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 six months.

Starts: Tuesday 6th September 2022, 1.30pm – 3.00pm

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 funding from an OPCC Community 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.

Marbles Lost and Found

On Tuesday 10th May 2022 at 2.00pm we will be talking about our art club at Marbles Lost and Found support group at Moments Cafe and Memories Matter Hub in New George Street, Plymouth. Come along for a friendly chat about how to boost your mental health.

Marbles Support group is so different then any other support group out there! Founder, Nicky Nurrish says,

“It not only gives you mental health support, awareness and wellbeing tips and tools, you will also meet and make friends with fellow warriors, meet experts in the field of mental health, in a non judgemental, safe space where you are listened to and heard. Each month we have a guest speaker join us to tell us and show us what support they offer, what they do and more and this upcoming group session we have the wonderful Mindful Art Club coming in to work with us. Remember if you are nervous about attending don’t be, it’s a warm and friendly environment, I can meet you beforehand. The group is a mix of disorders, mental health issues.. we have mix and mingle time, group check in time, marble news and upcoming events, guest speaker, break (with free cake and drinkies) and last part of the session we discuss together what we want to do as a group to help each other and plan a social event together. So come join us for what’s going to be a educational, supportive and most of all fun session, we are more than our mental illness remember.”

You may also like the Marbles Together Facebook group.

New Course: Devon Mind

Learn to practice relaxation exercises and art for self-care in May at Devon Mind’s new offices in Plymouth city centre. This free, six week course is starting on 23rd May 2022 but places are limited.

Each session includes five minutes of guided mindfulness, five minutes of mindful drawing, a simple art project, and the opportunity to chat and relax.

Create Your Recovery is a six week course giving people the opportunity to share their feelings, practice mindfulness, create art, relax and chat, it also:

  • Improves mental health
  • Improves social connection
  • Teaches new skills (relaxation exercises and art for self care).

We are Devon Mind, your local mental health charity. We’ve been fighting for mental health in Devon for over 35 years with our campaigning and support services.

DevonMind.com

Like all local Minds, they are an independent charity affiliated with the national Mind association.

Devon Mind’s recovery courses and workshops are all designed to support you to develop positive lifestyles and choices. Visit their website for details on how to book your place on Create Your Recovery

To get a reminder about this course and other Mindful Art Club events in the future sign up to our mailing list.

How Comic Relief Helped Our Women’s Group

A PR officer from Comic Relief and Groundwork recently got in touch to ask us about the impact their funding had on our group at The Sunflower Women’s Centre.

What issue does the project aim to change/address?

We tackle social isolation and common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

How does the project addresses this issue?

We offer mindful art groups in community venues, often at no cost to the individual client.

Each group lasts for an hour and a half. We start with a “check-in” where everyone gets a chance to say how they are feeling, but there is no obligation to talk if you don’t want to. Then we do five minutes of guided mindfulness. Then we do five minutes of mindful drawing, (which is drawing with our eyes closed!) Then we do a simple art project that anyone can do, and have a chat. At most groups there is an opportunity to get a tea or coffee. Art projects might include making a greeting card, drawing a mandala, mindful doodling (zentangles), or making a collage. Artistic talent is not necessary – it’s about having fun.

What activities or events do you carry out as part of the project?

At the moment we have five weekly groups, three are funded, two we run on a volunteer basis while we seek funding. We also host one day mindful art retreats, and sometimes run an eight week wellbeing course. Sometimes we offer online wellbeing sessions using Zoom.

The Comic Relief Community fund allowed us to deliver 12 weekly mindful art groups at The Sunflower Women’s Centre. The issues being tackled were social isolation and poor mental health. We addressed these problems by using creative activities to make it easier for clients to engage in meaningful conversations.

What impact has the project had on the community? Please provide specific examples or testimonials where possible.

We regularly receive great verbal feedback and written feedback that shows we are reducing social isolation and helping to improve mental health. (Lots of quotes here.)  

“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

“Thank you Peggy and Emma for running the mindfulness art group, it has helped me so much and I’ve enjoyed each session. I struggle with anxiety and depression and I’ll miss our groups at Sunflower as it’s helped a lot and has been a great group to be in. Sending much love and hugs to you both. You’re both lovely ladies”. – Vikki

What difference has Comic Relief funding made to the project?

This funding allowed us to run 12 weeks of in-person support groups at the Sunflower Women’s Centre, when lockdown restrictions began to ease in April 2021. 

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.

What is next for your organisation?

We are currently applying for funding to fund further sessions at The Sunflower Women’s Centre and a follow-on group at Royal William Yard. We have just started a 12 week project offering mindful art groups at a local homelessness charity. We are also running a six week ‘Doodle Your Recovery’ course for Devon Recovery Learning Community. 

Want us to let you know when we start a local group near you? Sign up to our monthly newsletter and get free mindful colouring pages here.

New Course: Ivybridge

Learn to practice relaxation exercises and art for self-care at The Salvation Army in Ivybridge. Each session includes five minutes of guided mindfulness, five minutes of mindful drawing, a simple art project, and the opportunity to chat and relax.

This weekly art group gives people the opportunity to share their feelings, practice mindfulness, create art, relax and chat. Doodle Your Recovery:

  • 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. This is followed by some guided mindfulness, then a simple art project which anyone can do e.g., drawing Zentangles or paisley, or making a greeting card.

We end the group with a ‘check out’ to share how everyone is feeling after practicing mindfulness and making art.

This free 6 week, in-person course will start on Tuesday 22nd June, then 29th June, 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th July.

Book here.

NB: Bookings for this course will open on Monday 24th May.

Update: This course has been postponed due to changing Covid-19 guidelines.

Funded by Devon Recovery Learning Community.

Providing a Lifeline to Those in Need

Mindful Art Club has provided a lifeline to people across Plymouth facing mental health challenges – and now our group is back operating in the community.

For Mental Health Awareness Week Plymouth Live has published a feature article explaining that we were gutted when a drug and alcohol rehab centre announced its shock closure two years ago.

“Having worked at Broadreach House for several years, (Emma and Peggy) had been able to support people from all walks of life and had seen first-hand how beneficial different creative activities could be for people struggling with their mental health and other issues.

Wanting to continue to serve the community and support people facing challenges in their lives, the colleagues teamed up to launch a “mindfulness art club” to support people manage their anxiety, stress and other mental health issues in a relaxed and safe creative environment.

The club became particularly popular at the start of 2020 and soon became a lifeline for members, with many people relishing the opportunity to connect with others in a non-judgemental environment while being able to talk freely about how they’re feeling and any stresses or anxieties in their lives.”

Read the full article on Plymouth Live, The Plymouth Herald website.

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.

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.

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.

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