Our Friday Art Group Has Moved

If you (or the people you work with) are free on Friday afternoons, we’d love you  to join us in our new venue, Burgess Hall, behind the Unitarian Church in Plymouth city centre. Each 90 minute session includes five minutes of guided mindfulness, five minutes of mindful drawing, a simple art project, and the opportunity to chat and relax. These sessions are funded by our Crowdfunder campaign, but if you want to donate, to help us continue delivering our service for longer, you can easily do so online. 

Book your free place now.

Burgess Hall is behind the Unitarian Church accessed from Catherine Street, (next to The Treasury bar and restaurant, on Royal Parade). The first session at the new place is at 1.00pm Friday 12th April 2024. 

As a reminder, we also offer these free mindful art groups:

Mondays 1.00pm Sunflower Women’s Centre

Tuesdays 2.00pm Sunflower Women’s Centre

Thursdays 12.00pm The London Inn, Plympton

Fridays 10.00am Addiction Recovery at Leadworks

Fridays 1.00pm Mindful Art Club at Burgess Hall

New #MentalHealth Collaboration in #Plymouth

We are pleased to have been awarded funding from Plymouth Octopus Project to host a series of workshops at Moments Café, focusing on mental health and social isolation.

This project is a collaboration between Marbles Lost and Found CIC, Moments Café and Memory Matters Hub, and Mindful Art Club CIC. We aim to provide reliable, sensitive, and non-judgemental support to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and social isolation, and help people develop coping strategies for life’s challenges. Our project will give our participants the confidence, skills and support to improve their lives and be more connected to their community.

Moments Café, in New George Street, Plymouth, acts as a subconscious support network for a lot of people. The café attracts many people who are vulnerable, and they are supported through open conversations and a non-judgemental atmosphere. 

Grass roots organisations like ours are essential for bringing our community together with no waiting lists and without finances being a barrier. We will all continue with our workshops, but will share information, best practice, and sign-post beneficiaries to each other’s groups. All three organisations share the same goals, and by coming together we will learn new skills and share knowledge to be able to improve our services and reach more people.

Read more: Mindful Marbles at Moments

Join our mailing list to be first to hear about the launch of this exciting new project.

Art Club Receives Funding Through the Health Lottery

A new mental health support group to help people struggling with, or recovering from, addiction is launching at Leadworks, in Stonehouse, near Plymouth city centre.

People’s Health Trust has invested in Mindful Art Club, using money raised by Health Lottery South West.

This money will be used to run a weekly art group that uses mindfulness, art, peer support and conversation to improve mental health and reduce social isolation. It follows on from a previous successful pilot project.

Emma Sprawson, director of Mindful Art Club, said: “We are very grateful for this funding which will help us to create a space which encourages connection and creativity.”

Starts: Friday October 6th 2023

Time: 10.00am – 11.30am

Location: Leadworks, 170 Rendle Street Stonehouse PL1 1TP

Even if you can’t decide whether you have a problem or not, you are welcome to come along. There is no art experience required! Friendly and informal. Just grab a coffee and join in.

Connect with others 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 will also be inviting some inspiring guest speakers to the groups to talk about their experience of recovery.

To book a free place in this new mindful art group click here: Recovery Art Group.

Mindful Art Club Reaches Crowdfunding Target

We’re so happy to announce that we have reached our target on our Crowdfunder; in fact we went over our target. We have raised £10,575 to keep running our mindful art mental health support group at Moments Café in Plymouth city centre.

We had an anonymous donor pledge £5000, and also Plymouth City Council pledged £3,500. This means we can keep offering free mental health support without a waiting list every Friday. Here’s what some of our art group members said about this news on Facebook:

“I really like this group. It means a lot to me. It feels like a safe space. The other people are very welcoming. I love the different art that we do. Emma and Peggy are always coming up with new ideas that can be done in the session.

