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Projects Blog

Case study – Torbay Tattoo Tales

4th June 2018

ESF and Lottery logoThe Positive People team were part of an event with a difference this Spring: Torbay Tattoos Tales. Anyone with a tattoo or an interest in the art was welcome to take part in creative activities and enjoy free entry to a tattoo exhibition.

Cosmic worked with project partner, Torbay Community Development Trust, and artist Shelley Castle. Together they ran creative and artistic workshops where participants could learn some calligraphy skills to create their own tattoo-style writing as well as take part in adult-colouring for those that wanted to relax and unwind.

One of Cosmic’s Digital Training Assistants was there on the day to document the events through taking photographs. She said “Building positive relationships with our clients is key in the work we do at Cosmic and this was a really important and enjoyable opportunity to get to know participants beyond a digital perspective”.


Participants at the event shared the story and meaning behind their tattoos, while professional photos of the tattoos were taken by artist Shelley Castle. The story and photo were then published alongside each other to become part of hundreds of other ‘Tattoo Tales’ in an exhibition at Torre Abbey in Torquay.

After the activities, participants were granted free entry tickets to Torre Abbey’s tattoo exhibition. Here they enjoyed a long afternoon walking around the abbey, where they discovered the history and development of tattoos and their place in society.

One participant shared their feedback on the event. “This was a really interesting activity and a really good afternoon. It was creative and inspiring and I was surrounded by good people”.

Each tattoo at the exhibition was unique and had a significant meaning or memory attached to it. Some chose their tattoos because they like the artwork or style, while others chose their tattoos for reasons that were very personal and meaningful for them. Tattoos may be taboo for some, but at this event, they were celebrated and admired as a meaningful art.

If you would like to get involved or find out more about the Positive People project, please visit our website at and go the ‘Contact Us’ section.

Positive People offers a lifeline to people who are not in work to help build confidence, skills and give a sense of hope for the future. Positive People is jointly funded by the Big Lottery fund and the European Social Fund.