Mindful Art Club

Collaborators

  • Mindful Art Club
  • Real Ideas Organisation

Collective’s aims and ideas

The issues we are trying to tackle are social isolation and mental health problems. Mindful Art Club offers low cost sessions of coffee, creativity and company online and in community venues like community centres, wellbeing hubs and cafes. It was started by me and Peggy Melmoth when we got made redundant from Broadreach, an addiction rehabilitation centre in Plymouth. We have extensive knowledge of mental health issues, both from our own experience and from working with clients at Broadreach. What we want to achieve is to bring people together in a shared, creative experience. People leave our groups describing a warm, supportive feeling and say they feel validated, listened to, relaxed, happier and calmer. Our mission is to improve mental health and social connection in Plymouth, in a low-cost, fun creative way. Each session lasts for an hour and a half, and offers
Peer support
Guided mindfulness
A mindful drawing exercise(which is drawing with your eyes closed to free you from judgement)
And a simple art project that anyone can do
As well as verbal feedback in a ‘check out’ at the end of each session, we collect evidence of improved mood, and social connection using written feedback forms. We also teach new skills, such as using mindfulness and art for self-care
Mental health services were already overstretched and the pandemic has made everything much 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.
Peggy and I are helping to create a world where peer support, mindfulness, creative activities, and social connection is more easily available in local communities.
So, Mindful Art Club offers community groups and well-being courses supporting mental health through creativity and social connection. It’s about managing stress and loneliness in a creative way. Our groups give people the opportunity to share their feelings, practice mindfulness, create art, relax and chat
“The virus has made it feel like the ground has been swept from beneath my feet. I am left wobbling and uncertain of how to feel grounded. Fortunately Mindful Art has gone online and they are working really hard to provide us with twice weekly mindfulness and art sessions it is such an important part of my week. My family are away from me, I can’t attend any groups and my psychiatrist has just discharged me, leaving me with no support in place. I love the art section of the session and am learning how regular mindfulness can calm my anxiety. Emma and Peggy are giving me, and possibly everyone who logs in, time for self-awareness and to gain support from others. It is something I look forward to, and leave feeling connected and supported’-Shona who attends our groups

How will they work together to achieve this?

We will work together to achieve this as we all have a shared vision of how we want our communities to look, have a passion for helping people and different skills and experiences. We know each other well and our aware of our different skills and weaknesses.

Peggy Melmoth: My business partner. Peggy is my business partner and we met when we were both working at Broadreach. She has had her own business for years doing art commissions and blogging about narrow boats. Therefore, she is experienced in advertising, website design and social media. At the moment she is doing her level 4 in counselling so will be a qualified counsellor in a year. She also has a degree in art. She is a great person to work with as she really cares about people and are different skill sets match each other
Lee Squires: Our volunteer. He is from a Romany gypsy background and didn’t learn to read or write until he was in his thirties. Since then he has been to art college and has exhibited in London with David Bailey and Anna Marie Pachenker. He is a qualified yoga, tai chi and wing tsune teacher and is very involved in the local community
Clare Lattimore: One of our trustees and was with us when we started MAC. She is now working for Livewell and part of her job description at work is to be Livewell link worker for MAC
Janet Parfitt: A retired nurse and one of our regular participants. She says that MAC has been a life saver in lockdown for her mental health and to stay connected with people
Paula Carell: Deputy manager at Sunflower centre for women and is a big supporter of ours. We used to work together at Broadreach and she used to run a art gallery where I exhibited my paintings. We have been running classes at the Sunflower for the past year.
Emma Sprawson: I have a degree in art, a teaching qualification and extensive knowledge of mental health issues. I am very committed to helping people in the community
Andy Stuart: Works for RIO and has been helping us with budgets, business advice and ways to take our business forward

During the first round, POP members were asked to advise you. What are your reflections? Have you gained new insight? New partners?

The advice was very helpful. We had a pretty good turn out of advisers (on Zoom) and some good questions re clarification. We are used to having to use a particular language for funding bids (eg to Arts Council) and needed to adjust the language for a wider audience. This helped us clarify and focus our purpose and with whom we would work. As a result, we are already beginning to make contact with potential collaborators.The Community feeling of involvement even at this early stage has helped to develop a sense that we are onto something that will have positive and useful outcomes. It is a wonderful feeling of being connected and also supported.

Visual Arts Plymouth

Collaborators

  • Visuals Arts Plymouth

Collective’s aims and ideas

After 6 successful years of producing the Plymouth Art Weekender (PAW), including making it happen in 2020 under Covid-19 restrictions, Visual Arts Plymouth CIC wants to take the Weekender (PAW) in new directions. PAW is a city-wide celebration of mostly visual arts (including sound, performance, workshops, etc). Consolidating all that we have learned so far, in order to continue we want to create a supported platform for developing the city’s creatives. Annual evaluation has made it clear that a core strength of PAW is the opportunity it offers to grass roots artists at all stages of their career in a way that isn’t offered elsewhere. Through another two years of year-round programming we want to build on this, and create a space for VAP CIC and PAW to situate themselves as sustainable and beneficial entities in the city.

Our main objectives would be to help make Plymouth a place where: creatives can survive and thrive (talent and enterprise development); there is city-wide and community based arts activity and exchange; wide access to resources and opportunities; and wide inclusion and participation; and events, showcases and activities contributing to a vibrant arts scene. These outcomes will contribute to professional development, education, economy, social and cultural inclusion. and wellbeing.

Specifically, we would like to use the funds for:
– Identifying/consulting/researching arts (and other) groups in Plymouth as to what they would like to see/what they can contribute to VAP programs, including PAW.
– Researching and developing new structures for our management and activities, sustainable models and networks (and mapping these to the Plymouth Culture Strategy and objectives of other relevant groups, including POP+)

The issues we specifically want to tackle are:
– diversifying and extending engagement with VAP, and reaching out to individuals, groups and communities that may previously not have seen PAW as for them, through outreach efforts and network building.
– reimagining and strengthening our organisational structure, which is currently entirely volunteer run. We need to broaden the skills and knowledge in our strategic leadership and find ways of compensating volunteers so we can be sustainable.

