We also want to share some other great news that we got onto the Start Something project with the Real Ideas Organisation. We are now linked in with Ocean Studios at the Royal William Yard, which is a beautiful space to hold Mindful Art Club sessions.
RIO were offering 10 free membership packages worth over £3,000 each to entrepreneurial people with ideas that they thought could become brilliant businesses.
The fully funded membership package from Real Ideas gives us access to their co-working spaces, specialist facilities, expert business support mentors and access to events, workshops and one to one coaching.
So, we will be getting some expert business advice, as well as being part of a creative community. It was lovely meeting other creative people at the team event last week and I’m looking forward to developing these relationships.
Some exciting news for Mindful Art Club this week. We have received £250 from Plymouth Octopus Project to help us run our weekly sessions at The Sunflower Women’s Centre, in Plymouth. POP offers support and advice to to the voluntary sector in Plymouth, and have already helped us so much this year with advice on writing our funding bids.
Thanks for your letters of support to enable us to get this funding.
Does your anxiety prevent you from coming to our groups?
Would you like to feel a little bit calmer and happier?
Here are three ways to try mindful art club, without even getting out of bed!
1) Listen to our free 15 minute recording.
This 15 minute mindfulness recording guides you to bring your attention to experiences happening in the present moment, without judgement. For best results, choose a place where you will not be disturbed, listen with headphones and close your eyes.
If you have an hour to spare, join in with one of our online classes. They are all recorded to Facebook in an archive of videos. Each recording includes a guided mindfulness session and instructions for a simple art project that you can do at home with felt tip pens and plain paper. Art Club Catch-Up TV. It’s like being at Mindful Art Club, but without leaving your house! (You could even stay in your pyjamas!)
3) Try Mindful Colouring
I know, I know. When I first heard of “adult colouring books” I thought it sounded like a ridiculous idea! But it’s amazing how the simple act of colouring can calm the mind down. I have designed a few mindful art colouring pages around the theme of “I am enough” using a little egg character that I created. His caption is, “I am an oeuf.” (Oeuf is French for egg.) The oeuf character makes me smile. Grab your free colouring pages by signing up to our mailing list, and then we’ll write to you monthly to let you know about our latest free and low-cost events, videos and mindfulness recordings. (You can unsubscribe at any time.)
The Mindful Art Club Awards Ceremony is finally here and you can watch all the action here on our website.
This year there is a new awards ceremony on our screens, the never-before-seen Mindful Art Club awards. After an incredible, yet surprising, first year in business (Covid-19 – we are looking at you!) we wanted to thank some of the people who have helped us on our way.
The celebrations were restricted to a very small, outdoor dinner party, because of the current coronavirus restrictions. Red carpet coverage was not possible, as the nominees could not attend the event in person. The nominees were not announced prior to the event, so the winners were completely surprised by their awards!
Mindful Art Club Awards 2020
Best Personal Development Trainer – Nabs Mirza, Shekinah Mission
Best Community Venue Award – John Govier, The Brook Inn
Best Funding Advisor – Imogen Potter, Plymouth Octopus Project
Our Best Friend at the Harbour Centre – Jocella Peck
Best Wellbeing Networker – Roger Higman, Network of Wellbeing
Our Best Friend at The Sunflower Womens Centre – Paula Carnell
Best Newcomer 2020 – Linda Langart
Committee Member of the Year – Clare Lattimore
Culinary Award for Amazing Food and Cakes – Jamie Chapman
Most Dedicated Volunteer – Lee Squires
And of course, we could not have done it without all of our clients who have come along to our sessions in pubs, cafes, community support services, parks, fields, even Peggy’s backyard, and online. Thank you for all your donations, and thank you for the wonderful feedback we keep getting about how much Mindful Art Club helps you to feel happier and calmer. We know that many of you have also made new friends at art club. We feel connection is more important now than ever.
Find out about our new groups and events and grab some free mindful colouring pages by joining our mailing list.
