We were pleased to see we’ve hit the headlines again, on page 11 of The Plymouth Chronicle. You can read the latest issue online.
Double Win for Community Art Group
Plymouth’s first and only Mindful Art Club are celebrating receiving £250 funding, and £3000 worth of business support. The £250 was awarded to them by Plymouth Octopus Project, to cover some of their volunteer expenses, and the year-long business support package has been offered to them by The Real Ideas Organisation.
Peggy Melmoth and Emma Sprawson had only been running community art groups for a few months when the coronavirus lockdown forced them to cancel all of their groups. They immediately began offering online versions of all their sessions using Zoom video conferencing software and broadcasting to Facebook Live. Before lockdown their groups had been part-funded by individual voluntary donations, but since the end of March 2020 Peggy and Emma have been running the groups purely as a volunteers.
When lockdown restrictions began to ease in July, they started running small outdoor mindful art groups in a park in Plympton, and then in August they launched a new weekly group at The Sunflower Women’s Centre in Plymouth. They now run four weekly groups around Plympton and Plymouth, and continue to run their free online group for those who can’t make it to a real-life session.
“We started Mindful Art Club to improve mental health and social connection in the Plymouth community by offering mutual aid support groups, and teaching mindfulness and art for self-care. We were literally trying to fight social isolation at a time when we were all advised to isolate ourselves!”Peggy
“We used to be part of the support team at Broadreach House addiction treatment centre. When Broadreach closed last year we were both made redundant, but decided that we still wanted to use our skills to support people in the community.”Emma
In October The Real Ideas Organisation offered a number of free membership packages worth over £3,000 each, to entrepreneurial people with ideas that they thought could become brilliant businesses. To apply for a fully funded Start Something membership Peggy and Emma submitted a written business proposal and a three minute video outlining their ideas.
Peggy said, “We are so excited to win this, and are really looking forward to networking with the other businesses that won a place.”
The fully funded membership package from Real Ideas gives Mindful Art Club access to workspace at Ocean Studios in Royal William Yard, business support mentors and access to events, workshops and one to one coaching. The Start Something project is part of the iMayflower project and has been supported by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who fund the Cultural Development Fund, which is administered by Arts Council England.
Emma said, “Just after winning the Start Something membership we also received £250 funding from Plymouth Octopus Project (POP), which covers some of our expenses volunteering at The Sunflower Women’s Centre.”
POP offers funding advice, business and planning support to Plymouth’s voluntary sector.
The Sunflower Women’s Centre is a women’s only outreach centre set up by Trevi House in 2016. Sunflower is a trauma-informed women’s wellbeing hub, providing opportunities for any woman who has support needs.
“We have been very happy to have had Peggy and Emma come into the Sunflower Women’s Centre and give their time volunteering to run their wonderful Mindful Art group for our women. This has been a valuable service and given many of our women support and some purpose and stability, with their patience and gentle listening ears during the lockdown period.”Paula Carnell, Team Lead
To keep updated about Mindful Art Club’s latest weekly groups, online sessions and wellbeing courses sign up to the mailing list in the top right corner. We’ll send you some mindful colouring pages to soothe your mind while at home!