Plymouth Mental Health Recovery & Empowerment Group


● Livewell South West

● Heads Count (Colebrook South West)

● Hope in the Heart CIC

● Devon Mind

● Marbles Lost and Found

● Truwellbeing

● You’re Not Alone Plymouth


Collective’s aims and ideas

We know from research and personal testimony that empowerment is a crucial component of mental health recovery. This evidence also shows that when professionals and people with lived experience bring their knowledge together to support others in learning about recovery, this can be highly empowering. A good example is the development of ‘recovery colleges’, which provide open access courses to anyone in the community with an interest in mental health. All courses are co-produced by professionals and people with lived experience and support people to learn about recovery and explore different ways of understanding mental health and improving wellbeing.

Although Plymouth has a thriving mental health peer support community, there is limited co-production or opportunity for learning about mental health recovery in the community. We are a group of mental health professionals and people with lived experience of mental health difficulties wanting to work together to share our knowledge, to inspire and support others. We aim to co-produce a series of educational workshops on recovery and wellbeing topics that will be open to anyone with an interest in learning about mental health. The workshops will take place in community venues and be free of charge.

We hope that these workshops will have similar benefits to those that have been found in the evaluation of recovery colleges: supporting people to manage their mental health and move forward in their lives, increasing social support and reducing stigma. We will evaluate our workshops by asking people to complete a short questionnaire about what they have gained from it. We hope that the workshops will enable people to feel more confident in sharing their own experiences of mental health, and perhaps become involved in developing and delivering workshops themselves. We will gather expressions of interest, to build a local network of experts by experience so that we can continually build on what we can provide. We also aim to collate information about the

range of mental health resources available locally so that we can signpost effectively and enable our participants to follow up on learning from the workshops.

If we are able to secure funding we will use this to pay for:

• The time of our unsalaried contributors. Many of our members with lived experience have given their time voluntarily to developing the project and are either unwaged or self-employed and it is important to offer payment for their contribution. A similar project in Devon, the Devon Recovery Learning Community, pays tutors at a rate of £10 per hour, with an hour’s preparation fee for every hour of live workshop time (e.g. delivering a 2.5 hour course would have a payment of £50).

• We expect that the majority of any funding would therefore be directed to small community organisations focussed on peer support and learning from lived experience. However, a small portion may be used to reimburse the larger organisations, Colebrook SW and Devon Mind, for their expertise in service user engagement and the logistical support that they can offer.

• Consumable materials: we will probably mostly use existing resources held by our members but we may want to produce handouts or other teaching materials.

• Publicity and online information: as well as using social media to publicise our work, we will produce some physical publicity material (posters and flyers) and develop our own website where people can access online resources to support their ongoing learning, whether or not they are able to attend courses in person.

• Community venues: we will attempt to identify venues that are free of charge but we may need to make use of some venues with fees attached.

We have conducted a small survey to establish what content people using and working in mental health services would find most helpful. The most popular responses were: learning about ways of coping with mental health difficulties, hearing lived experience, learning about extreme moods and the effects of trauma. We have also had some feedback suggesting that people are interested in learning more about medication and medication withdrawal. Our initial workshops will therefore aim to have this focus, although we have a wide range of expertise in the group which we will shape what we can deliver.


How will they work together to achieve this?

We are working together as we recognise the power of co-produced knowledge. We believe that through collectively offering our different forms of expertise, we can give people hope, challenge stigma and support people to move forward from mental health challenges. Many of our lived experience contributors have worked together before, as members of a strong peer support community but group working across the professional – peer support boundary is a new initiative. Our professional members have knowledge and experience of co-production processes and we have quickly been able to establish a shared vision and goals.