Mindful Art Club are looking forward to returning to our old venue, The Brook Inn, Longbrook Street in Plympton, as of 10am on Thursday 17th September.
The new six person rules – which come into force on 14th September – are a change to England’s current guidance. But regular Brook Inn customers will know that landlord John Govier, and his team, have been following all the government guidelines since they re-opened, so this won’t make any difference to how they operate, when it comes in to force from Monday.
At-a-glance: How do the new rules affect mindful art classes?
Social gatherings of more than six people in England will not be allowed in law from Monday 14 September.
The new rule applies to pubs, cafes and public outdoor spaces.
However, gatherings can be more than six if it is for education purposes.
Support groups can take place in gatherings of any number if the support group is organised by a business or a benevolent institution to provide mutual aid.
Our mindful art classes at The Sunflower Women’s Centre will be run in groups of six, and booking for these is essential. (Phone 01752 977614 to go on the waiting list.)
Pubs and restaurants are still allowed to have more than six customers inside, but the groups of six have to be socially distant from each other.
Mindful art club tends to be around six to eight people. There is plenty of space for us to all sit on separate tables, safely distanced from one another.
The Brook Inn follows all safety and hygiene measures set out by the government, and always has done since reopening in July.
For Your Peace of Mind
At The Brook Inn and The Sunflower Women’s Centre we check temperatures on arrival, and take client details for track and trace. Paper and felt tip pens are provided, but you can also bring your own felt tip pens to reduce the risks of sharing pens.
If you have any questions or concerns about coming to Mindful Art Club during the current pandemic crisis please contact us.
Last week Emma and Peggy held a Mindful Art Club committee meeting with two of their volunteers, (in Peggy’s backyard!) and made a note of all the things we have managed to achieve since our last committee meeting, in January 2020.
We set up weekly Zoom meetings and hosted them throughout the coronavirus lockdown, and beyond.
We held a staff wellbeing session on Zoom for ColebrookSW support services.
Peggy’s counselling course was moved onto Zoom. She continued to attend classes, and gained her Level 3 qualification.
We wrote a Mindful Art Activities eBook, to go on sale next month.
We wrote an 8-week Mindful Art Wellbeing Course, which we will be testing out with a small group during September.
Our volunteer, Lee, has learned to play the tongue drum, providing relaxing sounds at our outdoor mindfulness groups.
We hosted four, small, socially-distant, outdoor, one-day retreats.
After lockdown eased, we started a weekly art group at The Sunflower Women’s Centre, in their beautiful, outside courtyard.
Our loyal clients have continued to support us throughout this pandemic by turning up to our online groups, and outdoor groups, and contributing donations to our running costs.
How to Celebrate When We Can’t Even Have a Party
We are so grateful that we have been able to do all of these things, and keep mindful art club going, despite the global pandemic. On 10th September it will be one year since we held our first mindful art group at The Brook Inn, Plympton. We’d love to hold a big event to celebrate, but we’ll have to be content with a small, outdoor meal to celebrate Mindful Art Club’s first anniversary.
We will be able to celebrate in a virtual way at our online art group on 15th September, and we would like to reward our loyal clients with a small gift, which will be sent out to our mailing list on our ‘birthday’, 10th September.
Get on the list!
Don’t miss out, join our mailing list here, and get free mindful colouring pages, and news about our upcoming free and low-cost events.
The Mindful Art Club are heading to Awenek Studio to host one of our art for wellbeing sessions. This event is free, and there are two parts to the session with options to bring your own packed lunch or just come to the morning or afternoon. Please get in touch with email@example.com or text 07931457386 to confirm your space.
THURSDAY, 10 SEPTEMBER 2020 FROM 10:30-14:00
They have an indoor outdoor socially distanced space but are keeping numbers to five participants morning/afternoon. The Studio is based at Maker Heights, a beautiful and picturesque hilltop location that serves the communities of Millbrook, Kingsand, Cawsand and Cremyll.
