugi the Poetic Mend’, Bloomsbury Herbert Press, 2021. Chapter 1, Cracks Made Whole in a Golden Repair, pg12)

This act of repair made with painstaking time and care, documents an objects history, whilst making it stronger and arguably more beautiful. Kintsugi philosophy evidence’s that something new, useful, and more interesting can come out of damage, loss and change. This may be paralleled in the stories of people in recovery, but society does not always value those who have experienced these reconstructive, mending processes. 

‘The Repair Centre’ is specifically interested in the relationship between the two philosophies of Kintsugi and Recovery and what each can learn from the other for acts of repair and transformation. Can people previously viewed as broken and unfit for purpose, be seen as renewed, transformed and valuable assets to society? We wish to challenge prevalent perceptions of the recovery community by metaphorically and physically exploring these concepts through object making and repair.

The course will cover 2 strands of enquiry, delivered by artists and experts in their fields, one a craft masterclass in Kintsugi and one investigating creative approaches to acts of repair across clothing and domestic objects. Both strands will be supported by additional online learning packs and talks from professionals.

How to get involved?

Space is limited and booking essential. After registering your interest, a link to a pre-enrolment questionnaire will be included in your confirmation email to ensure the project is right for you. Please complete this and return to the email address included on the form. As spaces are limited and to avoid any disappointment please complete and return the form as soon as possible. The project will begin in February 2022, and final dates and venue details will be confirmed nearer the time.


You will need to be available for approximately two workshops per week, including a project induction later in February 2022 and running through to the end of May 2022.



About you and Eligibility

  • Be over 18 years old, creative or have an interest in the arts
  • You will be in abstinence-based recovery with a minimum 3 months clean time
  • Be in receipt of Universal Credit, other benefits or no earned income
  • Live in Greater Manchester and have residential UK status
  • Or be a friend, family member or significant other of someone in recovery

The programme will adhere to all current Covid-19 requirements. Please be aware that the project may be subject to changes as a result.

Delivered by Portraits of Recovery in partnership and collaboration with Manchester Craft and Design Centre, creative producer Jenny Walker, and recruitment partners Change Grow Live.