Two Free Art Sessions This Saturday

The village of Plympton St Maurice is getting ready for the return of our popular midsummer festival on Saturday 18th June. Peggy, and volunteers Joanna and Maria, will be hosting a Mindful Art Club stall at the Lamb Feast, so come along and have a chat, have a go at some art, and see the art that has been created in our weekly groups at The Brook Inn, Plympton. You can also find out about our free art groups, evening courses, retreats and staff wellbeing sessions.

Alternatively, come and meet Lee and Emma who are offering a zen doodles workshop at Plymouth Wellness Fair on 18th June. Come and join in with this free mindful art session to see for yourself how it can really lift your mood. There is no artistic talent required! You can also hear special guest experts deliver presentations, speak to wellbeing champions and explore the range of stallholders for all things wellness and wellbeing. This is an event for anyone looking to make positive changes to their lives. If you have any questions about mindful art you can chat to Lee and Emma on our stall.

Find out more: Plymouth Wellness Fair

Plymouth Wellness Fair | 18 Jun, 09:30 – 17:00 Devonport, Devonport Guildhall, Ker St, Devonport, Plymouth PL1 4EL

Read more about Plympton St Maurice Lamb Feast: Midsummer Festival

Book your place at the Mindful Art Retreat, held in Plympton St Maurice, Sunday 3rd July.

Come to our free weekly art group, 11.00am on Thursday mornings at The Brook Inn, Plympton.

Plympton Lamb Feast Returns!

The village of Plympton St Maurice is getting ready for the return of our popular midsummer festival on Saturday 18th June. Peggy, and volunteer Joanna, will be hosting a Mindful Art Club stall at the Lamb Feast, so come along and have a chat, have a go at some art, and see the art that has been created in our weekly groups at The Brook Inn, Plympton. You can also find out about our free art groups, evening courses, retreats and staff wellbeing sessions.

The Lamb Feast has been held for hundreds of years on the Castle Green, beside the ruins of the Norman castle. The village will be decorated with bunting, the green will be busy with food, craft, cake and plant stalls, charity stalls, swing boats, vintage cars, a dog show, a tug of war and dance displays. After two years with no festival we can’t wait for it to return!

Read more about what’s on: Midsummer Festival

Book your place at the Mindful Art Retreat, held in Plympton St Maurice, Sunday 3rd July.

Come to our free weekly art group, 11.00am on Thursday mornings at The Brook Inn, Plympton.

Luke Pollard MP Supports Our Funding Bid

We recently met with Luke Pollard, Labour and Co-operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, who was very supportive of the work we are doing in the Plymouth community. He was kind enough to write this supporting letter which may help us to receive further funding.

Mindful Art Club is a professional, and well-known organisation that has developed many minds for the better. I have complete faith that any grant money requested will be well utilised for the benefit of the area and assisting greatly in personal development and
wellbeing.

Luke Pollard, MP

It was a pleasure to meet with Luke, who shared his thoughts on how we could best secure more funding and continue to serve the Plymouth community.

Livewell Funds Plympton Art Club

We are delighted to have received funding from The Livewell Foundation to run a mindful art club in Plympton for six months. The Livewell Foundation’s mission is to support projects and initiatives that will help improve health and wellbeing, prevent ill health or reduce social isolation within Plymouth and South West Devon.  Livewell Southwest is an independent social enterprise providing integrated health and social care services for people across Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon.

Our Plympton group meets weekly at The Brook Inn, Longbrook Street at 11am on Thursdays and offers coffee, creativity and company to improve mental health and reduce social isolation in Plympton.

Join our mailing list to find out what other free and low cost events we offer around Plymouth.

Unique Corporate Opportunity

As a small grass roots community group, over the past two years we have consistently offered mental health support and social connection to the Plymouth community during these unprecedented challenging times.

Our Impact

  • 69% of mindful art course participants said it had helped them with anxiety.
  • 44% said a mindful art course helped them with depression.
  • 40% said it helped them with another mental health issue.
  • 59% said it helped them with loneliness or isolation.
  • Participants also reported being helped with physical health, low self-esteem and other issues not listed in our survey.
  • 66% said they had increased their ability to use mindfulness.
  • 84% said they had increased their ability to use art as a self care practice.