The funding from this project will have a measurable impact on VAP activities in 2021 – 22 and beyond, with great potential to benefit the wider arts community in Plymouth.

The funding will be used to pay for a VAP coordinator’s time with a focus on researching and implementing management structure and new directions for PAW; a consultation/research role to work with potential collaborators to develop participation and programmes; and funds to support networking and development events (subject to Covid restrictions, but anticipated to be possible in the autumn). These roles will work in tandem to achieve the objectives.

How will they work together to achieve this?

The initial applicants for this bid are the current Directors of VAP CIC, and have worked together for 5 years. We are working together as we have a shared ambition to build on and extend VAP successes and a strong, inclusive ‘arts ecology’ in Plymouth. Additionally, 3 members of VAP strategy group have agreed to support this work.

Dr Lucy Davies (VAP, North Star Study Group)I have extensive event & project/programme management skills ranging from international conferences to small scale gigs, plus public talks, research projects, bid writing, installations & talent development/festival management with VAP. I also have experience of software product management/development, using Agile project management & line management of a development team based remotely. As a HE specialist I have considerable experience in evaluating impact and outcomes from research & engagement activity, and providing training, embedding culture change & understanding of the HE policy and funding landscape. I also have excellent presentation skills, am a confident user of Microsoft Office/Google Suite, plus other project management tools and CMS for the web. I have coding skills in Matlab, Programming, Javascript and am an occasional AV artist and musician. I also love networking and art ligging

Rhys Morgan (VAP, CAMP, TAKE A PART)

Add your strengths and skills
Rhys has a rage of skills and experience in the planning and delivering of arts and community engagement projects in Plymouth. Working as a producer for creative projects like the Plymouth Art Weekender as well as being Take A Part’s Community Realm Producer helping deliver art projects in the community of Coxside. He has good skills at establishing and developing partnerships with other organisations and institutions, and managing partnership relationships.Ellen Sims (VAP, CAMP, PSEN, Wordzoo)

Ellen has many years experience of community based research and organising and delivering training and evaluation in educational, professional and community settings in the arts. She is an active networker and does a range of volunteer work beyond the arts as well as being a Director of VAP, which has led to making many connections that will benefit this project. She is an artist with interests in social issues and education. Good interpersonal and communication skills, naturally nosy and perennially positive.

All of us have diversity, confidentiality, GDPR and Digital skills and knowledge.
Also supporting are:
Dr Stephen Felmingham, Educator, PCA. VAP Activator
Katy Richardson, educator (University of Plymouth) artist and CAMP officer. PAW Marketing Coordinator.VAP Activator
Lucy Rollins, producer and artist. VAP, CAMP, Pollenize. PAW coordinator/producer. Project management. VAP Activator
NB: VAP is a member of POP and PSEN. VAP members represent CAMP, RIO, Nudge, Take A Part, Plymouth Culture, PCA and Marjons, who may be called upon to support this work. We have a track record of working in partnership with these and many other organisations in Plymouth.

During the first round, POP members were asked to advise you. What are your reflections? Have you gained new insight? New partners?

The advice was very helpful. We had a pretty good turn out of advisers (on Zoom) and some good questions re clarification. We are used to having to use a particular language for funding bids (eg to Arts Council) and needed to adjust the language for a wider audience. This helped us clarify and focus our purpose and with whom we would work. As a result, we are already beginning to make contact with potential collaborators.The Community feeling of involvement even at this early stage has helped to develop a sense that we are onto something that will have positive and useful outcomes. It is a wonderful feeling of being connected and also supported.

Big Sis Girl Empowerment Collective

Collaborators

  • Big Sis CIC
  • Nature & Me
  • The Nest Southwest CIC

Collective’s aims and ideas

The issue:

In our community work we have noticed that the biggest crisis of confidence occurs between year 5-7 as the transition from primary into secondary school is huge. By working with young girls between the ages of 8-12 on the areas of emotional literacy and menstrual education, we have witnessed the positive effects of this work in the girls self-confidence, emotional awareness, body knowledge and healthy body image, which have proven to ease the puberty transition period. Statistics also show us that pre-pubescent girls are particularly vulnerable to mental health challenges like anxiety, depression and self-harm. It has also been shown that puberty experiences, such as menstruation, and a lack of feeling prepared, contributes to these mental health challenges. Pre-puberty is a crucial time in a young persons’ life that needs to be supported!

What we will do:
We train female students studying in education related subjects to provide mentoring and support to these girls. We plan to deliver our near-peer Mentoring Programme for Plymouth’ primary and secondary schools free of charge once it is safe to do so. Our workshops offer valuable support that is in line with the PHSE curriculum guidelines. We provide interactive education on crucial issues such as body literacy, emotional literacy skills, and
accessible and sustainable menstrual cycle education. The young girls benefit from the knowledge and experience of their Big Sis mentor whilst learning new skills in an informal and safe space in school. This reduces the uncertainty, fears and anxiety that arise for many young girls as they enter puberty and strengthen girl to girl bonds. Our volunteers will also be trained to deal with any problems they are confronted with and receive ongoing support from our expert team. They are recruited through local educational institutions, receive a comprehensive training in facilitation, safeguarding children, special needs, etc.

The Mentoring Programme consist of 4 Modules:
Module 1: Body Image and Positive Self Regard
Module 2: Puberty Changes/The Menstrual Cycle
Module 3: Mindset and Emotions
Module 4: Communication

We include fun, interactive games, stories, quizzes, creative activities, demonstrations and discussions. An anonymous question and answer box is a key aspect of every session and have proven to be highly effective in supporting pupils’ needs.

Aims for our primary beneficiaries: girls aged 8-12:
– Strengthen self confidence and resilience (with a focus on Year 6 and 7)
– Offer valuable support and interactive education on crucial issues related to growing up
especially by prioritizing schools in vulnerable areas of Plymouth and the South Hams
– Reduce stress and anxiety for school girls
– Enhance cognitive and psycho-motor development
– Improve learning performance in school

Our primary beneficiaries are girls aged 8-12, however we chose a near-per learning format to support and strengthen the career development and learning journey of young students.

