Compass Arts

Based in Eastbourne, Compass Arts is an intergenerational, co-creative, artist led organisation for anyone vulnerable to social isolation, lived trauma, mental illness and hidden disabilities. Our tried and tested approach recognises that people feel most empowered when given independence, responsibility and are at the ‘giving’ end of care. 9 interdisciplinary artists deliver a weekly program across several sites, free of charge and without any expectation of participants. Our spaces are always safe, supportive and compassionate and provide new direction and skills in people’s lives. The artists’ regularly work together to put on exhibitions, events and self-publish. A Collective was formed for participants who identify as an artist and wish to develop their contemporary practices and have greater public interface. We welcome partnership projects from the wider community that look to improve our environment and the lives of people in our environment.

20 years of Compass Arts creating communities across Eastbourne Partners in Eastbourne Alive to celebrate the Turner Prize coming to the Towner Gallery


Our Success Stories

Chris has autism and finds it difficult to be around people.  "I attend Compass three times a week and I am surprised at how comfortable I feel. I recently joined the Compass Players (performing arts) and had a speaking part!"

Josh has challenging behaviour and its often disruptive but he has had a lot of success at Compass.  "My painting was chosen for our Christmas card and i've also become a certified first aider for Compass" He now works as a Marshall at the local football ground.  

Sarah has a learning disability, health issues as well as mobility and dexterity challenges.  In independent living, she was lonely and frustrated at the lack of work opportunities that came her way.  "I joined Compass as a volunteer and I support the running of our afternoon drop in’s by welcoming people, filling out paperwork and providing refreshments." She is sensitive and attentive to everyone’s needs and through her kindness has begun to build relationships across Compass.  “You talk to me differently!  You talk to me as if I am like everyone else”.

Compass has enabled Clare to overcome agoraphobia. This is a major step forward for her. She comes with a friend who volunteer’s at Compass.  "The activities offered have enabled me to explore, creatively, the obstacles that I face in my life." The arts and writing courses and garden project proved to be powerfully therapeutic. "I feel comfortable in the group environment that Compass provides. I can participate without feeling pressured and I appreciate the non-judgmental environment."