I also like the format of the group where we have a weekly check in, then do some mindfulness grounding and then maybe some closed eye, mindful drawing, one of my faves. We also have a check out at the end too. I’ve made some good connections from coming to the group and for me it’s a lovely way to end my week. I’ve really missed it when it hasn’t been running.” – Art club member

“It’s given us as a family much needed social interaction, no longer so isolated feeling alone. To know there are others who can empathise, because I thought I must be truly alone in my experiences is very reassuring. Everyone has been so kind. Love the checking in and out, making time for everyone, enjoy the art projects and taking them home to reflect upon or expand, closed eye drawing is very interesting. We had a lovely time at the mindful retreat day too, it’s all been such a positive experience I’m very grateful to have been signposted to such a wonderful resource.” – Art club member

“Mindful Art Club is my anchor in the storms of life. I love everything about it and never regret going, even when I’m feeling rubbish. I always leave feeling better than when I arrived. It feeds my soul. Can’t wait till we start again in September!” – Art club member

Thank You

We just want to give a big shout-out to thank everyone who donated over the last five weeks, it’s been an absolutely amazing response. And with more donations we could continue to run our weekly group for even longer, providing an ongoing safe space for people to access support.

Donate to our Crowdfunder here.

Book your place at the Friday afternoon art group here.

Research Shows Health and Social Benefits of Mindful Art Club

A recent research study has revealed significant social benefits, and improvements to mental health, can be measured in those attending a community art group. The research was led by Dr Helen Lloyd, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Plymouth, in collaboration with two researchers; Abbie Scott BSc, and Rachel Mullee BSc. The research project was co-designed by a committee which included art club participants, art club volunteers, and the Mindful Art Club directors Peggy Melmoth and Emma Sprawson.

The study found that our creative activities provide a distraction from negative thoughts and social anxiety. Our art encourages ‘flow’- a relaxing empowering experience- and attending Mindful Art Club can boost confidence and self-esteem while reducing social isolation.

Read the full story in the Central & Waterfront edition of The Plymouth Chronicle for August 2023.

Help us reach our target of helping more people in Plymouth with their mental health. Support Mindful Art Club’s Crowdfunder.

Big Event: Monday 3rd July

We are so excited to announce that we are launching a Crowdfunding campaign for Mindful Art Club on Monday 3rd July 2023. Do you know what that means?

It means that in just four days time we are hosting an exciting online event that will be live-streamed to Facebook, and will include guided mindfulness with Emma, performance poetry by Peggy, and other surprise guests.

When: 7.00pm Monday 3rd July.

Where: https://www.facebook.com/MindfulArtClub          

So set a reminder in your phone, stick it in your diary and watch us live!

Update

Watch the recording, featuring a celebrity appearance by The Cookie Monster.

MAC Crowdfunder launch party

Get Involved

We would love you to be a part of this.

Want to perform on Monday?

Could your business offer a raffle prize?

Or could you do a fundraising challenge?

Could you ask for sponsorship for a running event, cycling challenge, daily swim or walking challenge? (Remember Captain Tom Moore, who made the headlines in 2020 when he raised money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday?)

Want to shave your head to raise funds? Art Club volunteer Kerry Evans is doing that on 14th July!

Top Tip – Tag Mindful Art Club in all your Facebook posts and make the posts public, so that people who do not know you have the opportunity to sponsor you too.

Quit Smoking – Even non-smokers are aware of how challenging it can be to kick a smoking habit, so this challenge will often inspire generous donations. Ask your friends and family to sponsor you in order to motivate you to quit for a month.

Dry July – The perfect way to get healthy and all for a good cause. As well as getting sponsorship for going dry, you can save up the money you would have spent down the pub and donate this at the end of the month too.

Top Tip – Get your friends and family involved in the challenge. This will help to raise even more money and reduce the likelihood of you cheating!

Are you in? Contact us now and we will set you up a fundraising page that links to our Crowdfunder. We can also send you a printable paper sponsorship form.

More Ideas

Charity Dinner Party – Host your own Come Dine with Me event, or themed tea party, charging your guests to taste your culinary delights.

Shave your beard or grow a moustache (Think Movember!)

We would also appreciate it if you would share our crowdfunding campaign page on Facebook and Twitter when it is live, to help us reach more people.

