I just rediscovered this lovely testimonial from a regular client at our Brook Inn group in Plympton last year.
“I really enjoy the mindful art class. Not sure how I would’ve managed lockdown if Peggy, Emma (and Lee) hadn’t encouraged a creative side of me to come out, something I didn’t know I had in me. We did a class, making cards and I have become totally addicted to card making (which has also given me the confidence to try some other crafts) which occupied my lockdown time, some thing’s happen for a reason even if we don’t know it at the time. The group are so welcoming and friendly where anyone is accepted for who they are without any judgement and you can give as little or as much input as you are comfortable with.
At the beginning I wasn’t keen on mindfulness but I’m getting used to it. I really enjoyed Wednesdays group where a tongue drum was used and what a difference being outside made! To smell the garden, hear birds and the trickle of water whilst the drum played with Lee talking you through, it was amazing. I would definitely recommend it to those who are looking for somewhere that provides a safe place to go if you are lonely or suffer with mental health issues or just out to meet people. Thanks Peggy and Emma.”
We are re-starting our group at The Brook Inn, Longbrook Street, Plympton on Thursday 15th July 2021, 11.00am. Read more.
Last weekend we enjoyed a day of laughter, conversation, mindfulness and art, surrounded by the peacefulness of nature.
Simple art activities
I really benefitted from the retreat. Like I said at the end, the variety and balance in the design was spot on. The group’s size also meant it felt really comfortable to share more honestly and openly. I really noticed that once one person revealed something difficult they were experiencing, it automatically gave permission for others to do the same… then that ripple effect builds trust and authenticity in the group. There’s so much power in that.
I wanted to thank you particularly for being great leaders – you are both disarming and so accessible and let the group take a natural path of development. I never felt rushed or pressured.
The day made me think about that Marianne Williamson quote… “As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.”
Learn to practice relaxation exercises and art for self-care at The Salvation Army in Ivybridge. Each session includes five minutes of guided mindfulness, five minutes of mindful drawing, a simple art project, and the opportunity to chat and relax.
This weekly art group gives people the opportunity to share their feelings, practice mindfulness, create art, relax and chat. Doodle Your Recovery:
Improves mental health
Improves social connection
Teaches new skills (relaxation exercises and art for self care).
We start with a ‘check in’ to see how everyone is feeling. There is no obligation to speak if you don’t want to. This is followed by some guided mindfulness, then a simple art project which anyone can do e.g., drawing Zentangles or paisley, or making a greeting card.
We end the group with a ‘check out’ to share how everyone is feeling after practicing mindfulness and making art.
This free 6 week, in-person course will start on Tuesday 22nd June, then 29th June, 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th July.
Mindful Art Club has provided a lifeline to people across Plymouth facing mental health challenges – and now our group is back operating in the community.
For Mental Health Awareness Week Plymouth Live has published a feature article explaining that we were gutted when a drug and alcohol rehab centre announced its shock closure two years ago.
“Having worked at Broadreach House for several years, (Emma and Peggy) had been able to support people from all walks of life and had seen first-hand how beneficial different creative activities could be for people struggling with their mental health and other issues.
Wanting to continue to serve the community and support people facing challenges in their lives, the colleagues teamed up to launch a “mindfulness art club” to support people manage their anxiety, stress and other mental health issues in a relaxed and safe creative environment.
The club became particularly popular at the start of 2020 and soon became a lifeline for members, with many people relishing the opportunity to connect with others in a non-judgemental environment while being able to talk freely about how they’re feeling and any stresses or anxieties in their lives.”
The retreat takes place in the picturesque village of Plympton St Maurice, near Plymouth, in South Devon. Outdoor activities are held in public green spaces; lunch is served in the local Guildhall. Most of the event is outdoors but can be moved to our indoor venue in the case of rain.
Includes coffees, teas and lunch of crusty bread, homemade cakes and a selection of cheeses, houmous, olives and fruit.
Sometimes, anxiety can make it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. You wake up with a stomach ache, and an overwhelming feeling of dread. Everything just feels “too much.”
It was on a day like this, when I was suffering with (what I now know) was an anxiety disorder, that I decided to try to lift my mood by repeating the mantra, “I am enough” to myself. I was also trying something new. I had decided to start drawing little cartoons to illustrate my mental health struggles. Because I had noticed that when I was drawing, absorbed in creativity, that was the only time that my head wasn’t busy with anxious overthinking. Creativity calmed my mind.
“I am enough.”
If you say it fast enough it sounds like “I am an oeuf.” Oeuf is French for egg. I grabbed a chalk board we have in the kitchen and spontaneously drew a serene-looking egg who believed that he was enough. Underneath him I wrote,
“I am an oeuf.”
It made me smile. So I got into drawing this little egg character, in various different situations.
And after a lot more doodling, colouring, meditating, chats with friends, counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy, I eventually overcame that pesky anxiety.
A few years later, Emma and I decided to start our mindful art business, and when we needed a logo it seemed appropriate to me to use the egg. Because I am an oeuf.
You are enough.
We are enough.
So shine like an egg.
And if you want to try using mindfulness and creativity to calm your busy mind today, grab yourself a bundle of free colouring pages and doodling printables by entering your email here.
Our mindful art courses at The Sunflower Women’s Centre are six weeks long, and free of charge to the participants, thanks to funding from The Sunflower Women’s Centre, and funding from Comic Relief. Each weekly session is an hour and a half long.
Phone The Sunflower Women’s Centre to get on the waiting list. Tel: 01752 977614 (Leave a message).
What to bring: Your own felt tip pens, hand sanitiser if you wish. Coffee and tea is provided.
The Sunflower Women’s Centre, The Gables, 29 Sutherland Road, Plymouth, PL4 6BW.
It’s now one year since the first coronavirus lockdown. This Facebook Live was our first attempt at offering our creative mental health sessions online. We hadn’t yet learned to use Zoom! Since then we have continued to support mental health and combat social isolation with socially distant groups, outdoor retreats and online sessions. There is a rich archive of 45 videos on our Facebook page if you want to try mindful art at home, for free, at any time. We offer creativity and company to anyone struggling in the Plymouth area, in Devon, in these difficult times.
In this video Peggy reads out live comments from people reacting to their very first day in UK lockdown, and viewers share different experiences of their first socially distanced Mothers Day.
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.
When Emma and Peggy suddenly lost the jobs they loved, they started a business on a shoestring, to offer mindful art groups, support mental health and tackle social isolation in the Plymouth area.
Mental health services were already overstretched and the pandemic
has made that even worse. Mindful Art Club gives people a way to access help
and support immediately, without a waiting list, and without finances being a
barrier to access.
Emma and I are helping to create a world where peer support, mindfulness, creative activities, and social connection is more easily available in local communities.
If you’ve ever felt stressed, anxious or depressed, we have a free downloadable mindful colouring bundle with zen doodling exercises for you. Just enter your email now to receive our colouring bundle today, and we will write to you monthly to let you know about our latest free and low-cost events in the Plymouth area.