We are a registered Community Interest Company dedicated exclusively to the art and science of origami since 2017. We are a highly motivated, experienced and enthusiastic team who advocate passionately the mental health benefits of the practice of origami. We decided to set up the company based on our own personal experiences of how folding paper drastically improved our mental health during difficult times.
In recent years, research has shown that art and craft in health and social care can bring many benefits to the individual. The Mental Health Foundation have concluded that arts therapies significantly improves mental health, social functioning and in particular, highlighted improved self-esteem, communication skills and social interaction. Furthermore, the practice of Origami can be beneficial to our physical health.
Origami provides both mental and physical stimulus with exercise. Use of the hands stimulates areas of the brain, improving short-term memory. It offers a calming and relaxing effect by following a simple step-by-step process, which can be repeated and taught again and again, until success is achieved.
Origami offers a chance to unwind and live in the moment, one-fold at a time. It helps to silence ‘negative noises’, internal and external, and builds self-esteem – a major contributor to positive mental health.
An Origami session is an opportunity for participants to realise their potential to learn a new skill. Folding a heart or a frog can be a starting point towards learning a new skill. This small step provides a feeling of accomplishment. The taste of achievement helps to rebuild their confidence.
Unlike other craft activities, Origami does not require complicated tools or expensive materials. All that’s needed is a piece of paper, and the results are enjoyed almost immediately. Origami is a neutral, non-threatening activity which allows everyone to try something new and become an inventor or magician. Fear or embarrassment of failure is quickly dispelled when great results are forthcoming almost immediately. The ability to turn a piece of paper into a two/three dimensional model provides a sense of pride, competence and accomplishment.
Throughout our work we seek anonymous feedback to learn, improve and find out the impact Origami can make. Between us we have worked with thousands of people; providing individual care to support each person’s learning and development. We’ve seen participants grow and flourish, and even use Origami as an ongoing tool to avoid medications for anxiety. A single uplifting session can be enough to provide a tool for a life-time to share with family, and friends.
Zulay Sayalero is a Chemical Engineer, but her real passion was always to be creative and help others. She rediscovered Origami while in the hospital. The experience has positively impacted her life, and she became a volunteer to teach the patients Origami and other papercrafts.
She is a strong advocate of the importance of taking time to be creative for mental well-being and prefers to define herself as a ‘Creativity Engineer’, working on bringing to life projects that can inspire and ignite creativity in others, this inner power that we all have within us. She has delivered workshops and created collaborative artwork displays in NHS hospitals, care homes, community centres, children’s groups, and private organisations. She has worked on large-scale projects involving Origami, such as Yakult UK, The New Samsung Galaxy Z launch and created many bespoke designs for different causes, including the red origami squirrel, a project to raise awareness of the decline of these species in the UK.
Her series of workshops, ‘Origami your way to a calm mind’, has been received very positively by participants from many sectors, including the NHS, Abbott Diabetes Ltd, Kalla and others.
For more information about workshops, see our “contact us” page.
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