We couldn’t do our vital work in Plymouth without the help of generous charitable donations. So please join us to help us offer more mental health support groups at Moments Café in Plymouth city centre.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Love,

Peggy and Emma

PS. Can’t wait to donate? Sponsor Kerry’s head shave today!

Listen: Peggy on Radio 2’s Midnight Mastermind

Peggy Melmoth from Mindful Art Club asks OJ Borg three questions on her specialist subject, on Midnight Mastermind.

Specialist Subject: The effects of art and creativity on our mental health

1) What three feelings does creativity help with?
2) What is the main aim of art therapy?
3) On our website we say, “Do you remember when you enjoyed art as a child?” Why do you think we say that?

Listen now to find out if OJ got the answers right!

Midnight Mastermind is the part of the show where listeners get to challenge OJ.

OJ Borg

Ask him three questions on your specialist subject, but how many will he get right? It can be questions on absolutely anything! You set the subject, so what would your specialist subject be on Midnight Mastermind? Comment below and let us know.

New: Recovery Art Club

Has your drinking started to worry you?

Is using drugs causing problems in your life?

Are you already in recovery but want to connect with others?

Recovery Art Club is a free, weekly group at Moments Cafe in Plymouth city centre. The group is upstairs in the Arthur Read room and will be running for two months.

Starts: Wednesday 31st May 1.00pm – 2.30pm

Moments Café, 69a New George Street, Plymouth, PL1 1RJ

Even if you can’t decide whether you have a problem or not, you are welcome to come along. There is no art experience required! Friendly and informal. Just grab a coffee and join in.

Connect with others 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 will also be inviting some inspiring guest speakers to these groups, to talk about addiction and recovery.

The group is hosted by Emma Sprawson and Peggy Melmoth. They are the founders of Mindful Art Club, and have a background of working for many years in addiction treatment centres in Plymouth.

Places are free thanks to a grant from Devon Community Foundation, but booking is essential as we expect this group to be popular.

Mindful Art Session

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.

Places are limited, so if you cannot attend please let us know and we can offer your place to someone else. Book now.

Not ready for this group yet? Join our mailing list to hear about other free events.

New Research Shows Health and Social Benefits of Mindful Art Club

A new research study has revealed significant social benefits, and improvements to mental health, can be measured in those attending a community art group. The research has been led by Dr Helen Lloyd, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Plymouth, in collaboration with two researchers; Abbie Scott BSc, and Rachel Mullee BSc. The research project was co-designed by a committee which included art club participants, art club volunteers, and the Mindful Art Club directors Peggy Melmoth and Emma Sprawson.

The research was funded by the university’s Get Involved Awards, and the findings were presented at an event at the university on Friday 12th May 2023.

Watch now:

The University of Plymouth used a mix of methods to assess qualitative and quantitative data involving the service-user opinion. They concluded in May 2023:

Our creative activities provide a distraction from negative thoughts and social anxiety. Our art encourages ‘flow’- a relaxing empowering experience- and attending Mindful Art Club can boost confidence and self-esteem while reducing social isolation.

Participants made statistically significant improvements in their mood from attending our sessions. Attendance at Mindful Art club also improved participants’ level of social connect, facilitated emotional regulation strategies and supported positive mental wellbeing.

After presenting our findings we enjoyed drinks and nibbles, and meeting other community organisations who had partnered with academic researchers on different projects, funded by the Get Involved Awards.

Our Offer

We can bring Mindful Art Club into your organisation as a one-off wellbeing session, or a six week course. These can be delivered online or in person. To get proven results for your staff or service users contact us today.

Next Art Retreat: 3rd June

Would you like to join us for a day of laughter, conversation, mindfulness and art, surrounded by the peacefulness of nature?

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


Read moreMindful Art Retreat

On Saturday June 3rd 2023 we invite you to:

  • Step away from daily distractions
  • Take some time to relax and rejuvenate
  • Enjoy the company of like-minded people
  • Rediscover your sense of inner peace

Places are limited to only ten people and we expect this to be very popular. 

If you are interested book now to avoid disappointment. 

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.

Reserve your place now.

We can’t wait to see you this summer!

Peggy and Emma