(Source: Collected feedback form responses, accessed 04/02/22)

I enjoy the mindfulness and art. As I do art at home it helps my acute pain. The group makes me feel rested and at ease. Emma, Lee and Peggy are wonderful.

Anonymous participant feedback.

We are grateful to our existing grant funders who share our vision of a world where peer support, mindfulness, creative activities and social connection are easily available in local communities. With their support we have helped hundreds of people since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • We have received funding and support from Devon Mind, The Sunflower Women’s Centre, Comic Relief, Shekinah, The National Lottery Community Fund, High Street Sparks Fund, Devon Recovery Learning Community and Devon Community Foundation.
  • We won a year’s business support from Real Ideas Organisation.
  • We have secured media attention from The Plymouth Herald, The Plymouth Chronicle, BBC Radio Devon, many smaller local community radio stations, and BBC Spotlight News. In the Media.

How You Can Support Us

  • Sponsor a course, a group or a one day retreat
  • Book a staff wellbeing session
  • Donate directly with Paypal
  • Sign up to a regular corporate gift
  • Donate a gift in kind (for example room hire or art materials)
  • Encourage your employees to sign up to a challenge event in aid of Mindful Art Club
  • Organise your own fundraising event such as a bake sale, mufti day or casual Friday – tie it in with a national mental health awareness day

You Will Be Rewarded By

  • Enhancing your brand as socially responsible
  • Securing positive PR
  • Attracting socially conscious customers
  • Showing your employees you appreciate the importance of mental health
  • Making you look more attractive as an employer

If your business is passionate about improving mental health and reducing social isolation then contact us now to discuss a mutually beneficial partnership.

Ask for our brochure to find out more.

‘High Street Sparks’ grant success!

Mindful Art Club has secured a grant of £2,430 to run a community arts project based at Moment’s Café. Workshops will explore the heritage of the city centre’s conservation area and will be free to anyone who is struggling with their mental health.

Read more: https://www.theboxplymouth.com/blog/press-release/high-street-sparks-r1

Send us a message if you would like to put your name down for a free place at this new central Plymouth art group.

New Group: Moments Cafe

We are looking forward to hosting 12 weeks of art sessions at Moments Cafe in Plymouth City Centre in the New Year, 2022. This is thanks to funding from The High Streets Heritage Action Zone initiative .

These sessions aim to teach people from diverse backgrounds about the heritage of the conservation area in Plymouth City Centre. We will talk about the history of the various places in the centre, and do an art project based on that subject. For example, we might talk about The Messenger sculpture outside the Theatre Royal, and then ask the participants to design their own sculpture. Another project would be to talk about the history of Royal Parade and bring in some photographs of what it used to look like. At the end of the 12 weeks we will take anyone who wants to go for a walk around the conservation area so we can look at the landmarks as a group.

We know that the residents of Plymouth have suffered during the lockdowns with increased mental health problems and social isolation, and so we want to give people a safe place to connect with other people. Our groups are about meeting new people, being in a supportive group, building confidence, learning new things and having fun. We want to include people from diverse communities in Plymouth and give them a safe space to be creative, have fun and form friendships.

Each session includes five minutes of guided mindfulness, five minutes of mindful drawing, a simple art project, and the opportunity to chat and relax.

“Moments Cafe is a warm, caring, friendly environment for all. The cafe acts as a subconscious support network for a lot of people. The cafe attracts a lot of people who are vulnerable, and they are supported through open conversations and a non-judgmental atmosphere. Moments Cafe want to develop their offer to the community, and have ongoing projects upstairs that will benefit their customers, and our community as a whole. The Mindful Art Club is a great opportunity for both organisations to provide the community with a fun, inclusive, creative and sociable network in a central location in Plymouth.”

Emma Oxland, Moments Café manager.

The High Streets Heritage Action Zone initiative is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Street Fund and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Book now if you are interested in coming along to these art sessions. Your place will be fully funded, i.e. at no cost to you, but places are limited. These sessions will take place on Friday afternoons.