Our aims for students:
– Create local opportunities for young women and female identified students
– Preparation for their future careers: Learn new skills as a mentor, being actively involved facilitating and reflecting the mentoring sessions
– Build confidence and trust in working with young people

With the Pop funding available we’d like to strengthen the support for our young student volunteers, which we value as crucial. Funding will be spent on improving the learning experience during their facilitator training. We also want to allocate mentors to our volunteers that accompany their learning journey and serve as a check-in point during the facilitator training and the delivery of the programme in schools.

How will they work together to achieve this?

We are a interdisciplinary collective of individuals from different areas of expertise that came together with the shared vision to change the story for the next generation. We believe that by working together we can stretch the impact we can have on our beneficiaries in the community, learn from each other, and bring this learning to related projects.

In our team we assemble independent consultants, educators, social workers, marketeers, communicators and networkers, who work on the creation of the Girl Mentoring Programme as well as the exciting challenge on bringing it to the attention of universities, local primary and secondary schools and the wider public.

Our Team:
Hazel from the ‘NestSouthWest CIC’ and Victoria from ‘Nature and Me’: Bring their expertise of working with women and girls, specifically in the areas of menstrual education. They know what it takes to create and facilitate a safe and nurturing space for different age groups.
Friedel: Is the founder of Big Sis CIC, educator, networker and curator. She brings in different elements from her intercultural work in culture, the arts and education projects.
Clare: Looks back on a career of working with people in social work and community projects. She’s an amazing listener and communicator.
Angelika: Is a Plymouth based Marketing ace that makes content look beautiful and approachable. She likes to collaborate with social enterprises.
Harriett: Is a movement psychotherapy student. She brings attention to detail and great question asking. She makes sure that we are never short of inspiration of movement and embodiment approaches in our work.

Some of us have worked together previously in education projects, some collaborations are new and exciting. Each of us brings their own flavor and input to the Programme which makes it a diverse, well communicated group project, that is being looked at from different angles.

During the first round, POP members were asked to advise you. Tell us what happened. What are your reflections? Have you gained new insight? New partners?

The team had some great insight about the possibilities and ways of communication with local schools especially and the internal workings of multi academy trusts and their needs. The advise session helped us to network further in Plymouth, meet some great people working with children and wellbeing and gain some insight who can potentially provide part of our training locally, including LGBTQ+ awareness (by PLYMOUTH PRIDE) and SEND needs, which is really helpful. Diverse verbal and written advise and comments were helpful to not only improve our proposal, but to confirm our aims and the exact experience that we are offering more comprehensively. Altogether it helped us to be really clear about our service offer with all it’s layers.think it’s extremely important to consider the needs of LGBTQ+ folk and people with SEND needs. We could need some advise around how to navigate these questions.

Celebrating STEAM in the South West

Open Collective page

Collaborators

  • Seadream Education
  • Precious Plastic Plymouth
  • Tide Plymouth
  • South Dartmoor Energy Community
  • Lynher River Barge
  • Art & Energy

Collective’s aims and ideas

Our collective is called “Celebrate STEAM in the SW”. We want to share our passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths (STEAM) in a collective way. We are all small, but growing, organisations. Growing in numbers, growing in our reach, growing in confidence and abilities. Although very capable in our own right; each member of the collective has skills and knowledge to share with the collective effort and aim to celebrate STEAM. We want to collaborate to design and deliver fun, innovative and bespoke resources for community engagement and school outreach that are focused on renewable energy and climate change impacts.
We would like to use this collective funding opportunity to develop Immersive Reality resources that could be used with phones, virtual reality (VR) headsets and projected in a dome. Our output ideas and our route to achieve this are taking shape, thanks to the pop collective process. Our collaborative output is shaping into a film/ trailer type footage that weaves our individual stories seamlessly. Flowing with the common thread to show how we are all dealing with different aspects of the climate emergency and other environmental issues. This collaborative output is not a normal film, as we are talking 360 degree so it can be used with multimedia, including the new Plymouth dome development. Social distancing measures have forced us all to adapt and an opportunity, born from this, is the production of more creative on-line resources. Our aim would be to take our audience on an adventure. To discover the underwater, and less accessible areas of Plymouth Sound. We would be highlighting both the positive, incredible beauty and diversity of nature and the negative impact that we are having in some areas. We are aiming to empower our audience; to show them that there are many small accessible organisations within Plymouth who are trying to tackle these issues. We would like them to connect with us so that we can help them to make their own small difference and not to feel helpless in the face of environmental challenges. Virtual reality is becoming rapidly cheaper and more accessible. We bought a children’s cardboard VR goggle kit which is used with a tablet, you can build it yourself quickly and cheaply. The short film that we are proposing would be an exciting, novel experience which could be widely shared and accessed from home. We hope to reach a broader, more diverse audience, particularly engaging with young people through the use of high-tech resources, it is their future which we are most concerned about protecting. The new dome at the Royal William Yard is expected to have a Marine theme at its launch next Spring and it would be really exciting for us to showcase our film here to highlight what we are doing already within Plymouth.

What advice are they asking for?

