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.

Free Creative Events Improve Lives in Plymouth

Did you miss The Storytelling Collective launch gig on Good Friday? We’ll be doing another one in three months time, and in between we will be offering workshops and creative activities to boost mental health and reduce social isolation. Watch our Facebook page for more news, or sign up to our mailing list.

Mindful Art Club, WonderZoo, Omnium Radio and Marbles Lost and Found are working together to create an opening gig, creative workshops and a closing exhibition over three months in 2023. The collaboration is funded by Plymouth Octopus Project. These events will feature a research element, where participants will be asked to talk about what they need to help improve their lives within the changing social and political climate. An independent evaluator will collate the findings in a report, and this will be presented at the exhibition. This will be a pilot research project, hopefully leading to a longer collaboration.

Improving Wellbeing

This is a collaborative pilot project between four groups that aims to tackle social isolation and improve wellbeing. At the heart of the project is fun, laughter and putting a smile on people’s faces, within group settings that foster empathy, trust and acceptance. The project will take place over three months (April-June 2023) with research conducted with the participants that will feed into a report written by an independent evaluator. The ideas gathered from the research will inform a plan to create a two year collaboration between the four groups, with further funding sought from National Lottery or other larger funding bodies. This pilot project will be a testing ground for different ideas using existing expertise and community connections.

The four groups all currently work with diverse individuals, providing opportunities for creativity, skill and knowledge sharing, social interaction and mental health support. The organisations will offer their tried and tested workshop formats, but with the additional offer of letting the participants have a voice that will feed into the research aspect. Participants of the project will be able to express their views and offer ideas for how their current difficulties can be supported better within the community. This will hopefully lead on to create a longer program that is evidence-based and tailored to people’s present experiences, rather than using past models, which may not be suited to current issues.

Good Friday was a collaborative performance event – an opportunity for one representative of The Storytelling Collective to give a short talk about the project, its philosophy, aims and activities. This was followed by several artists who performed comedy, music and spoken word.

There will be three workshops run by each group during April to June 2023, with feedback forms for research. During the sessions, casual conversations will be had with participants that aim to bring out honest perspectives and potential ideas, with notes taken for keywords and phrases. There will be 12 workshops in total, at different locations in Plymouth including Omnium Radio HQ, Union Corner, Oasis Project and The Plot.

The three month project will culminate in an evening showcasing the work that was done during the workshops and the results of the research and evaluation report. It will be an opportunity for participants to get together and hear how their ideas and perspectives have been heard and will feed into a larger project. If this pilot project is successful, with the groups able to work alongside and support one another, there is the possibility of creating a new network within Plymouth that is geared towards tackling social isolation using creative practices.

Working Together

Our four different groups have known of each other as friends for several years, with some of us working together already on various projects. We felt that working together as a collective would allow each of us to gain further knowledge, experience and skills, which will make us more resilient as organisations, leading to greater long term sustainability and positive impact on our community.


Our groups have similar values and aims, as we all work towards tackling social isolation, supporting mental health, giving people a sense of fun and purpose, and providing opportunities to develop friendships. We felt that we’d be able to work together successfully as we all offer unique creative approaches and perspectives, such as performance, radio, visual art, and talks, which can enable mutual support and growth. We hope that this pilot project can lead to longer term collaborations.

Become a Supporter! It Doesn’t Cost You a Thing!

EasyFundraising

This clever fundraising system donates funds to Mindful Art Club CIC every time you shop – but it doesn’t cost you a thing! Over 7,000 brands including John Lewis & Partners, Argos, Uswitch, eBay and M&S are ready to give a free donation every time you shop online.

Plus, once you’ve signed up and raised £5 in donations, easyfundraising will match it with a bonus £5 bonus donation.

Just visit: Mindful Art Club at EasyFundraising.

Your donations will continue to help us offer free mental health support groups in Plympton and Plymouth, that also combat social isolation.

Art Makes a Big Difference in Plymouth

We regularly collect feedback from our art club participants to check that we are making a difference in our community. We are also working with a research team at Plymouth University to measure the difference we make.

“Mindful art group is a safe place to come. You can offload and are not judged, you can enter feeling down and alone, and leave knowing you have the groups support and empathy” – Karen.

“On my first visit to the group, I felt it was very welcoming. I found the groups activities interesting and will be coming regularly to your meetings. I have a big problem with large groups of people. I would normally say nothing as I would feel stupid. But not in this case. Thanks.” – Carole.

“It’s great that we meet regularly and check in with how we are all feeling. I feel like we are all responsible for each other – a space where we can talk, release, cry, laugh and our emotions are held by each other. I feel like ‘It’s OK, these people are here for me’. Whether you are a sociable person with lots of friends or alone in the world, there’s a group of people every week ready to listen and support me. It’s a great balance of mindfulness and creativity, for everyone, no matter what your experience is – we’re not artists by any means – just people coming together to be creative and peaceful.” – Erica.

If you’d like to boost mental health in your treatment service, support service, workplace or residential home we offer groups on line, one-off sample sessions, and a six week wellbeing programme. We also offer an outdoor mindful art retreat as a staff away day.

Read more: Why is Staff Wellbeing So Important?

While watching the FIFA World Cup recently you may have realised how stressful it is to be a football referee. That’s why we were happy to provide an online session for a group of premiership referees.

Peggy and Emma at Mindful Art were really pleasant and made everyone on the mindfulness session feel comfortable. They delivered a session that was really easy to take part and was enjoyable for all. I believe Mindfulness Art has a positive impact in promoting good Mental Health.