The contribution from each member will be:

Livewell SouthWest- Elina Baker, Claire Whiter, Flippa Watkeys (Mental health professionals). We have theoretical and clinical knowledge about the causes of mental health challenges and strategies for managing them effectively . We have experience of facilitating co-production and bringing recovery education to the community and belong to national professional networks that can offer support, advice and resources.Colebrook Southwest- Heads Count. We are a user led network for mental health service users, carers and everyone with experience of or affected by mental health matters. We support people to get involved and be heard, and raise awareness about the importance of mental health and wellness. We can contribute to the planning and development of workshops through bringing our own expertise by experience, as well as the views and experiences of our members. We also have a member with graphic design skills who has contributed to the development of our logo.Hope in the Heart is a Community Interest Company led by Tam Martin Fowles. Our focus is on inspiring improved mental health and wellbeing. All our staff and directors have lived experience of mental health and associated issues. We offer training to organisations as well as workshops and courses for community members. We bring knowledge and experience of co-production and of delivering community workshops to support mental health recovery and learning from lived experience.

Devon Mind- We are a mental health provider who already provide a range of courses and peer support groups. We are interested in broadening the range of opportunities that are available for learning about mental health recovery and are keen to support the development of more co-produced content. In particular we are offering support to the group with administration and publicity.

Marbles Lost and Found- a mental health information hub, community website and support group, run by Nicky Nurrish, a person with lived experience. Marbles offers anyone struggling with mental health issues support, guidance and wellbeing tips and tools from those with lived and professional experience. I am able to contribute knowledge from personal experience and the experiences of my contributors and users. I am also able to offer support with website hosting and developing social media.

Truwellbeing – Life and Health Coaching, founded and run by Bianca Flood, who has lived experience of depression, C.F.S and Fibromyalgia, Bianca offers a combination of counselling, coaching, nutritional therapy and neuro-linguistic programming to help people develop a holistic focus for their recovery. Bianca brings both expertise by experience and skills and experience in running group workshops to support recovery in relation to stress, anxiety, low mood and physical conditions exacerbated by stress.

You’re Not Alone Plymouth is a support group run by Hayley Burbage who has lived experience. We hold weekly coffee mornings as well as having online support via a private Facebook group. I am able to bring expertise on developing support groups and knowledge from my own and my member’s experiences on what might be helpful in planning and developing workshops.


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 had some generally positive feedback and learnt about the work of Wellbeing Workshops CIC and the good work they are doing around using ideas from positive psychology to develop wellbeing in communities. We saw this as a complementary offer to what we are planning which will focus more specifically on recovery from mental health difficulties. We were encouraged to think about evaluating our workshops and also how to build from an initial small-scale offer, developing a bank of resources. Consequently we have agreed to develop evaluation questionnaires, proactively gather expressions of interest from participants to build a group of experts by experience and develop our own website where our teaching resources can be accessed and we can provide information about other resources in the city that can support someone with the next steps in their recovery.

Refugee Resettlement Support Fund


  • OHOB – Open Hearts Open Borders
  • START – Students and Refugees Together
  • DCRS – Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support

Describe your aims and ideas

Refugee Resettlement Support.

The scope of this project and fund, is simply about making those who have either been resettled here or are seeking asylum, to feel safe and welcome in the city. The way we achieve this, is by supporting them at a foundational level with access to essentials items and services. We want those who have fled conflict to feel welcome and give them confidence to rebuild their lives without fear. Whilst also providing the support to create a home once again or an environment which is comfortable and not full of broken or stained items, or electrical goods that do not work. This is such an important part of resettlement and for those seeking asylum, especially they are traumatised by their experiences. It is so important especially for the children that they feel welcome and know that they are cared for within the wider community. What better to show this then through this type of provision. A donated broken fridge or stained mattress doesn’t really show care for others and is not a great start to a new life!

In 2016 a government community grant was cut impacting on many people, and affected the refugee community quite negatively; with less access to funds and support this cut was noticeable. So, due to social media support OHOB decided to create the Resettlement Support Project to support organisations, such as START and DCRS in Plymouth to provide them with what was needed for their service users. Since this time the project has been supporting 100’s of refugee families and individuals as well as asylum seekers across the city.

