National Lottery Funds Art Retreat

We held a one day Mindful Art Retreat for 10 people in the picturesque village of Plympton St Maurice on Sunday 21st August 2022. The day included guided mindfulness, art activities, a buffet lunch and a nature walk.

Our aim is to tackle social isolation and common mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. We do this by offering weekly peer support, guided mindfulness, mindful drawing (which is drawing with your eyes closed!) and a simple art project that anyone can do. At its simplest, our aim is to get people together to talk and be creative.

The National Lottery funding has made a great impact on our regular clients at the Plympton group who were invited to a Mindful Art Retreat. This event was also supported by The London Inn, who provided a space free of charge, and a lovely buffet (not free!)

Participant Feedback

Super day with a lovely group of genuine, fun and open minded people. Good mixture of both art and mindfulness activities. Loved being outside in nature; sunny afternoon doing natural mandala, and wonderful sat under a tree in the rain sharing and creating. Feeling much more relaxed and enjoyed the company very much. Fab lunch! Structured programme, but entirely relaxed pace. Thanks MAC. – Participant

I have been feeling quite overwhelmed, but am leaving the retreat feeling much better and feeling like a person in my own right again. The activities were very useful in promoting a sense of calm. I feel a sense of belonging now after chats with others, and don’t feel so embarrassed about what is happening in my life, as others have difficult problems too. It has given me a sense of being able to share my thoughts and feelings, and helping to maintain my mental health. – Participant

We had a lovely mindful art retreat day, with lovely people. We had a wonderful buffet lunch followed by cake later in the afternoon. Did lots of projects indoors and out, with nature. I felt very relaxed at the end of the day. It was very well organised by the ladies that run mindful art. I thank the National Lottery for their help. – Participant.

I have really enjoyed the mindful retreat day. Great company, that really has helped me to feel connected and accepted. I particularly enjoyed drawing the vase and feeding through foliage. I left feeling uplifted, hopeful and happy. – Participant.

A brilliant relaxing and chilled out day. Well organised, plenty of great company. Enjoyed all the different projects, activities and fun. The buffet was really tasty and well presented. Thank you for a great day, it will be in my memory for a long time. Mindful Art Group is my life saver, thank you. – Participant

Had a lovely day today with a wonderful group of people. I felt a bit wobbly yesterday and this morning, strangely nervous about today. However, I am so glad that I am a part of this. We had mindful meditation throughout the day with art activities both inside (due to the weather) and outside in nature. It was lovely to spend time eating food together and sharing how we are feeling. This group has meant a great deal to me and long may it continue. It has really helped me with my mental health in a kind, gentle way. – Counselling degree student and Mindful Art Club volunteer.

A great opportunity to have the space and support to go inwards and be reflective, surrounded by people that listen and hold the space. A day filled with nourishment for the body and mind with food and cake, along with the creative art activities out in nature – a gift. Thank you! – Retreat participant

Read more about our mindful art retreats.

Livewell Fund Boosts Mental Health

Thanks to Livewell funding we have been running a Mindful Art Club in Plympton for three months.

We share images on our Facebook page each week, to show how the group is going. (We secure written permission from our service users before posting pictures to social media.)

“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 Thursday mornings”.

Plympton group participant

Our aim is to improve people’s wellbeing and mental health and reduce social isolation. We give people a space to share their feelings, learn different mindfulness techniques for self-care, be creative in a group, relax and chat. We supply all art materials and suggest a different art project each week.

“I really enjoy the mindful group. Meeting lovely likeminded people who don’t judge you. This group is helping me a lot.”

Plympton group participant

Since the project started in April we have served 14 beneficiaries, who attend regularly. We have hosted a group every week, except for the Jubilee bank holiday Thursday.

“The mindful body scan and tongue drum really helped me focus on my breathing and my body. It really relaxed me and made me feel calmer.”

Plympton group participant

We have collected written and verbal feedback to measure how we have reduced social isolation, built self-esteem, and improved mental health. We collect comments in a comments and suggestion book.

We also evaluated our client’s wellbeing at the beginning of the project using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS).

Si Parnham works for Heads Count at Colebrook SW, a user led network for people who access mental health services, carers and everyone with experience of or affected by mental health matters in and around the city of Plymouth. Visiting our Plympton group he said,

“A room full of joy, and people feeling safe and comfortable to talk about how their lives are. Really worthwhile visit and an excellent community lead group.”

Si Parnham, Heads Count

Join us on Thursdays at 11.00am at The London Inn, Church Road, Plympton.

New Location: Plympton

We are delighted to announce a new partnership with The London Inn, Plympton. This sixteenth century pub offers live music, a beer garden in summer and cosy real fires in the winter.

Learn to practice mindfulness and art for self-care at The London Inn in Plympton St Maurice, starting Thursday 7th July 2022. Each session includes five minutes of guided mindfulness, five minutes of mindful drawing, a simple art project, and the opportunity to chat and relax.

Come along and grab a coffee or tea, and a cake. The group starts at 12.00pm and lasts for an hour and a half. We currently have charitable funding from The Livewell Foundation to make this group free to participants.

(Update, July 2023: We do not currently have charitable funding for this group, so it is now offered to the community as a voluntary service.)

This weekly art group gives people the opportunity to share their feelings, practice mindfulness, create art, relax and chat. Mindful Art Club:

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

Send us a message now to book your place in this friendly, fun new group.

Find us at:

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

Due to the age of this historic building the lounge bar and toilets are not accessible to wheelchair users. (However, some wheelchairs are able to access the public bar area.) As an alternative we offer a number of other art groups in Plymouth and online.  

Please contact The London Inn if you have any accessibility enquiries.

There is on street parking in George  Lane and the nearest bus route is 21A. Alight at Longcause.