Our collective have had really exciting discussions, discovered how our missions overlap, and formed collaborations and friendships. We aim to have collaborative working sessions where we will plan a storyboard, the audio content, the overall design, what and where to film. We aum to film the content ourselves as a fun activity, but we do have access to experts for support, and, plan for professionals to edit the film, funded by this collaborative project. Seadream is currently on the Ideate Plymouth programme, funded by Creative England, receiving mentoring for developing Immersive resources and is working towards collecting bespoke filmed material. Seadream have purchased a drone, a 360-degree camera, and underwater housing for the camera which can be used for the collective project.
In 2017 Juliette founded the non-profit community interest company Seadream Education. Seadreams mission is to bring exciting science and engineering outreach to instil passion, awe, knowledge, understanding and respect for the world around us. Juliette is a trained energy advisor and has collaborated with South Dartmoor Community Energy (SDCE) on their Net Zero Hero community project. Juliette has experience as a scientific researcher of wave energy resources, bringing transferable knowledge and contacts for tidal energy – hence the link with Tide Plymouth.
Tide Plymouth is aiming to deliver projects that showcase ​the potential of marine renewable energy. This is particularly relevant as Plymouth is world renowned for its research and innovation in the marine science and technology field.
Art and Energy have experience with QR codes and augmented reality and are keen to work with like-minded organisations. Through their recent COP 26, Moths to a Flame activity they have experience of delivering their message to a large audience using high-tech resources. Their current crowdfunder will enable them to work with the broader Plymouth community. They will engage with participants through creative activities, opening the conversational doorway to positive environmental action, and encouraging participants to engage with the other collective members.
Kate Crawfurd of Precious Plastic is an artist and a doctorate marine scientist; her combined creativity and strong scientific background will benefit the project and help to ensure that an attractive and clear educational message comes through any material produced.
Art and Energy aim to generate conversation, education and celebration of renewable energy options. With a focus on solar energy and running workshops to create solar artworks (effectively paintings with integrated solar cells that can charge a battery). Hands-on creativity is an amazing way to engage and empower participants. Our Moths to a Flame project, working with Plymouth Energy Community is recording the eco-hopes of many people, with the goal of creating a mass-participation art installation in Glasgow to coincide with COP 26.
As a collective we can draw on a wealth of skills and knowledge. We can work more economically (time wise), have fun and enjoy being a team, because these missions can be quite lonely, daunting, difficult and frustrating alone! This collaborative project also has potential to give each of us greater options for reaching different communities if COVID becomes a barrier to face-to-face engagement. Art and Energy, Tide Plymouth and SDCE are new exciting collaborations. Art and Energy, Seadream and Precious Plastic are also relatively new collaborations, having met at the beginning of March, through POP+ related collaborative activities. These collaborations being instigated by POP are immensely beneficial to our small organisations. Where there could have been competition for funding we are now in a much stronger position, working as a team on a joint project, helping each other, learning together and reaching a wider audience.

During the first round, POP members were asked to advise you. Tell us what happened. What are your reflections? Have you gained new insight? New partners?

From the peer review process, we have described the collective output, and, here we detail the budget.
The collaborative working is about shaping the output, and the POP collective bid process has initiated this. Several of the collective participants have had the opportunity to socially distant meet and we have forged new friendships as well as instigate good working relationships. We are currently spending time working out the detail of how our individual stories fit together.
Within our POP bid, we want to include some time for each of us to do collaborative working. Thus, the current 6 participants plan to devote 5 x half days (4 hours) to collaborative working and project development time, costed at £15 per hour = £1800. This will include activities like building the storyboard, suggesting footage to be filmed, as well as practical aspects such as confirming filming permissions. We are hoping to have fun getting the footage ourselves, hopefully with guidance from some professional filming friends! We don’t currently have any budget specifically for this. Seadream is keen and has recently acquired most of the equipment to get started.
The remaining £1200 we will contribute to the specialist outsourced cost to produce the immersive resource. We propose to use the reputable Plymouth based company, Volume, with whom Seadream is receiving mentoring thanks to Creative England.
The resource that we are aiming to complete will be a promotional, awareness raising, and, educational Immersive Resource that can be viewed through various media – for example high quality 360 footage for use with a VR headset, a tablet or in the new Plymouth dome development.
We hope to source further funding to build upon the length of the resource as we build our collaborative relationship.

Social Isolation Forum

Collaborators

  • Plymouth Befriending Communities Consortium
  • Honicknowle Comnet
  • Onward House
  • Thorn Park Pharmacy Trust
  • Beacon Park Social Prescribing
  • Colebrook South West

Collective’s aims and ideas

The issues of social isolation and loneliness have become an increasingly relevant factor in society and local communities. Though these issues have very different definitions they both have an important impact on people's mental and physical health and their quality of life.
The interplay of social and financial circumstances, health status, housing, local environment, transport, internet age, local infrastructure and education all play a part in isolating differing groups of people.
The lack of opportunity to mix socially takes many forms from the lack of physical places and buildings through a lack of appropriate activities, groups and social gatherings to a lack of support and transport to enable access to social experiences, creating an increasing inequalities – in health, social standing, financial and economic status and an awareness of living in the edge of society.
The main aims of the Forum are to raise awareness of social isolation and loneliness and to embed these issues into the strategic framework of the city to prevent the negative aspects of isolation and deliver a city that promotes a friendly inclusive environment. There is a need for all organisations in the statutory, community and voluntary and private sectors to work proactively to initiate early preventative input rather than use resources to provide a reactionary approach to the problems of social isolation and loneliness.
1) To identify the main organisations for which social isolation is a major factor in provision of services and what is available ;thus identifying gaps in provision. To look at specific factors which cause boundaries that prevent people accessing what support is presently available.
2) Identify areas in Plymouth that lack social infra-structure and opportunities for social contact.
3) Improve identification and access to the socially isolated who fall through the net. To collaborate with people who work closely within local communities and access individuals in their homes.
4). Campaign for these issues to play a major part in planning future services and community provision. To identify venues and green spaces that are currently underused that could be used for community activities and campaign to reduce the obstacles which restrict groups organising community events.
The issues of social isolation and loneliness cannot be tackled by any organisation, policy, action plan etc. The full understanding of these issues must become embedded in the way we ALL work, influencing and informing the planning of building projects and city construction, transport facilities, use of our environment, policy development and the co-ordination of all sector organisations across Plymouth.
As A Forum we have a range of grass-root experiences of the devastating effect of isolation and loneliness; we need to ensure this experience, local knowledge and our empathy is heard in the right places and influences strategic decision-making bodies.
We will do this by various means;
1) regular meetings of the Forum
2) Working sub-groups formed from the Forum to carry out specific tasks, actions and research
3) Close coordinated working with strategic bodies such as Loneliness Action Group headed by councilor Kate Taylor and the Health and Well-being Board
4) Promotion of the Forum and organisation of local community and city wide events.
5) City conference;
BRINGING PLYMOUTH TOGETHER
SOLUTIONS TO ISOLATION AND LONELINESS
Aims of Conference; 1) Raise awareness and reduce stima and stereotypes
2) Promote what is available and look at how we can remove barriers to accessing support
3) Issues to become part of the culture when planning the city's services, environment and policy making.
4) Bring all organisations , bodies and public together to contribute to the search for solutions

How will they work together to achieve this?

