A CERAMICS and pottery teacher is running classes across the north west to benefit people with mental health problems.

Jeni Jacques-Williams swapped her career as an advisor to the Home Office to take up teaching regular pottery classes at her Lemon Studio in Grappenhall

And as well as this, she works part time as a community artist, offering ceramics sessions to help those suffering from isolation and mental health problems.

“About half of my time is spend at the Lemon Studio teaching workshops for people of all ages, which involve making and designing ceramics,” said Jeni.

“Part of this is leading one-to-one classes on clay throwing, were you mould your own objects using a pottery wheel.

“I also run mobile pottery sessions where I visit different venues or people’s houses if they struggle to get to the Lemon Studio.”

Jeni spends the other half of her time working with charities in nearby communities to offer different people the chance to benefit from pottery and ceramics classes.

“I also run classes working with different groups and charities outside of Warrington, but I am planning on running them in the town in the near future,” she said.

“These include teaching pottery and ceramics sessions to people with dementia, the elderly living in nursing homes and people suffering with their mental health.

“I’m currently running a series of classes at Moat House school in Stockport for young mothers, where we have been creating a tile mural.”

One session Jeni teaches which she finds particularly rewarding is clay art therapy, which is beneficial to people with mental health problems.

According to scientific research, working with clay can lead to a prolonged improvement in the condition.

“I’m not a trained therapist, but I have seen the benefits of working with clay and I want to share this with as many people as possible,” she added.

“A study in Japan has proven that working with clay leads to a long-lasting improvement in a person’s mental health compared with performing other activities.

“People are able to relax and talk about their problems during the sessions, possibly as they are concentrating on the clay so don’t have to make eye contact.”

Jeni will be hosting a free clay taster session on Sunday – part of a national ‘Hey Clay!’ initiative run by the Crafts Council.

Everyone is welcome and the event will give people the chance to try their hand at pottery and grab a glimpse at what the regular sessions are like.

To book a place on the taster day or for more information on the classes on offer in Grappenhall, visit the Lemon Studio website


and fill out the contact form at the bottom.