Through referrals from DCRS and START, OHOB provide either furniture, white goods, payments for goods and services, travel costs, clothing, food vouchers and various smaller household items; support is provided to new mothers and their babies, as some cannot access the maternity grant. OHOB have also provided hot plates and fold-away beds (for refugees/asylum seekers in temporary accommodation) and have helped with storage, and furniture delivery costs.

To sustain the project OHOB have received previous grants and funding, and put together fundraisers and small events to raise the funds needed. In the last 2 years, OHOB has spent nearly £20,000 across the city on various payments, and purchases for items needed; this has even included educational resources during lockdown. Support is provided which may not be accessed elsewhere. The need increases each year, so the amount spent inevitably increases too!

The requests and referrals are fulfilled by either: purchasing or ordering the items and getting them delivered direct; at times items are sourced from the community; small grants are provided, or payments are made for goods and services. If there is not enough money in the budget items fundraisers are set up in the community. We work with local businesses to provide the furniture and white goods and have policies and procedures in place to support the project, but what makes the project unique is that support and assistance is provided quickly and efficiently because of the circumstances of the client or service user. We believe in support and aid with dignity, we believe in providing what they need, rather than what others think they need. Now with the situation in Afghanistan this support and type of project is required more than ever.

Describe how will you work together to achieve this.

For the last 5 years, OHOB, START and DCRS have been working closely together with resettlement support; OHOB have been providing items, funding or small grants required to support their service users with what is needed. OHOB receive referrals and these are processed quickly and smoothly and they have always been flexible. START and DCRS know their service users very well and what they need, and combined we have a good working relationship built on trust and understanding of need for the service users. OHOB are always happy to provide where they can and have been organising and delivering this type of support for many years, they have the skills administratively, logistically and the fundraising capabilities. OHOB will make phone calls to order items, go direct to the collect item, order online, or source items from what has been donated. They have become quite skilled at it! OHOB even have our own delivery driver who has delivered many a fridge freezer and sofa. He also does some work for START and helps to move refugee families across the country.

As a collective we met to discuss the fund and felt that it was a much needed resource which could be utlised by the three organisations to support what was needed especially in areas which other funders may not support. Often purchases, grants or payments can take time to come through for service users from other charities, and additionally they may not be able to fund the request, but OHOB have a good system in place whereby they understand the need and how this can sometimes be instant. OHOB do not have long drawn out processes for the START and DCRS service users and staff, and this is understood and welcomed; OHOB can provide support as and when needed and this fund will continue to help to do that.

As a collective we want to provide support which is dignified and not subject to reams and reams of paperwork – it needs to be accessible and simplistic in its structure and serve the purpose it was set up for. The three organisations work well with this, and will continue to do so.

During the first round, POP members will be asked to advise you. What advice would be most helpful?

Ways that the resettlement support service could be improved – perhaps gaining some ideas direct from refugees and asylum seekers as to what may need and what they would like to access which they can’t

Are there any local businesses that we can support direct with any purchases we make (we like to support local businesses when sourcing specific items)

Community Food Cycle


  • Bikespace CIC
  • Drift Advice
  • Four Greens Community Trust

Collective’s aims and ideas

Our idea is to create a pilot project that will deliver food bank items to those in need in the community of Whitleigh. The food will be delivered using electric Cargo bikes. Deliveries will happen 1-2 times a week (depending on demand) over a 3 month period.
The aim of the project is to:
Deliver food to isolated and vulnerable community members.
Show how zero carbon transport alternatives can replace petrol / diesel vans.

This project is based on the experience of Bikespace working with Four Green Community Trust. Four Greens borrowed a cargo bike to do food bank deliveries, which was successful. Funding is now required to expand that initial pilot project and understand what works, how can this be expanded to other parts of the city and what is the true cost to deliver this type of project.

