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.

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.

Double Win For Community Art Group

We were pleased to see we’ve hit the headlines again, on page 11 of The Plymouth Chronicle. You can read the latest issue online.

Double Win for Community Art Group

Plymouth’s first and only Mindful Art Club are celebrating receiving £250 funding, and £3000 worth of business support. The £250 was awarded to them by Plymouth Octopus Project, to cover some of their volunteer expenses, and the year-long business support package has been offered to them by The Real Ideas Organisation.

Peggy Melmoth and Emma Sprawson had only been running community art groups for a few months when the coronavirus lockdown forced them to cancel all of their groups. They immediately began offering online versions of all their sessions using Zoom video conferencing software and broadcasting to Facebook Live. Before lockdown their groups had been part-funded by individual voluntary donations, but since the end of March 2020 Peggy and Emma have been running the groups purely as a volunteers.

When lockdown restrictions began to ease in July, they started running small outdoor mindful art groups in a park in Plympton, and then in August they launched a new weekly group at The Sunflower Women’s Centre in Plymouth. They now run four weekly groups around Plympton and Plymouth, and continue to run their free online group for those who can’t make it to a real-life session.

“We started Mindful Art Club to improve mental health and social connection in the Plymouth community by offering mutual aid support groups, and teaching mindfulness and art for self-care. We were literally trying to fight social isolation at a time when we were all advised to isolate ourselves!”

Peggy

“We used to be part of the support team at Broadreach House addiction treatment centre. When Broadreach closed last year we were both made redundant, but decided that we still wanted to use our skills to support people in the community.”

Emma

In October The Real Ideas Organisation offered a number of free membership packages worth over £3,000 each, to entrepreneurial people with ideas that they thought could become brilliant businesses. To apply for a fully funded Start Something membership Peggy and Emma submitted a written business proposal and a three minute video outlining their ideas.

Peggy said, “We are so excited to win this, and are really looking forward to networking with the other businesses that won a place.”

The fully funded membership package from Real Ideas gives Mindful Art Club access to workspace at Ocean Studios in Royal William Yard, business support mentors and access to events, workshops and one to one coaching. The Start Something project is part of the iMayflower project and has been supported by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who fund the Cultural Development Fund, which is administered by Arts Council England.

Emma said, “Just after winning the Start Something membership we also received £250 funding from Plymouth Octopus Project (POP), which covers some of our expenses volunteering at The Sunflower Women’s Centre.”

POP offers funding advice, business and planning support to Plymouth’s voluntary sector.

The Sunflower Women’s Centre is a women’s only outreach centre set up by Trevi House in 2016. Sunflower is a trauma-informed women’s wellbeing hub, providing opportunities for any woman who has support needs.

“We have been very happy to have had Peggy and Emma come into the Sunflower Women’s Centre  and give their time volunteering to run their wonderful Mindful Art group for our women.  This has been a valuable service and given many of our women support and some purpose and stability, with their patience and gentle listening ears during the lockdown period.”

Paula Carnell, Team Lead

To keep updated about Mindful Art Club’s latest weekly groups, online sessions and wellbeing courses sign up to the mailing list in the top right corner. We’ll send you some mindful colouring pages to soothe your mind while at home!

New Group: Royal William Yard

Want to learn to manage stress in a creative way?

Want to meet new people without feeling awkward?

Want to relax your busy mind, without the practice and discipline needed for meditation?

You just found the easy answer!

Our new art group at 1pm on Friday afternoons at Ocean Studios, Royal William Yard, Plymouth, offers a safe, easy-going space to have coffee, try guided mindfulness and do some art, just for fun. There is absolutely no talent required, so if you haven’t done anything creative since school that’s fine. It really is the taking part that counts. (Sorry for sounding so cliched but it’s true!)

Booking

Booking is essential due to restricted numbers during the pandemic. Message us to confirm your place. The group costs £2.00

If you arrive around 12.45pm you can grab a coffee at the Ocean Studios Cafe, then head upstairs to the Event Space on the right, where you will find Mindful Art Club. You will need to wear a mask to enter the café, but once you are seated at our (socially distanced) art table you can remove your mask for the duration of the group.

How to find us

Ocean Studios, The Factory Cooperage, Royal William Yard, Plymouth PL1 3RP. 

Plymouth city centre is 20-minute walk or a 12-minute cycle away. Find us at The Factory Cooperage, opposite Las Iguanas with the red telephone box. 

Drive  

From Plymouth City Centre take A374 to Durnford Street in Stonehouse. From Cornwall take the Tamar Bridge, A38, A3064, B3396 and A374, continue onto Durnford St until you reach the yard. There are plenty of Pay and Display car parking spaces at Royal William Yard. 

Bus  

The number 34 bus travels from the city centre and stops at the Royal William Yard roundabout.

Boat  

The ferry runs every hour from the Barbican to Royal William Yard, or you can travel from Cornwall on the Cremyll Ferry to Stonehouse. 

Read more details about accessibility at Ocean Studios.

Feeling unsure? Send us a message and we can chat. We’d love to see you there.