The Forum consists of members of the community and voluntary sector, representatives from Plymouth City Council and Public Healthy and staff from social prescribing teams and well-being hubs. The Forum has been meeting regularly since October 2019 and originated from a shared concern about the impact that social isolation and loneliness was having on our clients, the referrals we receive, the communities we deal with and the services we offer as different organisations. We realised that these issues went much further than the remit of our specific organisations and that we need to have an impact at a strategic and city wide level and to look at how isolation and loneliness can be reduced within the city.
At present the lead organsiation of the Forum is Plymouth Communities Befriending Consortium, who provide organisational, administrative and developmental support; the goal is to progress the Forum into a legal body of its own with a bank account and administrative facilities.
We have learnt a great deal from our initial gatherings; about each others organisations, their roles, the specific work that is carried out and the varying concerns that we all have around the impact of social isolation and loneliness. There has also been extremely useful exchanges of information, knowledge and experiences that have benefited us all. WHIlST SOME OF THE MEMBERS have met previously the formation of this group has introduced people from organisations not known to each other which has increased our individual learning curves and enabled us to appreciate different perspectives and experiences.
We meet as a Forum on a regular basis as well as arranging additional meetings that are arranged to investigate specific issues i.e. meeting with councilor Kate Taylor. We recognise that the Forum is a growing entity and that in order to work together effectively and ensure development and successfuil outcoimes for the Forum we need to;
1) Explore how we will communicate effectively and efficiently between members of the Forum, the sub-groups created by the Forum, between other organisations, community groups, individuals, statutory authorities and the private sector.
2) Constantly update and assess who needs to be involved in the Forum, what part they will play, what format will be most effective to ensure the best way for everyone to contribute towards the Forum.
3) Be flexible in how and when we meet and how members can have their say
4) Regular evaluation of the work and impact of the Forum.
The range of organisations involved bring many skills and strengths to the Forum from a grass root to a strategic level. Many members have played different roles within the community and voluntary sector and have planned, designed, run and evaluated a variety of projects across the communities of Plymouth and organised large city wide events.. The representatives of Plymouth City Council and Public Health give us the strategic input and knowledge that is fundamental to the success of the Forum.

The Forum is now participating in the City Council’s Loneliness Action Group and members of the Forum will be participating in the working groups that Councillor Kate Taylor is setting up. Councillor Taylor attended the Forum’s last meeting and is keen to engage with us.

The aims of the Forum are extensive and overwhelming but there are some positive steps that can be made quite simply. I attended a matinee performance at Theatre Royal; the play was centred around loneliness and isolation. Many attended the performance on their own but left immediately …would a warmer environment and maybe the inclusion of a facilitator ( story teller ) encourage people to stay and explore the themes

During the first round, POP+ members were asked to advise you. Tell us what happened. What are your reflections? Have you gained new insight? New partners?

The Forum was delighted to receive support and help from the POP panel.
Chris; Willing to help to involve faith input and pass on experiences from Torbay and assist in process of moving the Forum into a legal structure.
Bronwen; Interests in the issue of disability and emphasising the need to move more into inclusive involvement of people into inclusive involvement of people into groups rather than having specific groups for certain disabled. She has extensive skills and experience that she is happy to share with us as well as useful contacts in the art arena.Will also share research she has from ‘ Psychologists for Change ‘.
Caroline to offer support via her projects – I know Caroline from her work with the Velvet Cinema
It was a helpful, fulfilling experience to discuss the funding bid with a panel who’s main agenda was to offer support and practical help. All Forum members have a wide range of experiences regarding funding applications and the greatly differing ways in which applications are handled and the support available. Often the only support is written guidelines; I personally find some funders not keen to discuss projects in any sort of detail, referring to the guidelines and this is normally fine if your project fits in the box but can be an issue if you are looking for funding for a project that is a little different from the criteria. It is often very difficult to transfer and communicate fully the passion that organisations have for a project in the set restrictive questions with a limitation on number of words written.
The session gave us a lot to reflect on and we will be grateful for ongoing support. Thank you to all who took the time and trouble to attend our feedback session.

Kintsugi Radio

Open Collective page

Collaborators

  • The Kintsugi Project
  • Leadworks

Collective’s aims and ideas

We are we are tackling isolation, low self esteem and creating a community where people with disabilities (and/or mental health issues) are full members of society and using their strengths. We will support them to grow in confidence using many avenues from accessing our community garden to radio, arts and being part of a community at our base in Leadworks. Leadworks provides an ideal space for our community to mix with the community and to have a sense of belonging. It also offers the opportunity for other activities that are there; ranging from music events, artists, upcycling and fun! Hosting a radio show and speaking publicly grows confidence. Our online radio station will also broadcast live events that are staged at Leadworks.  My own son, used to attend such a project in Newton Abbot, he used to be shy, insular and low in confidence due to his disability.  Presenting and co-hosting his own shows has allowed him to grow  to the point that he now presents his own podcasts interviewing, such as DC Comic Book artist Richard Piers and Septimus Heap author Angie Sage. We want others to thrive in the growing community of Kintsugi Radio. The equipment we are using is very dated and we want to achieve getting a mixing desk that is user friendly, a second PC to store our music and additional mics and headphones. We are reaching out to other organisations and people with disabilities to collaborate with them. Our online Kintsugi Community which evolved during lockdown and is a vital part of our project going forward. A network of individuals and organisations is not only for Kintsugi and the people we serve but it is pivotal in demonstrating to society that we must look beyond labels and see the person and that this applies to all labels. Thus creating a rich and diverse society.

How will they work together to achieve this?

Kintsugi has directors that have wide experience ie Retired CEO, Community worker, clinical psychologist, an expert music technician with lived experience and myself. We have connected to a wide range  of people and need to expand this. Their skills range from, services personnel, dancers, artists, upcyclers, cinematographers, historians, to  health and wellbeing practitioners as well as other broadcasters and media production experts. Our first connection was the Royal navy and their injured personnel and next was Leadworks along with their aim to create the Eclective; we have moved to network with local community groups eg Pride in Plymouth, Letters to Plymouth and Hidden Lives. We work very closely with Leadworks as we help facilitate projects that allow people with a disability to get involved and to ensure that Leadworks is accessible. We have connected with performers, musicians, artists, Plymouth University, Plymouth College of Art, City College students, other community groups and many more and we wish to grow this. An example of this is having the opportunity to interview for the radio, Andy Quick who is a well known local musician who did a gig at Leadworks and this, in turn has led to other connections. We are also lookin to connect with a local DJ who had a stroke and who will offer DJ skills. We intend to create a community that has a happy band of presenters playing music, interviewing and enjoying the friendships that arise from that. This station is run by people with disabilities.