Awenek Studio CIC is a hub for all those artistic people or anyone who wants to have a go at the joy of being creative together.
Do you struggle to pay attention to the present moment?
Does your mind wander when you’re at a mindfulness class?
Are you avoiding indoor public places because of Covid-19 risks?
Outdoor mindfulness could be the answer you are looking for!
Before March 2020 we were comfortable running our mindful art groups in cosy pubs, cafes and community venues around Plympton and Plymouth. However, after lockdown restrictions were eased this summer, we started running small outdoor groups, and discovered this adds an extra dimension of fun to mindful art club.
A review of scientific research has indicated that the mental and physical benefits of practicing mindfulness in nature may be considerable. (Mindful.org March 2020)
You won’t be surprised to learn that being in nature boosts our health and well-being, and that combining the outdoors with mindfulness can lead to even better results.
As the Autumn weather approaches we are going to have to take our regular groups indoors, bearing in mind Covid-19 safety guidance, such as social distancing and limits on numbers. But keep an eye on our Facebook page because if the weather forecast is good, we may be able to take some spontaneous trips outside, like this small group we held on Wembury beach recently.
Don’t miss our next event. Follow our Facebook page and join our Facebook group.
Want to improve your mental health, make new social connections and learn some fun new ways to cope with stress?
It could be time to try Mindful Art Club!
Some of the issues being tackled in our community mindful art groups are social isolation and poor mental health. We address these problems by using creative activities to make it easier for clients to engage in meaningful conversations. Often when depressed or anxious people are put in a position where they have to talk about how they feel, it’s the last thing that they want to do. In our art groups they have a place where there is something slow and steady to do, and there is no pressure to talk about anything. We find in our groups that as people begin to trust each other, they open up about how they feel and get support and identification from the rest of the group.
Two of the most common mental health issues are anxiety and
depression. Research shows that the activities of mindfulness and art can be
more effective than antidepressants and counselling. Author of ‘Lost
Connections’, Johann Hari, believes that to help people change their lives they
have to have a connection with other people, to find meaning and purpose.
Being in a supportive group builds up self-esteem and confidence. We do a different art project each week, and trying new activities has been proven to be good for our wellbeing and emotions, (in a survey by BBC Arts 2018). The same survey said that nothing beats taking part in art classes that involve face to face social interaction for people’s mental health.
So, our community groups give people the opportunity to share their feelings, practice mindfulness, create art, relax and chat. Mindful art club:
Even a small amount of creativity can help you to cope with modern life, according to recent research by BBC Arts and UCL. In the largest study of its kind, with almost 50,000 people taking part, the research explored for the first time how creative activities can help us manage our mood and boost wellbeing. (Creativity Can Help You Cope – BBC, accessed 10/08/20)
A Health Evidence Network (HEN) synthesis report on arts and health references over 900 publications, including 200 reviews, covering over 3000 further studies.
Arts interventions, such as singing in a choir to improve chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are considered non-invasive, low-risk treatment options and are increasingly being used by Member States to supplement more traditional biomedical treatments.
In July 2017 the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing published a report of their two-year inquiry into the role of the arts in health and wellbeing.
It found that the arts can keep us well, help us recover, and help to meet some of the major challenges currently facing health and social care. Therefore the arts can help to save money in the health service and social care services. You can read the short report here:
People who come to Mindful Art Club feel more supported, experience empathy, feel mentally calmer and more peaceful; they make new social connections and feel happier and more confident. They also learn to use mindfulness as a self-help tool, and learn to use art as a self-care activity.
We know these things because we get verbal feedback during the “check out” at the end of each session, and occasionally we ask our clients to complete written feedback forms. These simple questionnaires measure the client’s perception of their difficulties, including mental health, physical health, loneliness, self-esteem, and experience of art and mindfulness. We also gather some qualitative evidence, in the form of individual case studies.