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.

How to Draw Paisley

We hosted a lovely mindful art session for Rhizome Artists’ Collective recently, drawing paisley Anyone can join us on Zoom on Tuesdays by booking here.

How to Draw Paisley

Draw a long, continuous curved line. Curve your line so it connects with the beginning of your drawing to draw a paisley shape. Begin to decorate your paisley. Start with a raindrop shape in the big part and a circle in the small part. Add more patterns and shapes such as flower petals. Add more detail like lines, stripes, waves, flowers or whatever you can think of. Colour it in.

How to draw paisley, step by step.

For more printable mindful art activities join our mailing list.

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.

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How to Share With Just Friends

How to share with just friends.

Posted by Facebook on Friday, December 5, 2014

Two Art Groups to Start Next Week

As lockdown begins to ease we are able to start two new support groups next week, bearing in mind the ongoing restrictions.

Sunflower Women’s Centre

On Monday afternoons we are starting a small, socially distanced group for four women at a time, thanks to new funding from Comic Relief. These will be at The Sunflower Women’s Centre, 29 Sutherland Road, Plymouth PL4 6BW. To secure your free place on a six week mindful art course call The Sunflower Centre on 01752 977614 and leave a voicemail, asking to be put on the waiting list for Mindful Art Club.

The Clipper, Union Street

The Clipper is Omnium Radio’s Community Hub, at 65 Union Street, Plymouth PL1 3LU.

We will be holding weekly sessions at The Clipper from 9.30am to 11.00am every Friday thanks to Community Sparks Funding from Stronger North Stonehouse. These start on Friday 19th March and you can come to one session at a time, rather than committing to a six week course.

We will be holding the first couple of sessions as non-booked sessions, however bear in mind under current COVID rules we can only have 15 participants in the support session. We will adjust any rules along with COVID restrictions changes. You must bring your own food and drink, and face mask during current guidelines. Once guidelines are eased, The Clipper cafe will be open for refreshments.

Listen to Emma’s interview on Omnium Radio to find out more about this new group.

We also continue to offer Zoom on Tuesdays funded by your individual donations.

Mindful Art Club:

  • Improves mental health
  • Improves social connection
  • Teaches new skills: mindfulness and art for self care

To find out about when our next online courses and real life groups are launching join our mailing list now. As a thank you for joining, we’ll instantly send you a mindful colouring bundle with meditative art activities inside, to try at home.

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.

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Free Printable Mandala Template

Drawing a mandala doesn’t have to be complicated. Mindful art means drawing without self-judgement. Get in the flow and enjoy being in the moment without putting any expectations onto yourself.

Use our free printable mandala template as a guide. Just place some plain paper over the top and trace the segmented circle image. Then fill in the separate parts with zen doodles, patterns, positive affirmations, things you are good at, or things that you are grateful for. Check out some examples done by people who come to our mindful art groups. The important thing is to have fun with it.

You may also like this short video of Peggy and Emma: How to Draw a Mandala.

Feeling isolated? Stick on an hour long video recording of one of our classes in the background, and enjoy some coffee, creativity and company. (You will need to be on Facebook to see these videos.)

Can’t be bothered to draw your own mandala? We get that! Colour in a ready-made mandala instead, included in our free mindful colouring bundle.

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.

Community Sparks Funds Mindful Art Club

It was great to see ourselves in The Stronger North Stonehouse Journal this month after winning a grant from their Community Sparks Fund to run mindful art groups in Stonehouse, Plymouth.

Stronger North Stonehouse is an initiative bringing local people together to create a stronger, safer and friendlier community in North Stonehouse, Plymouth. The Community Sparks Fund has just funded over 20 projects!

The scheme received 30 funding applications ranging from £150 to the maximum of £3,000.

All applications were assessed by a panel made up of members of the Safer Stonehouse Board and independent judges. The panel was asked to make recommendations based on the merit of the potential impact they could have in the community.

We have been awarded £1000 to deliver two different, weekly art groups in the Stonehouse area. One will be at The Clipper, Omnium Radio’s Community Hub, in Union Street. The other will be at Ocean Studios. Located in the historic surroundings of Royal William Yard, Ocean Studios is home to an array of resident and visiting artists who regularly host workshops, exhibitions and events for Plymouth’s creative community. We are able to work at Ocean Studios thanks to winning a place on the Start Something project, run by the Real Ideas Organisation.

The grant will help us to buy art materials, and market the project so that we can reach as many Stonehouse residents as possible. The funding will also allow us to cover our ongoing costs such as administration, staff time, project planning, insurance, and project impact evaluation.

These Stonehouse venues are large enough to allow socially distanced support groups to take place. Although the UK is currently experiencing a mental health crisis, exacerbated by the pandemic, personal finances can be a barrier to local people needing to access support. This grant will help us to offer our services to people struggling with poor mental health, social isolation, poverty or addiction.

If you would like a place in one of these Stonehouse groups, which will be up and running after the current lockdown restrictions end, please contact us now. Places are limited.

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?