This project will see Bikespace going to Four Greens each week and deliver food bank parcels to local people in Whitleigh. We would expect to reach at least 10 families on a weekly basis. The project will last for 3 months, this will enable us to understand how the project works, what works well and how we can improve it.

The project is important because it will help tackle food poverty and isolation in Whitleigh (for those who can’t get to Fourgreen’s to pick up food) and showcase the potential of a zero carbon transport alternative, which will educate people about other methods of delivery.

We want to achieve the following outcomes:
Reduce food poverty in communities.
Increase the awareness of zero carbon alternative transport methods.

We believe this is important because it means people who are still isolated from COVID can receive much needed food. It will support those who lack confidence to get food from a food bank because they may be embarrassed by their situation, and showcase the potential of alternative transport vehicles.

How will they work together to achieve this?

Bikespace has experience of working with Four Green Community Trust and has a very positive relationship with their team. Mark Rowles is excited by this pilot project and is very keen to see the impact electric cargo bikes have on food bank deliveries.
Paul from Drift has worked with both Gareth from Bikesapce and Mark from Four Greens, Paul will use his experience of project management and evaluation to support the creation and monitoring of the project. The evaluation report will inform future applications to expand on these projects in the future.

Bikespace will bring the bikes and experience of cargo bike delivery to this project. The Bikespace team will maintain and manage deliveries. The team will collect food from shops and of course deliver to families.
Four Greens will collect and store food bank items. They will also compile the details of those who require food bank deliveries.
Drift will support the setup of the project and develop the monitoring and evaluation process. Drift will also produce the final report.

The partnership covers all the bases to ensure this is a successful project, which is professionally delivered and evaluated.
The joint skills and experience should ensure that this project grows in the future and hopefully inspire similar projects across Plymouth.

During the first round, POP members will be asked to advise you. What advice would be most helpful?

We would like advice on how to roll the project out further in to Plymouth if the pilot is successful.

Re-opening Welcome Hall


  • Zebra Collective
  • Fotonow CIC

Collective’s aims and ideas

We are working to re-open Welcome Hall on Fore Street in Devonport as a community run centre. The building operated as a community centre until early 2020 when it closed due to the retirement of the manager, on whose goodwill the charity had relied for its continuing operations. The Council owns Welcome Hall and is willing to offer a 35 year lease at a low rental to a community led organisation, if we can show that we have local support and a feasible business plan. We are currently looking at financial feasibility, building redevelopment and community engagement. This bid focuses on community engagement. Our work is guided by Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) principles – seeking what is strong in communities and what people can contribute. We plan a period of engagement where we will gather not only the views of local people on what they would like to see happening in Welcome Hall, but also how they can make this happen. To work towards this, we have set up a community group of local people who are already active in Devonport to input into planning of the community engagement. We have developed a questionnaire to guide conversations and set up a Facebook group which has very quickly attracted 250 members. We now need capacity to go out and have these conversations in a variety of local settings. We will work with the Community Heritage Network to bring social history into these conversations and look to initiate a project around the social history of Welcome Hall. In addition, we plan to run a project where local people will be supported to make a short film describing what Welcome Hall means to people, and their ambitions for it. This work is important to ensure that the project is community led from the start, and will also enable us to demonstrate to Plymouth City Council that the local community both wish to see Welcome hall re-opened, and want to be involved in making this happen.

We will produce a short film and report to show the findings of the community engagement.

How will they work together to achieve this?

We are working together as we all bring different, but essential skills to the project. Zebra Collective is working with the Council to secure the transfer of the lease of Welcome Hall to the community, and also has extensive experience of community work, both engagement and development, e.g. establishing and running time banks across poorer neighbourhoods in Plymouth from 2011-2017 (when this project became an independent entity), founding Plymouth Octopus Project in 2013 and developing it until

October 2016 when it became an independent entity owned by the city’s community and voluntary sector; running resident engagement programmes in the context of large-scale housing regeneration in North Prospect (2012-15) and Barne Barton 2015-18). In addition, Zebra itself has been based in Devonport throughout its 18 years, and one member has been an resident and activist here for 25 years.

