Good News if You Don’t Like Support Groups

Are you wary of support groups?

Do you hate people looking at you?

Dislike feeling pressured to speak?

We get it.

Listen now: Trace Jared-Davis and Emma Sprawson talk about why Mindful Art Club is different, and why social connections are now more important than ever.  You will also learn why you don’t need to be Van Gogh to join in with this art club.

This interview was first broadcast on Omnium Radio, Plymouths Community Radio on o5th March 2021. The full interview is below.

The new group launches Friday 19th March 2021.

Mindful Art Club on PTown Radio

In this relaxed and fun radio interview Chi asks Emma,

What is Mindful Art Club?

Where in Plymouth does it happen?

And who exactly is it for?

Emma Sprawson talks to Chi Bennett on Show and Tell With Queen Chi, PTown Radio, (15/01/21) about Mindful Art Club(R), a unique support group, that tackles social isolation and mental health in Plymouth, Devon.

Skip to 11 minutes in to hear Emma read a poem that explains how to stop, breathe and walk slowly into the mystery.

Skip to 12:35 where Chi asks, what if I’ve got kids at home? Can I still join in with the online group?

Emma Goes Live on the Radio

Emma Sprawson talks to Lester Jones on the morning show at Omnium Radio, (20/11/20) about Mindful Art Club(R), a unique support group, that tackles social isolation and mental health in Plymouth, Devon, UK.

Listen now to find out how Mindful Art Club continues to bring people together in a safe way, during a year when we were asked to socially distance ourselves from one another.

Skip to seven minutes in to try a quick mindful drawing exercise.

Try an online group or grab some free mindful colouring pages by signing up to our mailing list. (We never sell or share email addresses, we only send you a friendly monthly message to tell you about our latest low-cost, local events.)

Double Win For Community Art Group

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!

[Video] Art Club Creates Social Connections

Trainee counsellor, Susy Putnam, interviewed Emma and Peggy from Mindful Art Club, just days before the UK went into social distancing measures, because of the Corona Virus, in March 2020. Susy asked,

  • Why did you start mindful art club?
  • Do you have any stories that you could share about how it has benefited an individual?
  • Could you tell us why mindful art club, why not just an art club?
  • Can you just talk us through what a session would look like?
  • What is, ‘Taking your pen for a walk’?!

  • Like our Facebook page.
  • Set your notifications to join when we go live.

Now Emma and I would love to hear from you. What would you like to see and do in an online mindful art session? Tell us in the comments below.

Emma and I really want to know your thoughts around this, so that we can continue to support people during this time of social isolation.

Sending you lovely thoughts and a virtual hug from us both.

Peggy and Emma.

Featured in Plymouth Chronicle

We are happy to be featured in The Plymouth Chronicle this month (March 2020). However, please note that our Monday venue has changed its name since this was published. ‘The Pig Bar and Grill’ is now called ‘Jack n Mols’.

The Plymouth Chronicle is delivered door to door, in four local areas, to 90,000 homes per month.

The article describes why we started Mindful Art Club, and also reports that we have received National Lottery funding to start an art group at The Harbour Drug and Alcohol Service.

Our unique combination of mindfulness and art promotes mental health and wellbeing. If you would like to offer a mindful art club to your clients or employees please get in touch with Peggy and Emma.

[Listen] Porter’s Playlist

This relaxed interview with Peggy and Emma is 52 minutes long because there is lots of chatting and a few tunes, so when you’ve got time, grab a coffee and some mindful colouring, get comfortable and have a listen.

  • What happens at Mindful Art Club?
  • Why do they do it?
  • How did Emma and Peggy meet?
  • Plus: World Exclusive – hear a song that Peggy has recorded, called Cardigan.

Ferndale Community Radio is an online based community radio station operating out of the Ferndale Community Hub in Plymouth. They are on the air 24 hours a Day 7 days a week. Get the App for easier listening.

Mike Porter’s playlist is on every Tuesday from 3pm to 5pm and you can text song requests to Mike at 07451223412 (Free Text in the UK for use during the shows.)

[Listen] MAC on BBC Radio Devon

BBC Radio Devon Breakfast show host, Caroline Cook, asks:

  • How does a mindful art class differ from any other?
  • Why did you want to help recovering addicts and alcoholics?
  • Do you have to be good at drawing to join in?

At the moment we have three weekly classes in Plymouth.

(Edit: Since this interview was recorded The Pig Bar and Grill has changed it’s name to Jack n Mols, 133 Armada Way – Monday group.)

Not ready to come to a class in person? That’s OK. Grab some free mindful colouring pages here.

[Listen] Art Club on the Radio

It was great to get a mention on Ferndale Community Radio on Tuesday 28th February, thanks to Mike Porter. Find out:

When do we meet?

What do we do?

Do you need to be good at art?

Listen now:

Ferndale Community Radio, FCR for short, is an online based community radio station operating out of the Ferndale Community Hub. FCR is dedicated to providing information and entertainment to the local communities in and around Plymouth, while also being open to entire UK and other countries. 

You can listen to Mike Porters Playlist with co-presenter Steve from 3pm to 5pm every Tuesday.

To keep updated with our mindful art classes and news follow us on Facebook.