Arts and Wellbeing Programmes

M-ask St Albans Mayor May 19.png

Trestle is a mask and physical theatre company: our mission is to inspire creativity through participation and dialogue and we do this by approaching opportunities with an open mind, playful approach and our ever surprising and engaging masks.

Trestle is an educational arts charity with a focus on using drama to enhance well-being; we work in partnership with schools, FE colleges, PRUs, Universities, community organisations, councils, CCGs and Artists to deliver the skills and resources needed to encourage high quality learning and development through the arts.

I’ve improved my people skills and I like how happy it makes me feel as I can approach people now
— M-ask Participant


  • Creates and delivers high quality mask and physical theatre performances and training locally, nationally and internationally.

  • Supports creative growth and improved mental health and well-being through participatory work with young people and adults.

  • Sends high quality, hand-crafted Trestle mask sets and accessible resources across the world.

  • Runs Trestle Arts Base as a welcoming venue for professional artists and creative space for local communities.

  • Delivers professional development for teachers and arts practitioners, including MA, PGCE and CPD training.

  • Partners with professional artists and companies in the development and sharing of their work.

Arts on Prescription

For the past five years, Trestle has been delivering arts and health programs including Arts on Prescription for 1life at St Albans Council and M-ask, a well-being programme for young people in Hemel Hempstead, funded by Dacorum Borough Council. Currently Trestle is working in partnership with Mind in Mid Herts to deliver drama courses for adults with mental health issues.

M-ask Wellbeing programme

M-ask is a 12 week evening programme using theatre practice to support young people aged 11 to 18 experiencing issues with their mental health. The focus of the project is driven by the participants and aims to build confidence and communication skills; this inclusive work also gives young people the skills and experiences to better assimilate into their local community. The participants of M-ask are given the opportunity to gain the bronze arts award, a nationally recognised qualification. During the past three years, 58 young people have engaged with M-ask, creating 6 performances and gaining 45 bronze arts awards. Trestle aims to replicate this highly successful programme in other areas of Hertfordshire and is looking for partners to make this possible.

Inclusive Community Groups

Trestle has established 3 inclusive groups at Trestle Arts Base, which meet regularly: Sing Out, Act Up and Dance Now offer weekly sessions and a social context for about 60 local adults and their support workers.

Evaluation evidences Trestle’s Arts & Health programmes:

  • Improving emotional well-being

  • Supporting increased social networks that provide positive support leading to greater inclusion

  • Empowering participants to voice their opinions and personal reflections

  • Reducing isolation

If you would like to discuss any of these projects in more detail or would like to enquire about running similar projects please contact us on 01727 850950.