Women’s Art Group in Plymouth

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.

Cost: Free to women registered with The Sunflower Women’s Centre.

One Year Since First Lockdown

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.

Your Website Title
How to Share With Just Friends

How to share with just friends.

Posted by Facebook on Friday, December 5, 2014

Good News if You Don’t Like Support Groups

Are you wary of support groups?

Do you hate people looking at you?

Dislike feeling pressured to speak?

We get it.

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.

The new group launches Friday 19th March 2021.

How We Started Offering Immediate Mental Health Support, Without Any Waiting Lists

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. 

Peggy Melmoth

Watch Now:

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.

Yes please, send me free stuff!

* indicates required

Zen Doodles: 3 Week Course Online

We are happy to be launching a new online course with Devon Recovery Learning Community.

Zen doodling is a kind of meditative drawing practice which can be used to easily calm your mind.  Zen doodles are just repeating patterns; no artistic talent is required.

Zen doodling combines meditation and art.  Learn to practice relaxation exercises and art for self-care. The session includes five minutes of guided mindfulness, a simple art project that can be done at home just with felt tip pens, and the opportunity to chat while we are making the zen doodles and to relax.

In this course you will create zen doodles while learning about the philosophy and benefits of zen doodling:

  • 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. We end the group with a ‘check out’ to share how everyone is feeling after making zen doodles.

This online, three week course will start on Thursday 4th March, then the 11th and 18th March.

Booking is essential and places are limited: Zen Doodles Book Now

You may also like: Create Your Recovery.

Not ready for an online course? Try zen doodling at home instead, with our free mindful colouring bundle.

Comic Relief to Fund Womens Group

We are pleased to have been granted new funding to offer mindful art sessions to any Plymouth women in need of support.

The Comic Relief Community Fund offer help for projects that are in line with their theme of Mental Health Matters. These are projects that support good mental health in communities, improve access to support and tackle stigma and discrimination.

This funding will allow us to deliver 12 weekly mindful art groups at The Sunflower Women’s Centre. The issues being tackled 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.

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.

Mindful Art Club will offer these women peer support for common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. New friendships are formed in our groups which combat social isolation, and we will also teach new skills such as how to use mindfulness and art for self care.

We would not have received this funding without the generous help and support of the staff at The Sunflower Women’s Centre, and the funding advisors at POP. POP ideas is a service delivered by POP+ and Iridescent Ideas CIC that provides advice for small, large, new or established voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in Plymouth. 

Page 10, Plymouth Chronicle January 2021

If you’d like a place on one of these groups after the current lockdown ends, you will need to register with The Sunflower Women’s Centre and ask to be added to the waiting list for Mindful Art Club. Their staff is limited during lockdown, but you can leave a message at 01752 977614 . Groups at The Sunflower Centre are small, socially distanced, and organised with a number of Covid-19 safety measures in place. These sessions are permitted by current law, as support groups.

Here’s what some of our previous clients at The Sunflower Centre have said about us:

“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 (Shared with permission).

Mindful Art Club on PTown Radio

In this relaxed and fun radio interview Chi asks Emma,

What is Mindful Art Club?

Where in Plymouth does it happen?

And who exactly is it for?

Emma Sprawson talks to Chi Bennett on Show and Tell With Queen Chi, PTown Radio, (15/01/21) about Mindful Art Club(R), a unique support group, that tackles social isolation and mental health in Plymouth, Devon.

Skip to 11 minutes in to hear Emma read a poem that explains how to stop, breathe and walk slowly into the mystery.

Skip to 12:35 where Chi asks, what if I’ve got kids at home? Can I still join in with the online group?

Join Us On Zoom!

Every Tuesday at 10am we host a supportive online meeting offering creativity, company and social connection: A short mindful meditation and an easy art project.

There is no art experience required, it’s friendly and informal. Just grab a coffee and join in.

Connect with others, share your experiences of COVID-19, and discover new ways of practising self-care through easy art and mindfulness exercises. Practice being here in the present moment, and accept where you are right now, without self-judgement.

We start with a brief chat about how everyone is feeling, then a short guided mindfulness session, followed by a simple art activity that anyone can do. Our mission is to make mindfulness more fun! We’re not teaching art techniques, we’re just here to play.

You will just need any pen, felt tips, some plain paper and a cup of tea or coffee.

You will also need to download Zoom, free video-conferencing software, to your computer, tablet or smart phone, before Tuesday. https://zoom.us

IMPORTANT: You will need to book your place in advance to receive the private link to the zoom meeting.

Book your place in advance for next Tuesday.

Like and follow us, and select notifications at www.facebook.com/mindfulartclub for updates about more free and low-cost events.

She Avoided Her Craft Room: This is Why

This is a guest post, republished with kind permission from a member of Mindful Art Club.

My Craft Room

Whilst in therapy I discovered the value, joy and fun that comes with crafting. I’m good at some crafts and a complete novice at others, but I wanted to try everything!

I used to be scared of trying new things. I was terrified of failing, but not now, (another benefit of counselling!) I try new crafts and enjoy the process, even if the end result isn’t quite what I had in mind.

I’m crafting for fun, relaxation, sense of achievement and for the physiotherapy it gives to some of my aching joints.

I wanted a space to craft… and only for crafting!

So, I turned my spare bedroom into my craft room. A large table, a smaller table, a storage unit and lots and lots of boxes to contain my stash; yarn, fabric, kits, paints, pencils and books. The list goes on. I have lamps, an ironing board and the most comfortable bed to rest on when tired. I was really pleased with how it turned out. I loved it.

But I didn’t use it. I would look in. I would go in and rearrange things, but I didn’t use it.

What happens when you finally get what you’ve wanted? I felt scared of the new possibilities open to me. I felt I didn’t deserve it. So I made excuses as to why I wasn’t using it.

Then came three days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I had no plans. Nobody wanted or needed me, and I had no spare money to take myself out. So I was brave, and gave myself permission to go in and use my room.

In those three days I learnt that I did deserve the wonder that is my craft room. I was free to let my inner girl out to play. Ribbons, buttons, bows, fabric, coloured pencils, paints and glitter. It all came out! We played and we crafted, my inner child and me.

My craft room is now my physical safe space. In my room I work hard on complicated projects and I chill out colouring in children’s and adults colouring books. I have a go at crafts new to me and don’t worry about the result – well, not too much! I have some success and some not so successful, and I keep them all. They mark another stage in my journey. I’ve discovered I can try and fail, and my world doesn’t end.

It is a safe place for me to be me, and for me to have a go at life.

Shona.

One-Off Art Club in Torpoint

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 awenekstudio@gmail.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.

More info on Facebook: Mindful Art Club at Awenek Studio.