How Volunteering Helped Me Heal

My Story

I’ve been volunteering for Mindful Art Club for about two years. My volunteering includes; attending the Annual General Meetings, brainstorming ideas, participating in creating an eight week mindful art course, driving, being a stall holder at promotional and networking events such as Plympton Midsummer Festival at Plympton Castle, Plympton Health and Wellbeing Event at Rees Centre Wellbeing Hub, and Plympton Royal British Legion Family Open Day. I am now a participant in a stakeholder design group with Plymouth University helping to evaluate activities provided by Mindful Art Club and the benefit to session participants.

I found Mindful Art Club at a really difficult time in my life and being a part of the community for several years has helped me to heal, recover and grow. I’ve chosen to volunteer to give something back and share my belief that practicing mindfulness, being creative and being your true self in a welcoming and safe space can really enrich and improve your life!

By volunteering I’ve gained mindfulness techniques that I now practice regularly to improve and sustain my health and wellbeing; It’s brought creativity into my life; I’ve reclaimed my confidence and it’s given me a sense of belonging and purpose; I’ve made genuine friends, we support each other through the ups and downs and we also have lots of days out and fun!

If you’re thinking you’d like to be part of this great team and have time to spare to volunteer then just go for it!!! 

Joanna Chalmers

How Art Improved my Mental Health

Client Story

I was depressed and generally mentally unwell since before the pandemic.
I first attended Mindful Art Club when the world started opening up again because I wanted to connect with art and with people. I previously had felt very isolated and socially hollow.

I have also had problem after problem as well as stress after stress. Appointments, investigations, tribunals, appeals, eviction, call centres, professional emails, and all the official sounding meetings, all seemingly one after another.

Having Mindful Art Club – this weekly space to just sit and chat with these lovely people whilst doing these mindful creative activities – has made so much of a difference to me. I feel like the art club allows me to take away some of the negativity and toxicity that builds up over the course of a week of stressful activities.

Now I’m moving into a new house, I have a new job and new energy. I’m not cured, but I am progressing, consistently making healthy choices, and actively developing resilience. This art group has helped me to accomplish and maintain these positive impacts on my life and it is also great to see that the group in general is flourishing. I am very grateful that this club exists and I struggle to express my great appreciation for the people that make it what it is.