 Dr Liam SlackChartered Sport Psychologist, PGMOL

Find out more about booking a session.

[Listen] Peggy on BBC Radio Devon

BBC Radio Devon’s Caroline Cook, asks Peggy:

  • What kind of art do you do?
  • Are these groups for all kinds of people?
  • What happened to the art club during the pandemic?
  • What’s your favourite mindful art activity?

At the moment we have six weekly classes in Plymouth and a monthly online art club.

Not ready to come to a class in person? That’s OK. Grab our free mindful art activities to do at home.

Supported Art Activities

Mindful Art Supported Activities start Thursday 13th October 2022

Mindful Art Club has been providing peer support groups in the Plymouth community for three years. Prior to this Peggy and Emma have many years of experience supporting vulnerable clients in residential addiction treatments centres.

We are now launching a new weekly group exclusively for clients with learning, physical and sensory disabilities, or mental health difficulties. We invite clients to attend, with their support workers, and enjoy five minutes of simple guided mindfulness, followed by an art activity. Art projects may include drawing, collage making or decorating painted stones. During the group clients and support workers are encouraged to relax and chat while making art. 

Our friendly, relaxed groups boost mental health and reduce social isolation.

Session includes:

  • A check in to say how you are feeling
  • Five minutes guided mindfulness
  • Art activity
  • Coffee or tea
  • All art materials
  • A check out to share how you feel at the end of the group.

Costing and Access

Each session lasts and hour and a half, and includes a coffee or tea, and all art materials.

Cost: £15.00 per session.

Places are limited so we ask participants to book in advance.

Reserve your place now.

We look forward to seeing you at Mindful Art Club!

Thursdays 2.30pm – 4.00pm

Rees Centre Wellbeing Hub

Mudge Way, Plympton, Plymouth, Devon, PL7 2PS

Accessibility

Ramped/Sloped Access, and Manual Doors

Off-Site Parking nearby.

Plympton: Supported Art Sessions

We are pleased to be offering a new Mindful Art Club, specifically for clients with learning, physical and sensory disabilities to attend with an individual support worker.

The Rees Centre Wellbeing Hub is located in the centre of Plympton, is a short walk from the Ridgeway and close to the Plympton Health Centre.

Our two facilitators offer an hour and a half mindful art session on Thursday afternoons. We begin with a “check-in”. This is a chance for each participant to briefly say how they are feeling, although there is no obligation to talk if you don’t want to. This is followed by five minutes of guided mindfulness, where we focus on relaxing in the present moment. We then try mindful drawing, which is drawing with our eyes closed, for five minutes! This allows us to focus on the feeling of the pen against the paper, instead of aiming for any specific artistic result. The majority of the session is then spent on a simple art project such as drawing with felt tip pens, or making a collage. This is an opportunity to chat and relax. At the end of the session each participant gets a chance to talk about their art work and say how they are feeling.

The session facilitators, Peggy and Emma, both have current DBS certificates, and have had training in safeguarding vulnerable adults. They have extensive experience of working with vulnerable people; specifically those who have experienced substance misuse, mental health issues, time in prison, homelessness, and domestic abuse. They have also worked in residential care homes for adults with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and autism/ASD.

Mindful Art Club improves mental health and reduces social isolation. Participants leave our groups describing a warm, supportive feeling. There is always a lot of laughter in the sessions.

We are unable to offer one to one support in these groups, but instead invite each client to bring their own support worker.

Costing and Access

Each session lasts and hour and a half, and includes a coffee or tea, and all art materials.

Cost: £15.00 per session.

Places are limited so we ask participants to book in advance.

Reserve your place now.

We look forward to seeing you at Mindful Art Club!

Thursdays 2.30pm – 4.00pm

Rees Centre Wellbeing Hub

Mudge Way, Plympton, Plymouth, Devon, PL7 2PS

Accessibility

Ramped/Sloped Access, and Manual Doors

Off-Site Parking nearby.

National Lottery Funds Plympton Group

We are pleased to have been awarded National Lottery funding to run Mindful Art Club for six more months at the London Inn in Plympton.

Our mission is to improve social connection and mental health in a fun, creative way. Each session lasts for an hour and a half and offers peer support, guided mindfulness, a mindful drawing exercise and a simple art project that anyone can do. This is a project that we are already running and is making a big difference to the people that come. People leave our groups describing a warm, supportive feeling and say they feel validated, listened to, relaxed, happier and calmer. The people who will benefit are those suffering from social isolation and mental health issues.

We think of this as a long-term project as we can see from our feedback how much this group is helping people. One participant writes “Finally! A place where you can truly be yourself, be heard and supported. I feel so included and seen and it has given me real confidence in life. I love the creativity, the chats, the laughs and just this feeling I am totally welcome. I really look forward to Thursdays”.

We constantly evaluate our groups by using feedback forms, case studies, verbal discussions and testimonials to find out what’s working well, and any changes we should make. We have even partnered with Plymouth University to write a report to measure our impact on our participants’ mental health.

The London Inn art group takes place every Thursday at midday, where Simon the landlord kindly offers us a space free of charge. Art club participants are expected to buy refreshments at the pub while enjoying the art group.

The London Inn, 8 Church Road, Plympton, PL7 1NH.

We are grateful to The National Lottery and it’s players for supporting this ongoing art group.

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.