How Volunteering Helped Me Heal

My Story

I’ve been volunteering for Mindful Art Club for about two years. My volunteering includes; attending the Annual General Meetings, brainstorming ideas, participating in creating an eight week mindful art course, driving, being a stall holder at promotional and networking events such as Plympton Midsummer Festival at Plympton Castle, Plympton Health and Wellbeing Event at Rees Centre Wellbeing Hub, and Plympton Royal British Legion Family Open Day. I am now a participant in a stakeholder design group with Plymouth University helping to evaluate activities provided by Mindful Art Club and the benefit to session participants.

I found Mindful Art Club at a really difficult time in my life and being a part of the community for several years has helped me to heal, recover and grow. I’ve chosen to volunteer to give something back and share my belief that practicing mindfulness, being creative and being your true self in a welcoming and safe space can really enrich and improve your life!

By volunteering I’ve gained mindfulness techniques that I now practice regularly to improve and sustain my health and wellbeing; It’s brought creativity into my life; I’ve reclaimed my confidence and it’s given me a sense of belonging and purpose; I’ve made genuine friends, we support each other through the ups and downs and we also have lots of days out and fun!

If you’re thinking you’d like to be part of this great team and have time to spare to volunteer then just go for it!!! 

Joanna Chalmers

How Art Improved my Mental Health

Client Story

I was depressed and generally mentally unwell since before the pandemic.
I first attended Mindful Art Club when the world started opening up again because I wanted to connect with art and with people. I previously had felt very isolated and socially hollow.

I have also had problem after problem as well as stress after stress. Appointments, investigations, tribunals, appeals, eviction, call centres, professional emails, and all the official sounding meetings, all seemingly one after another.

Having Mindful Art Club – this weekly space to just sit and chat with these lovely people whilst doing these mindful creative activities – has made so much of a difference to me. I feel like the art club allows me to take away some of the negativity and toxicity that builds up over the course of a week of stressful activities.

Now I’m moving into a new house, I have a new job and new energy. I’m not cured, but I am progressing, consistently making healthy choices, and actively developing resilience. This art group has helped me to accomplish and maintain these positive impacts on my life and it is also great to see that the group in general is flourishing. I am very grateful that this club exists and I struggle to express my great appreciation for the people that make it what it is.


Art Without Self-Judgement

We recently received this great feedback via LinkedIn.

Well done on setting up such an amazing project. I’ve been to a couple of sessions and found them to be really friendly, fun, informative and relaxing and it really helped me deal with my anxiety. The way you run them allowed me to have a go at art and leave behind the self criticism that so often affects me. The great thing about it is you’re giving people ideas that they can take away with them and continue at home. A big thank you Peggy and Emma, I wish you every success in the future.

Peggy's art work

Participant Inspired to Start Her Own Art Club

I want to share a lovely message we received on Facebook at the weekend. Claire has given us permission to publish this testimonial.

Dear Peggy and Emma,

Hi, I just wanted to pop you a quick message to say a massive thanks.

I did a mindful art course with you guys through Devon Mind and it has inspired me to start my own voluntary at our local library, but I’m hoping I’m going to be expanding this soon.

It’s been really popular so far, there is a lovely group of people that come and I’ve made friends outside of the group too. I’ve also taken a mindfulness course and gained a diploma.

So I just wanted to thank you, happy Christmas and a happy New Year.

Keep doing your amazing work. So many people need this right now.

Lots of love

Claire x

Find out what free groups we are running in the New Year by joining our mailing list now.

Want to start your own art club? We love to inspire others to offer help and support, but you will need to design your own method of working and session format. Read our copyright notice.

Find Your Creative Side (Even if You Think You Haven’t Got One!)

I just rediscovered this lovely testimonial from a regular client at our Brook Inn group in Plympton last year.

“I really enjoy the mindful art class. Not sure how I would’ve managed lockdown if Peggy, Emma (and Lee) hadn’t encouraged a creative side of me to come out, something I didn’t know I had in me. We did a class, making cards and I have become totally addicted to card making (which has also given me the confidence to try some other crafts) which occupied my lockdown time, some thing’s happen for a reason even if we don’t know it at the time. The group are so welcoming and friendly where anyone is accepted for who they are without any judgement and you can give as little or as much input as you are comfortable with.

At the beginning I wasn’t keen on mindfulness but I’m getting used to it. I really enjoyed Wednesdays group where a tongue drum was used and what a difference being outside made! To smell the garden, hear birds and the trickle of water whilst the drum played with Lee talking you through, it was amazing. I would definitely recommend it to those who are looking for somewhere that provides a safe place to go if you are lonely or suffer with mental health issues or just out to meet people. Thanks Peggy and Emma.”

– Dawn

We are re-starting our group at The Brook Inn, Longbrook Street, Plympton on Thursday 15th July 2021, 11.00am. Read more.