Fotonow brings together expertise in education, community development and media production to run creative projects that make a difference to people’s lives. Fotonow has undertaken multiple projects using photography and film to engage with people – in this project they will work with local people to support them to make a short film about Welcome Hall and what re-opening it would mean for the local community.

In our summer of engagement, the partners will work together and each fulfil the following roles:

Fotonow – run a project supporting local people to produce a short film about what re-opening Welcome Hall means to the community

Zebra Collective – will be out in the community having conversations with local people at places such as shops, summer play schemes, Devonport Park, Mount Wise pools etc: we’ll be asking people about re-opening Welcome Hall, and what they could bring to the project (e.g. volunteering, being part of the Board, hiring rooms for their group etc)

During the first round, POP members will be asked to advise you. What advice would be most helpful?

Zebra has been working on this project since October 2019, and we’ve been developing this summer conversations engagement programme for some time. We have been soliciting thoughts from and collaborations with individuals, groups and organisations throughout, so that we now have a strong team and are confident in what we’re doing. Thus, we are not actively seeking further input.
However, of course all thoughts from other POP members, drawn from the wisdom of experience and knowledge etc., will be welcomed.

Life After Lockdown


● Wellbeing Workshops Devon CIC

● Colebrook SW

● Memory Matters CIC


Collective’s aims and ideas

Wellbeing Workshops, Colebrook and Memory Matters will work together to produce and deliver dementia friendly and inclusive wellbeing workshops to the community. The workshops will aim to reduce anxiety around reintegrating into society after the lockdown, whilst also equipping those in attendance with the skills, knowledge and understanding to manage and maintain their own wellbeing throughout their lifespan. To achieve this, we will work together to produce a series of wellbeing workshops which embed elements of positive psychology. A recent report completed by the Lancet COVID-19 community recommends the use of positive psychology methods to improve wellbeing and positive emotions, as a low-cost evidence-based strategy which improves community wellbeing and increases positive emotions.

Throughout the pandemic and multiple lockdowns, mental health and wellbeing has been highlighted as a cause of concern and an area which needs to be focused on. During this time the community has become isolated, lonely, and anxious about leaving the house. Our series of in-person workshops will give these people a safe area to reintegrate into the community and develop their confidence, whilst also equipping them with the skills, knowledge and understanding to enable to manage their own wellbeing. Not only supporting them within the present time but also within the future.

We plan to deliver 12, 2-hour workshops across 6 weeks. One on a weekday and one on a weekend to make the workshops accessible for more people, in total we will aim to have 30-40 participants across both sites.

The workshops will include the following objectives, aims and topics. However, if there is a change within restrictions, we may alter the content to reflect this.


To begin to equip the community with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to manage and maintain their own wellbeing.

Specific Workshop Aims:

• To reduce anxiety around reintegrating back into the community after lockdown

• To develop knowledge and understanding of how the pandemic has affected you as an individual and how you can use this to grow

• To give the community an opportunity to discuss and share their experiences within the pandemic

1. What is wellbeing and what does it mean to you? How did lockdown effect your wellbeing at the time and what challenges do you have going forward?

2. Reintegrating into the community – what emotions does this bring up for you? How can you manage these emotions?

3. Understanding yourself in the new world – identity focused – post traumatic growth

4. Happiness – what are your expectations, have they changed from before covid to now? what does happiness look like to you going forward?

5. Mindset – what mindset do you currently think you have? How can we use what we have learnt in the pandemic to shape and change this?

6. Final action plan for managing your wellbeing post-lockdown and being prepared the unknown

Throughout the workshops we will continually collect feedback and use this to help shape what we do and the content which we deliver. Also, at the beginning and the end of the workshops we will use a validated wellbeing questionnaire which will enable us to evaluate the impact of the workshops. We will also use the feedback to work out as a collective which direction we should take the workshops after the funding e.g. paid by participant workshops/look for further funding to continue with the workshops.


