New Year, New Courses

How to book your place at Mindful Art Club in 2022

We have three new mindful art groups starting in the new year. We have a number of free places available thanks to our funders and partners, but places are limited, so book now to avoid disappointment.

Mondays 10.00am at Devon Mind in Greenbank: A six week course funded by Devon Mind. Book here.

Mondays 1.00pm at The Sunflower Women’s Centre continues in the New Year. Book your place by phoning the Sunflower 01752 977614.

Thursdays 11.00am at Plympton St Maurice Guildhall: A six week course funded by Devon Recovery Learning Community. Book here.

Fridays 1.00pm at Moments Cafe, 69a New George Street, Plymouth, funded by The High Streets Heritage Action Zone initiative. Book here.

Not ready to come to a group yet? Download some mindful colouring pages to enjoy at home.

New Course: Plympton

Learn to practice relaxation exercises and art for self-care at the historic Guildhall in Plympton St Maurice. Each session includes five minutes of guided mindfulness, five minutes of mindful drawing, a simple art project, and the opportunity to chat and relax.

Doodle your Recovery is a six week course giving people the opportunity to share their feelings, practice mindfulness, create art, relax and chat, it also:

  • 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 6 week, in-person course will start on Thursday 13th January 2022.

We will be using the Council Chamber upstairs in the Guildhall building for this course. Places are limited on this course so book now to avoid disappointment.

Book now: Doodle Your Recovery

This course is free to attend thanks to funding from Devon Recovery Learning Community. DRLC is a recovery college provided by Devon Partnership NHS Trust to promote mental health and wellbeing. Their students are people with lived experience of mental health difficulties, their family and friends, and the professionals who support them.

Not ready to commit to a six week course? Join our mailing list and get free colouring pages to use at home, and news of our other free mindful art events.

We Can Do Hard Things

I see your fear, and it’s big, I also see your courage, and it’s bigger, we can do hard things.

Glennon Doyle, Untamed

I read Glennon Doyle’s memoir, ‘Untamed’, last year and I liked it, even though the Amazon reviews show it to be a bit like marmite – some readers loved it, some hated it.

It’s a story about freeing ourselves from the cages we women find ourselves in when we live for other people instead of our own truth. It’s a guide to find your way back to yourself and to keep choosing yourself over and over again until you are free from those cages.

It’s a beautiful, funny, heartbreaking story about love and loss and courage and wisdom and addiction and anxiety and truth and life.

The takeaway message for me was, “We can do hard things.” Glennon even named her podcast that. I thought it would be fun to draw these words for myself as a reminder. Download and print your free colouring page here, and then fill in the letters with zen doodles or colours, as a gift to yourself this festive season!

Want more free printables? Join our mailing list today.

Read more about Glennon Doyle at her website https://momastery.com

New Course: Devon Mind

Learn to practice relaxation exercises and art for self-care in the New Year at Devon Mind in Greenbank, Plymouth. This free, six week course is starting on 10th January 2022 but places are limited.

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

Doodle your Recovery is a six week course giving people the opportunity to share their feelings, practice mindfulness, create art, relax and chat, it also:

  • Improves mental health
  • Improves social connection
  • Teaches new skills (relaxation exercises and art for self care).

We are Devon Mind, your local mental health charity. We’ve been fighting for mental health in Devon for over 35 years with our campaigning and support services.

DevonMind.com

Like all local Minds, they are an independent charity affiliated with the national Mind association.

Devon Mind’s recovery courses and workshops are all designed to support you to develop positive lifestyles and choices. Visit their website for details on how to book your place on Doodle Your Recovery:

https://www.devonmind.com/find-help/courses/doodle-your-recovery

Doodle Your Recovery is on Mondays starting on Monday 10th January 2022, 10.00am – 11.30am; a course of six sessions.

To get a reminder about this course and other Mindful Art Club events in the future sign up to our mailing list.

‘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.

POP Funds Our Collective

We are pleased to have been awarded £3000 from the Plymouth Octopus Project to fund our work.

POP Collectives is focussed on building collaboration and relationships by doing something together . This combination of doing and working together is important. What it means is that POP primarily focus on the collaboration, and secondary is the work we do.

The issues our collective are trying to tackle are social isolation and mental health problems. Mindful Art Club offers low cost sessions of coffee, creativity and company online and in community venues like community centres, wellbeing hubs and cafes. 

The five people secretly helping Mindful Art Club behind the scenes.

Our collective consists of seven people working in different organisations in Plymouth; our directors Peggy and Emma, plus five others.

Peggy Melmoth: My business partner. Peggy is my business partner and we met when we were both working at Broadreach. She has had her own business for years doing art commissions and blogging about narrow boats. Therefore, she is experienced in advertising, website design and social media. At the moment she is doing her level 4 in counselling so will be a qualified counsellor in a year. She also has a degree in art. She is a great person to work with as she really cares about people and are different skill sets match each other


Lee Squires: Our volunteer. He is from a Romany gypsy background and didn’t learn to read or write until he was in his thirties. Since then he has been to art college and has exhibited in London with David Bailey and Anna Marie Pachenker. He is a qualified yoga, tai chi and wing tsune teacher and is very involved in the local community.


Clare Lattimore: One of our trustees and was with us when we started MAC. She is now working for Livewell and part of her job description at work is to be Livewell link worker for MAC.


Janet Parfitt: A retired nurse and one of our regular participants. She says that MAC has been a life saver in lockdown for her mental health and to stay connected with people


Paula Carnell: Deputy manager at Sunflower Women’s Centre and is a big supporter of ours. We used to work together at Broadreach and she used to run a art gallery where I exhibited my paintings. We have been running classes at the Sunflower for the past year.


Emma Sprawson: I have a degree in art, a teaching qualification and extensive knowledge of mental health issues. I am very committed to helping people in the community.


Andy Stuart: Works for Real Ideas Organisation and has been helping us with budgets, business advice and ways to take our business forward.

Read more about our collectives aims and ideas. (Links to POP website.)

Join our mailing list to keep in touch and find out how we use this fund to support mental health in Plymouth.

Find Your Creative Side (Even if You Think You Haven’t Got One!)

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.”

– Dawn

We are re-starting our group at The Brook Inn, Longbrook Street, Plympton on Thursday 15th July 2021, 11.00am. Read more.

Art Retreat 2021 (Pictures)

Last weekend we enjoyed a day of laughter, conversation, mindfulness and art, surrounded by the peacefulness of nature.

  • Guided mindfulness
  • Qi Gong
  • Simple art activities
  • Nature walk
  • Delicious food

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.”

Lorna (Retreat Participant)

See short videos and find out more about our mindful art retreats.

New Course: Ivybridge

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.

Book here.

NB: Bookings for this course will open on Monday 24th May.

Update: This course has been postponed due to changing Covid-19 guidelines.

Funded by Devon Recovery Learning Community.

Providing a Lifeline to Those in Need

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.”

Read the full article on Plymouth Live, The Plymouth Herald website.