During the first round, POP members were asked to advise you. Tell us what happened. What are your reflections? Have you gained new insight? New partners?

This was an excellent opportunity to connect with POP and its members. We have taken on board the marketing advice and have been pleased to start to connect with the community radio contacts that we subsequently received. It also lead to us connecting to the Social Isolation and Loneliness forum which will enable us to ensure that disability is a part of their plans. So, even more connections! We have adjusted our application accordingly and have really valued the networking that POP encourages and enables.

Plymouth Eco Collective

Collaborators

  • Art & Energy
  • Pollenize
  • Plymouth Play Scrapstore
  • Clean Our Patch
  • Seadream Education
  • Precious Plastic Plymouth

Collective’s aims and ideas

Individually, our collective of small established organisations have a growing presence in Plymouth, each working in different but complimentary ways towards creating a greener, cleaner more sustainable Plymouth. We first met as a collective in early October 2020, our ideas have evolved significantly in this short time, but an immediate shared concern was that we all struggle to invite young people to join our activities; those beyond the age of family activities attending as a child, and before full adulthood. We believe that one way to reach this group is through the use of interactive technology. We propose to commission a series of AR artworks to entice and engage.
Engaging this age group seems particularly important as they are the ones who will be faced with an increasingly complex and challenging world in the face of climate change. We frequently hear of growing concerns about the mental wellbeing of this age group, so it feels particularly important to offer them ways to take constructive action. With apps and QR codes becoming a more general part of our world, these artworks will also be attractive to a wider demographic.
Our plan is to commission Plymouth-based Igneous Interactive (https://www.igneousinteractive.co.uk/armurals) to create a series of seven Augmented Reality artworks (one for each organisation involved). You look at the artwork through the Igneous app on your phone or tablet, and the artwork comes to life in a short animation. There will also be an audio message prompting green behaviour relating to the imagery, and a clickable link to the organisation’s website or facebook page.
The artworks can be used anywhere we can print them…
• We can display them in windows to create a sort of walking tour, with the potential to be moved to a different part of Plymouth every few months.
• They can be placed inside as framed artworks along a corridor somewhere like the University or council offices.
• We can print them as a series of collectable postcards.
• We could also commission a mural artwork including all of the small artworks combined.
• They can be included within dry business reports to add a bit of excitement.
• They can be printed in newspapers, magazines and other publications.
• The potential is really rather exciting as they can be reproduced in a range of scales from business cards to billboards!
The use of AR means that they are so much more than just posters! They’re fun and funky and are more likely to be shared and to generate conversation and engagement. The Igneous Interactive App will collect basic data to evidence the number of times that the artworks are activated.
We represent just a small number of the many amazing organisations working in Plymouth. With additional funding we would love to invite others to join us to promote their offerings too. A fab way to celebrate and promote local socially active organisations and messages.
Price-wise, Igneous have quoted somewhere between £240 and £480 per small AR artwork depending on complexity and whether we provide them with the initial artworks. The POP fund is for <£3k, we’ve applied for the full amount. I suggest that we set aside £2250 for Igneous to create the 7 artworks, leaving £750 for printing. We plan to start with a poster trail around the Stonehouse area. Please do contact us if you can help us to share it in other parts of the city, or have ideas for future funding streams.

How will they work together to achieve this?

Individually we all have the experience of establishing, running and promoting our own organisations. There is a rich wealth of experience and skills within the collective.
Seadream, and Pollenize CIC bring with them a more academic/research-based view of the climate issues we are all concerned about, whilst Plymouth Scrapstore, Art and Energy, Rebel Botanists and Precious Plastics provide a more art-based creative approach. Clean Our Patch and Plymouth Scrapstore particularly excel at creating a sense of community and inviting people to get involved. Between us we have a number of experienced educators, working with a range of ages and backgrounds. Having a strong online presence is important to us all, though as emerging organisations we have approached it in a variety of ways; there is much we can learn from one another, and we already frequently share one another’s social media posts as our core messages are so strongly entwined.
We have all experienced the highs and lows of being relatively small organisations competing for funding… though having said that we do not see one another as rivals, happily sharing opportunities that we spot that may be better suited to another organisation. This is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate!
There is history of small collaborations within the collective, but this is the first time we will come together to work on a project. In addition to the proposal set out here, our recent conversations have sparked of many more new and exciting collaborations. At this time of social distancing and increased isolation it has been very stimulating to form a new collective of like-minded enthusiastic people!
For many, the Climate Emergency creates a sense of anxiety and guilt which can switch people off getting involved or making change. The challenge can be so complex that it is hard to know what to do, or where to start. Each of our organisations offers ways to take constructive action: engaging and appreciating the natural world around us, reusing the items that we’re in the habit of throwing in the bin, clearing up the rubbish that hasn’t made it to the bin, and making our homes more energy efficient.
Not only are we and our members making small changes to improve Plymouth’s environment, we are doing so through a hands-on, community, creative, fun and light-touch educational way. We are bringing together like-minded people from all walks of life and creating communities. Eco-anxiety and isolation is on the rise. Look out of your window and the environmental issues around us can feel massively overwhelming, but approach them together and we can make a difference!

What advice are they asking for?