How will they work together to achieve this?

This will be the first time each of the organisations have worked together.

As part of this bid Colebrook SW will provide community premises, refreshments and staff to support the programme for 2hpw for 6 weeks. Colebrook SW will also market the programme through our social media, wellbeing hub, Colebrook’s support services and other networks as well as the diverse range of community members we work with. Memory matters will provide exploring dementia training, work with all organisations to ensure the workshops are dementia friendly, provide a warm, caring, friendly environment for workshops including refreshments and staffing for 2hpw over 6 weeks. As well as promoting this within the moments café as we want to start more groups/workshops, which are Dementia friendly and inclusive to all, and we feel this is a perfect place to start. Wellbeing workshops will plan, create, deliver and evaluate the bespoke workshops, whilst also networking with the community groups prior to starting the workshops to develop trust and confidence.

Both Memory Matters and Colebrook will also provide first-hand insight into the mentality and issues currently seen within the direct communities they are working with daily. This will enable Wellbeing Workshops to create and deliver impactful and relevant workshops to the communities. We will all work with together to measure and evaluate the impact that the workshops have had within the community. We have chosen to work together as each organisations morals and values align regarding our focus on wellbeing and improving mental health within the community. Also, each organisation has a specific speciality which will help support us to deliver high quality wellbeing content and have an impact on the communities we work within.

Our collective operates on shared values – (People-focused, Compassionate, Open, Positive, Creative & Fun) and we believe this is an amazing opportunity for us to create positive change throughout Plymouth. We want to develop our offer to the community by starting this project to create a stable support network for people in the community and enabling them to reintegrate back into their community after lockdown, with help to manage their own wellbeing going forward.


During the first round, POP members will be asked to advise you. What advice would be most helpful?

  • Promotion of the workshops within the wider community
  • Measuring/evaluating the impact of what we do

Chaddlewood Art and Nature Subway Project

Crowdfunder page

Advise or comment on this Collective

Plymouth Chronicle article


  • Mrs Murals
  • Pollenize CIC
  • Art & Energy CIC
  • Clean Our Patch CIC

Collective’s aims and ideas


In a bid to bring art to Chaddlewood’s subways and promote the importance of protecting nature, Mrs Murals has teamed up with:

• Pollenize, a community interest company aimed at protecting bees & pollenators,.

• Clean Our Patch a popular community interest company passionate about keeping our local community free from litter,

• Art and Energy, an art collective that’s delivering engaging and thought provoking art & environmental school sessions.

The background

• Chaddlewood has 6 well used underpasses at 5 locations.

• Historically, they have suffered from unauthorised graffiti and subject to some antisocial behavior which is the source of many complaints.

• Typically the subways have been white washed on an infrequent basis to maintain the aesthetics, but these are soon covered with graffiti, tags and dirt.

• White washing walls creates a ‘blank canvass’ for unwanted graffiti, which no one wants to see.

This community lead project will help:

• Engage local schools to promote art and citizenship

• Brighten up often dark and dreary subways

• Reduce the fear of crime and promote walking

• Promote environmental awareness, community cohesion, health and wellbeing through art.

• Lower the cost of ongoing subway maintenance for the council, so some of this money can be used to fund & maintain the art.

• Provide a space for art inspired by local schools created at our art and education sessions planned for Autumn 21

A full project brief including subway art designs has been produced which includes art stencils from Pollenize. They can be viewed at

The designs at the Glen Road & Westfield subway will finalised with the help of pupils at:

• Glen Park Primary School

• Chaddlewood Primary School

This project plans to include a schools based engagement activity during the autumn term which will support curriculum based learning focused on how environments can change as a result of human actions, such as littering. Workshop sessions will be designed to make pupils think about how we affect nature & how we can protect it. An interactive and creative session designed in collaboration with teachers will give pupils the opportunity to present their thoughts and ideas though art which will inform the designs at the Glen Road & Westfield subway.