POP+ Brings the Voluntary Sector Together

We loved meeting so many people from different social enterprises at the Plymouth Octopus Project AGM this week. I was nervous as I have not been networking in a room full of people since before the pandemic! These are strange times….

POP+ works in collaboration with community groups and voluntary sector, non profit organisations with a view to support and strengthen our sector.

60 different organisations joined POP to network and catch up on the extraordinary stories of individuals and organisations in Plymouth these last 18 months. We heard from inspiring community collaborations who showcased their work in the “Voices” marketplace and the keynote speaker Cormac Russell appeared on Zoom from Ireland!

We are so grateful to POP as they have supported Mindful Art Club from the very beginning, with business start-up advice, training in how to write funding applications and recently funding. Read more: POP Funds Our Collective.

How Comic Relief Helped Our Women’s Group

A PR officer from Comic Relief and Groundwork recently got in touch to ask us about the impact their funding had on our group at The Sunflower Women’s Centre.

What issue does the project aim to change/address?

We tackle social isolation and common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

How does the project addresses this issue?

We offer mindful art groups in community venues, often at no cost to the individual client.

Each group lasts for an hour and a half. We start with a “check-in” where everyone gets a chance to say how they are feeling, but there is no obligation to talk if you don’t want to. Then we do five minutes of guided mindfulness. Then we do five minutes of mindful drawing, (which is drawing with our eyes closed!) Then we do a simple art project that anyone can do, and have a chat. At most groups there is an opportunity to get a tea or coffee. Art projects might include making a greeting card, drawing a mandala, mindful doodling (zentangles), or making a collage. Artistic talent is not necessary – it’s about having fun.

What activities or events do you carry out as part of the project?

At the moment we have five weekly groups, three are funded, two we run on a volunteer basis while we seek funding. We also host one day mindful art retreats, and sometimes run an eight week wellbeing course. Sometimes we offer online wellbeing sessions using Zoom.

The Comic Relief Community fund allowed us to deliver 12 weekly mindful art groups at The Sunflower Women’s Centre. The issues being tackled were social isolation and poor mental health. We addressed these problems by using creative activities to make it easier for clients to engage in meaningful conversations.

What impact has the project had on the community? Please provide specific examples or testimonials where possible.

We regularly receive great verbal feedback and written feedback that shows we are reducing social isolation and helping to improve mental health. (Lots of quotes here.)  

“I have found this group very helpful in my recovery. My biggest problem is isolation. So to have this group is a lifeline. I also struggle with substance misuse, although, (thanks to help), I am clean and sober. It is nice to have a space that is non-judgmental where we can check in and connect. I love art anyway, and find it very relaxing and engaging. But it’s so much more therapeutic to do it with others. Many thanks.” – Anna

“Thank you Peggy and Emma for running the mindfulness art group, it has helped me so much and I’ve enjoyed each session. I struggle with anxiety and depression and I’ll miss our groups at Sunflower as it’s helped a lot and has been a great group to be in. Sending much love and hugs to you both. You’re both lovely ladies”. – Vikki

What difference has Comic Relief funding made to the project?

This funding allowed us to run 12 weeks of in-person support groups at the Sunflower Women’s Centre, when lockdown restrictions began to ease in April 2021. 

The Sunflower is a trauma-informed women’s wellbeing hub, providing opportunities for any woman who has support needs.  Women receive support in addressing and resolving substance abuse, childhood trauma, criminogenic behaviours, domestic violence or poor mental health. The centre offers a range of therapeutic activities, accredited programmes and practical support in a safe, nurturing, substance-free and valuing space for women to move from their pasts, develop their skills, regain their self-worth and go on to flourish and thrive. The Sunflower Centre has over 500 registered service users.

What is next for your organisation?

We are currently applying for funding to fund further sessions at The Sunflower Women’s Centre and a follow-on group at Royal William Yard. We have just started a 12 week project offering mindful art groups at a local homelessness charity. We are also running a six week ‘Doodle Your Recovery’ course for Devon Recovery Learning Community. 

Want us to let you know when we start a local group near you? Sign up to our monthly newsletter and get free mindful colouring pages here.