We received excellent feedback from Jackie Young at Environment Plymouth. She asked us to describe our activities and how the funding would specifically be used to realise our plans. This was really useful to us. We’d already had conversations as a collective, coming up with several possible courses of action. Looking at the specifics we decided that one strategy was too ambitious. We all agreed that an original suggestion of a trail was important to our final course of action. It is always useful to have a clear financial proposition at the beginning of a project especially when commissioning a relatively new creative organisation.
A second suggestion from Jackie was that we should have a clear environmental message. We are all environmentally-minded organisations, and it may have appeared that we were just promoting our organisations. This feedback prompted us to discuss how we would attach succinct messages to our artworks in order to prompt the viewer to take action. In our discussion with POP, Matt suggested adding a voiceover to the animation. We checked with Igneous Interactive who said it would be an easy addition. We decided to attach a challenge/message to each artwork, one that was relevant to the particular organisation’s goal; a call to action prompting a simple behavioural change to benefit the environment. Some of the messages we felt important, such as : “Think before you buy-do you need it? Could you borrow it?” point us to new partners, who are already POP members. Matt also pointed us towards the organisations within the Greenminds project, We would hope to include more of these organisations in the future. To sum this up, the feedback from Jackie and Matt helped us to focus our plan, opened up new strategic avenues and suggested further collaborative partnerships that we could make.

Mayflower Drama Project

Collaborators

  • Transforming Plymouth Together
  • Plymstock Chapel
  • 4front

Collective’s aims and ideas

To increase the knowledge and awareness of the story behind the Mayflower journey, to enhance the understanding of school children and of the wider community with regard to the issues of tolerance within society and help people to come together in the way we live. We wish to raise questions and discussions about the reason why the pilgrims felt they had to leave the UK, and how this relates to issues today, such as refugees, modern slavery, religious freedom, acceptance of different vies and beliefs. Also to help the community to understand and address some of the big questions that we have in Plymouth today.
We would like all to understand from a faith point of view why the Mayflower story is so important to us today and how we need to commemorate it rather than just celebrate it. We will be using a series of Recorded parts of an hours play(before Covid) we had hoped to bring this live to schools, churches and community venues with actors. We will then in schools, holding a number of sessions and creating discussions to help to raise the issues that are raised. We will be using teachers, church and community youth workers to facilitate these. We will be producing digital resources that can be used within schools and wider to facilitate thoughts and discussion on what they have seen. Also we will be looking to invite local people from many different diverse communities to input. This is important , one to raise the real faith story and second to help influence youngsters and the wider community of the issues that the Mayflower story raises and how they are so relevant to today.

How will they work together to achieve this?

We have already worked with the Mayflower team and have received a contribution towards the cost of production, and raised other funds from Christian charities We have a small team working on this from Transforming Plymouth Together with project management skills, connections and contacts through the city, social and digital media knowledge and skills, expertise in the Mayflower story. From CTiP we have the church connections into the youth groups and schools with the ability to connect with the younger audience. 4Front theatre group who have written and produced the play. Youth workers and school teachers with the ability to facilitate and bring out the thoughts and views of the children and to help influence the thinking of future generations. From the BAME community, and other minority groups, the current challenges around refugees and asylum seekers, modern slavery intolerance and discrimination.
Some of us have worked together before and by focusing on a specific project around this time, will enable us to seek ways that the links can build for the future. With this specific topic I believe that this is an ideal group to come together at this time. During this project we have worked with a number of schools and educators to ensure that what we provide is something that they would want and be happy to use.

What advice are they asking for?

We have received some really good advice and also offers of help from the Woseley Trust with connections and work with schools in Stonehouse, as a knew partner. We are also going to contact the ‘Box’ to link with them and potentially see if the production might, in time be included in their presentation. We had some useful written feedback and challenge, as well as the conversations during our feedback session.. This has enabled us to rethink our thoughts and ideas around how to engage with the schools, especially now that Teachers have to educate through digital media as part of the curriculum, and this could also be a resource for teachers that are able to share with youngsters at home. As part of our presentation to the schools, we will also link with the RAS network and Plymouth Hope, so that we are better informed of the issues of inclusion. To encourage a more gracious attitude to those who are refugees and asylum seekers in Plymouth today. We will also reflect on how the whole project can connect with the Trauma informed network and its values of Kind, Empowering, Celebrative and person centred.
From some of our conversations, it also showed that their is a lack of understanding of the faith story and some of the reasons behind the Pilgrims leaving England, and this has emphasised the need and our desire to tell this story with authenticity from their point of view, and this has encouraged us that the story is there to be told.

Digital Inclusion

Open Collective page

Collaborators

  • Borrow Don’t Buy
  • Timebank South West

Collective’s aims and ideas

The project idea came from those individuals who are disconnected, isolated, and overwhelmed by the effect that COVID-19 and lockdowns are having on the way we live, work, and study. Borrow Don’t Buy, supported by Nudge Community Builders and previous funding from the National Lottery, gathered old digital devices such as computers, laptops, tablets, and phones to repurpose and recycle them so that local people can gain access to digital services, support and to help children to complete their schoolwork online during the C19 crisis (and beyond). The project, primarily based around Stonehouse was a huge success. Nudge Community Builders gave away 61 laptops, 3 desktop PC’s, 20 phones, and 15 tablets. Almost 100 devices were given to families and individuals to help address the difficulties of Covid and of technology poverty in general. Now we need your help again to continue the hard work of recycling and repairing devices and to work with a range of new partners across the city to increase our impact. We want to work with Timebank South West to collect, clean, repurpose and redistribute at least another 50 devices to increase our reach in the city to a new range of people. A minimum of 50 devices delivered have the potential to directly improve the livelihood of 50-200 people. We want to increase our volunteer input (Currently the project has utilised hundreds of hours of volunteer time but we want to use this as a tool to teach new skills in the technology sector) and we want to tackle technology poverty and make sure no one is left behind during the Covid Pandemic. Since Covid-19 Timebank South West has had to adapt from working face to face with people in their eight neighbourhood timebanks to doing everything online including, hosting weekly socials, activities, and supporting skill exchanges. This experience has identified that many of Timebank’s beneficiaries either have no access to the internet or cannot afford a device or have a lack of knowledge on how to use it. Even those with a device and some I.T knowledge told us they were struggling to get to grips with everything going online including banking, grocery shopping, doctor appointments, ordering prescriptions, universal credit, and paying bills. We aim to improve our beneficiaries’ well-being by providing a device and support on how to do these things online. We want to make sure that no one is left out and that young and old have access to technology to help them stay connected with the world during this time of isolation. There are literally thousands of devices which can be put into use and saved from landfill and never has it been more important for people to remain socially connected, if not physically.