Children will be able to say ‘ I did that!’ and ‘I’m helping nature, by not littering’

So, what will the funding cover?

The funding will pay for:

• The time that local artists commit to this project, supporting our local artists through a difficult period.

• All art materials such as paint, brushes and cleaning materials

• Scaffolding and platforms

• Insurances

• The provision of workshops in local schools.

• Some ongoing maintenance of art works, if there is sufficient funds.

When will the project start?

We plan to start the project in August 21 and complete all six subways by the summer 2022, subject to weather conditions.

How will they work together to achieve this?

All our POP members are active in the Plymouth community, so it makes sense for them to combine their efforts to tackle issues which are at the core of their individual mission statements – to protect the environment and promote community cohesion through art, education and action.

This project uniquely combines to tackle issues such as unwanted graffiti & community safety while promoting the protection of wildlife, such as pollinators. The proposed educational provision will help deepen young people’s connection to nature and the art will leave a lasting reminder of why it is important for all of us to protect nature. With larger suburban gardens in Chaddlewood and an abundance of public green space there are greater opportunities to improve the way we manage nature at home and in the community, but that can only be achieved with public support.

Mrs Murals is passionate about her local & wider community and about protecting wildlife. She is more recently noted for her street art in Hooe, Plymouth, involving the local school Hooe Primary Academy. Research suggests that painting multi-coloured designs or murals on surfaces will discourage graffiti, since tagging is more difficult. Such mural projects, especially when they involve local artists and high school students, have solved many graffiti problems. Nothing is guaranteed of course, but the aim is to help prevent unwanted antisocial graffiti at the same time as working with schools and local businesses to educate about littering and protecting the environment.

Pollenize CIC have successfully launch a campaign called ‘Seeds of Schools’ using the City’s Change Fund. The project aims to provide every pupil with a seed pack they can use to help re-wild the city.

Clean Our Patch CIC is an active community litter picking group which operates city wide and has a strong presence in Plympton, Chaddlewood. The project will see the promotion of litter picking and community engagement.

Art and Energy will provide an educational workshop session in schools which starts with telling the story of Marley the Moth and ends with a creative session designed to produce art works from children that will go on to inform the subway art.

Members of the collective are already individually active in each other’s groups as patrons, ambassador or volunteers, so there is already a collaborative framework to build on.

Collective members will provide fun, engaging and educational school based sessions to pupils aged between 4-10 years old. A broader activity inviting teenagers already engaged in graffiti is planned, with outputs from all the schools based activities informing the art designs in at least one of the subways. We have made contact with the Youth Centre based at the Rees Centre, Plympton and Plymouth City Council’s Youth Worker.

This project aims to support the aims and objectives of these community groups to reinforce the message through art and education. Literally cross pollenating ideas and action!

Where possible we will investigate lessons learned from other projects, such as the Art Project at Weston Mill school.

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 session helped the team pause to consider a number of key points, mainly:

• How we engage with older children of secondary school age. It was suggested that we contact the Rees Centre, Plympton and the council’s youth worker. Since the feedback session we have established a link with the Rees centre’s youth group worker and will make contact with PCC.

• A similar art project in Western Mill engaged with children to bring art to their playground. It would be useful to see how any art sessions were run.

• Other artists have approached the collective since launching our campaign. The addition of new artists into the project needs to be carefully managed to avoid any potential artistic conflict and keep the school / young persons engagement work on track.

• Adjusting the timescale for the completion of the project.

• How we will manage POP and other funding contributions. To be decided by the collective prior to the project commencing. The option to manage all funding through open collective will be strongly considered.

Mindful Art Club


  • 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


  • 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

Open Collective page


  • 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


  • 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.

Describe how will you work together to achieve this.

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.