It is now officially Mental Health Awareness week and we have selected four fantastic projects to pitch at danSoup’s mental health special event on Wednesday 20th May that is being hosted online via Zoom.
Together in Art– Helen Woodford Anxiety is a crippling condition, with deeply entwined physical and mental aspects. A focus; some support; and a creative outlet can often provide some relief from this turmoil. My online art club would provide a safe space for people suffering from anxiety and a chance to make beautiful art.
The Happy Eating Project- Gaby Goodchild An online guided course and creative activities to guide parent and their child ‘step by step’ towards body and food confidence. Leaving behind diets, rigid food rules, body dissatisfaction and mistrust and instead embracing body trust, Intuitive eating, food freedom and body respect.
A Sock Puppet LGBT+ Sketch– Sally Hoyland This project will enable people that attend the Derbyshire LGBT+ youth group to recognise how far they have come on their journey of self-discovery, through design and script writing and turning themselves into a sock puppet. This will help other young LGBT+ people to have the courage to reach out to us.
The Anxiety Reset- Sam Culshaw Robinson and Dani Bello Our innovative approach to improving the mental and physical health impacts of anxiety, teaches people how to access their “flow state.” This helps the brain to be more creative, enabling them to feel better. We provide tools in the workshop to make meditation and creativity a habit at home!
Twice a year, in May and October, we run pitch nights to help fund great ideas that use arts activities to address mental health issues locally. Attendees donate at least £5, usually for a bowl of tasty homemade soup, and listen to pitches for positive action or community projects. The audience vote for their favourite and the winner takes all of the donations. The current Covid-19 situation has presented even more challenging times so now is a more important time than ever for everybody to come together and support mental health initiatives. We can’t get together and give you a bowl of soup so instead we are inviting Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire food businesses to contribute a soup recipe to a lock-down e-cookbook. Everybody who buys a ticket for the event will receive a link to the cookbook following the event. In addition to the audience, we have an expert panel to ask the pitchers about their ideas and projects and offer suggestions and contacts. This includes: Dr Theo Stickley- initially trained as a mental health nurse and a psychotherapeutic counsellor. He taught at the University of Nottingham for twenty years before retiring in 2019. His research focused on arts and mental health and he is a renowned speaker and writer on the subject. He also led on
local projects including Arts on Prescription (with City Arts, 2004-14), East Midlands Arts & Health. Karen Clegg- a professional Graphic Designer, artist and musician. She is currently the chair of Lubrizol’s Charity and Community Committee which has proudly supported our #soup events for the last few years with a £250 donation. Lou Rudkin- is Head of Communications for the Institute of Mental Health. Her work varies from promoting the latest mental health research to creating new community projects and helping the general public to get involved in research.
However, it’s not the panel that decides who gets the money, the votes are down to the audience. So, put simply, £5 donation, four pitches, four minutes with some panel and audience questions. We already have over £900 in the pot towards this next event and will be awarding the runner-up with prize money too! This includes very generous donations from The Institute of Mental Health and Lubrizol. We need support to maximise attendance on the night. Taking care of our mental wellbeing and people in our communities, is more important than ever. Over half of adults right now are saying that the coronavirus crisis has negatively affected their wellbeing and nearly half report high levels of anxiety. Our grant can play a small, but important, part in helping people to manage their mental wellbeing over the coming months. You can help by sharing this information and encouraging more people to join us on the night. danSoup with Hard Heads and Hang Ups takes place at 6:45-9.30pm on Wednesday 20th May hosted by THiNK in NG online via Zoom. This will be during Mental Health Awareness Week. You can purchase your tickets online at https://dansoup.eventbrite.co.uk There will be further information provided on how to join the zoom link on the night once you have booked your ticket.