How will they work together to achieve this?

Plymouth has a strong community and voluntary sector who have been providing extra support to individuals and families in need during the crisis. Partnerships have been formed to provide food and medicine pick-up for those who needed to shield.

We would like to provide a seamless support service of digital inclusion that enables individuals and families in need to access I.T devices and connect online. The collective will utilise the expertise and experience of both our organisations, Borrow Don’t Buy and Timebank SW while inviting other organisations to get involved. Borrow Don’t Buy will repair and refurbish donated I.T devices. Timebank will pass on the repaired equipment to those in need and our volunteers will provide one-to-one support to individuals on how to use the device, how to connect remotely with family and friends, how to pay bills, and how to do grocery shopping online.

We want to use a local volunteer network to help collect the devices using a zero contact collection system, collating them with a range of local community facilities and then using a team of volunteers to create storage bags, information, and zero contact delivery.

Borrow Don’t Buy and Timebank Southwest are already working together in another collective (that includes Scrapstore and Makers HQ) to nurture and promote a repairing movement in Plymouth.

During the first round, POP members were asked to advise you. Tell us what happened. What are your reflections? Have you gained new insight? New partners?

We both found the session immensely helpful as it gave us time to speak about the purpose and aims of our project, our reasoning and how we came together to form a partnership based on our shared values, mutual trust and understanding of the need. In describing our project to the advisors who we felt were genuinely supportive, helped us to reinforce our belief that our project is needed. The advisors asked relevant and searching questions which made us reflect on the scale of need which is far greater than just one project. We were generously given useful leads which we plan to follow up to help strengthen our project and open discussion that could lead to a wider digital inclusion partnership.

JC’s Youth

Open Collective page

Collaborators

  • New4Youth and JC’s Drop-in
  • Arrows (Children’s Group)

Collective’s aims and ideas

New4You Youth Group and JC’s Drop-in for teenagers has run on a Friday night in the city centre for nearly 20 years, building important relationships with the young people who attend and providing a much needed facility. The young people come from nearly every postcode across the city and the youth group and drop-in has been one of the only facilities of this kind in the city centre for many years now.

We try to provide a safe place for teenagers and during Covid this has been really difficult. We are looking for funding to facilitate how we do this by provision of a youth worker. There is a continuous issue with young people in the city centre especially at the weekends and for many years we have provided a venue for them to meet on Friday nights and engage in more positive activities. Unfortunately we have been unable to open due to Covid since the 13th of March. We want to be able to future proof youth provision in the city centre, especially as the need hasn’t gone away.

We have worked over the years closely with the police and have built good relationships. They are at present looking at their response to young people especially on Friday and Saturday nights and have stated that they would be looking to involve partners like ourselves. One of the ideas we have put forward is some detached work on a Friday night similar to Street Pastors and this has been welcomed.

We want to be a refuge and help young people who don’t feel they belong and often congregate in the city centre. POP+ funding has helped to refurbish our youth facility which is currently closed due to restrictions. We now want to provide what we can and reopen safely when restrictions lift. Normally in the JC’s youth area there are groups for 8 – 11’s, 11-16’s and up to 18 in the youth drop in. Work has gone online and when restrictions lifted in the summer there was an opening of some face to face youth work. Our goal now is to do some detached work in conjunction with the police as well as the online presence we have at present.

With this funding we would be able to employ a part time youth worker to help coordinate this project until September 2021. At present our funding streams have been put on hold due to Covid restrictions. We believe it is important to do whatever we can in these hugely challenging days. It is important for the development of the youth themselves and to have a dedicated youth worker coordinating all of this is really needed. We have a small amount of funding to pay for a children and youth worker on an annualised contract but it won’t cover the full year. Our youth intern from last year is at present doing this propping it up with income from work at Morrisons. He himself has had to completely change his plans due to the pandemic. We are looking to increase funding for this post to keep it going until September 2021 especially as the work reopens face to face. At present it is all done online. The proposed worker is 19 years old and works across the children’s and youth groups who have together formed this collective with New4You Youth, JC’s youth drop-in and Arrows.

How will they work together to achieve this?

The collective team brings in lots of professional expertise and has many strengths.
A teacher who has taken early retirement to pursue other interests and who has lots of energy and enthusiasm to work with young people.
A retired naval officer who taught naval cadets and has worked across the globe. The young people love this guy who is like a grandad figure to them.
A nurse who is amazing with young people with physical issues…they come in shouting at times “where’s the nurse”.
A mum who works in administration who has fantastic listening skills and is perceptive to the needs of young people.
A previous Physical Education teacher who now does youth administration looking at all aspects of risk assessment and safeguarding having previously done training in outdoor pursuits.
A young person who’s recently done official youth work training and has digital skills for the online work.
The team are working together because they have been helping provide youth and children’s work as part of a larger organisation for many years. The collective have worked together to provide special events, camps including attending youth festivals with groups and overseas trips. They have completed training in necessary skills such as first aid, food hygiene and safeguarding. It’s a great team.

During the first round, POP+ members were asked to advise you. Tell us what happened. What are your reflections? Have you gained new insight? New partners?

The partners advised us of the youth work that was happening in the localities surrounding the city centre. We felt it would be interesting to speak to leaders of groups working with youth such as The Barefoot Project in Whitleigh. In the city centre there is mainly detached youth work provided by the statutory Youth Service. JC’s drop in and New4You youth groups have had contact with the two detached workers as well as the police. JC’s drop-in and New4You are the main venue based youth work in the city, having developed, as an identified need by Plymouth City Council (PCC). The present PCC Community Youth Service Officer spoke of the need for collaboration between those working with young people and advised, of the National Youth Agency giving updates for those working with young people. After this pandemic there could be immense need and it was recognised that for best results collaboration was needed. The uniqueness of the city centre was identified in that it attracts teenagers from all localities across the city and is not territorial. A member of POP+ put forward the idea of a Youth Networking Group. This would be excellent for getting to know who does what and were. There is potential for some very good links and working together. We have been invited to attend the detached youth workers team meeting arranged in January 2021, by Community Youth Service Manager from Plymouth City Council. If ultimately, this benefits the young people we are trying to serve, that would be excellent.