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.

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

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.

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.

How to Reduce Stress and Increase Confidence

Want to improve your mental health, make new social connections and learn some fun new ways to cope with stress?

It could be time to try Mindful Art Club!

Some of the issues being tackled in our community mindful art groups 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. Often when depressed or anxious people are put in a position where they have to talk about how they feel, it’s the last thing that they want to do. In our art groups they have a place where there is something slow and steady to do, and there is no pressure to talk about anything. We find in our groups that as people begin to trust each other, they open up about how they feel and get support and identification from the rest of the group.

Two of the most common mental health issues are anxiety and depression. Research shows that the activities of mindfulness and art can be more effective than antidepressants and counselling. Author of ‘Lost Connections’, Johann Hari, believes that to help people change their lives they have to have a connection with other people, to find meaning and purpose.

Being in a supportive group builds up self-esteem and confidence. We do a different art project each week, and trying new activities has been proven to be good for our wellbeing and emotions, (in a survey by BBC Arts 2018). The same survey said that nothing beats taking part in art classes that involve face to face social interaction for people’s mental health.

So, our community groups give people the opportunity to share their feelings, practice mindfulness, create art, relax and chat. Mindful art club:

  • 1) Improves mental health
  • 2) Improves social connection
  • 3) Teaches new skills.

Try mindful art club for free by checking out our online group.

How to Feel Connected in the Age of Social Distance

Would you like to socialise without even leaving your home?

Want to try mindfulness, but have no motivation to practice it alone?

Are you kind of creative, but don’t take art too seriously?

It sounds like you’d love our online art group!

Watch this short video to find out how we are responding to COVID-19, how to join us online, how did we meet, and why did we start an art club?

We interviewed ourselves in April 2020 to discuss how COVID-19 has affected our clients and how we can move forward with life after lockdown.

Watch Now:

Join us for a Facebook Live every Monday at 10am.

Now we’d love to hear your thoughts. How can we best support you? Go to https://tinyurl.com/MAC-feedback now and let us know.

New Facebook Group

Feeling socially isolated? Pop into our new group for a chat with others from Mindful Art Club. https://www.facebook.com/groups/MindfulArtClub/

A Facebook Group is a place for chatting and and sharing ideas. In our new group we can express our thoughts and feelings, discuss issues, post photos, and share related articles or inspiring quotes. We want to keep the topics similar to our ‘real life’ art groups, so please remember our themes of mindfulness, art, mutual support and social connection.

YOU Can Be a Part of This Community Art Project

Want to be a part of a collaborative art piece, that records our time in lockdown?

Want to feel more connected and together, even though we are separate?

Do you enjoy doodling, but fear that you have no talent?

This group project is for you!

There is no artistic ability required for this project. You just have to be willing to join in and have fun. You will need a piece of plain A4 paper, and whatever you like to draw or paint with.

Let’s feel more connected, and draw something for fun, without judgement! This project aims to represent the feeling that we are all isolated together.

Watch now, to find out how to join in and what you need to draw.

How to Share MAC With Your Community

Would you like to cheer up your neighbours?

Want to connect your local community?

Want to share our creativity and company with those who need it most?

This printable A4 poster is the answer you are looking for!

Be the change you want to see in the world, and put this A4 rainbow poster in your window, to invite others to join our online art groups. It could really make a difference to somebody who lives alone, or someone who is struggling with their mental health.

Download printable A4 poster.

It doesn’t have to cost any money to share a little bit of happiness with the world outside your window. Thank you so much. Stay safe.