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Largactyl Shuffle Industrial Walk – 16th August

bermondseyJoin the Largactyl Shuffle this August on an ‘Industrial Walk’, through the main throughfares, back streets and riverside stretches of Southwark and Bankside. We will explore the area’s industrial heritage and the fascinating social history that lies behind it. On the way we will visit the Hop Exchange, the historic riverside wharfs, the Leathermarket, Jam Factory and explore the work of the local artisans, such as ropemakers and weavers, who made the area their home.

Saturday August 16th 2014
11.45am – 4pm
Start: Tate Modern (outside The Turbine Hall entrance), Bankside, London SE1 9TG
Ends: Bermondsey
Cost: free/voluntary donation

Please meet outside the Turbine Hall entrance of Tate Modern at 11.45am. The walk leaders wear orange high-viz vests and rucksacks.
The full walk is 4.8 miles and will last approximately 4 hours. Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own water.
Largactyl Shuffle walks are suitable for all levels of walking and are accessible to wheelchair users and people with disabilities.
You can join us for whatever tickles your fancy feet, whether it is half a mile, one mile or the full distance!!

Call CoolTan Arts on 07985 658443 if you cannot find the walking group on the day.
The walk is free but voluntary donations will be appreciated, all money goes to CoolTan Arts. Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own water. All are welcome!

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Largactyl Shuffle ‘Walk this way’ at Liberty Festival – 30th August

Liberty9CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle are excited to announce that they will be running  a   walk at this years Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival.

Address: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
E15 2ER

This Largactyl Shuffle walk, entitled ‘Walk this way’, will look at the art of wellbeing.

The walk will run twice during the afternoon and will last for for 45 minutes each. Exact times still TBC, please check back for further updates nearer the day.

The Liberty festival is a one day programme on  Saturday 30 August 2014, delivering  the very best of disability sports and arts.

Free in the Park, the Liberty Festival presents an exciting programme of Deaf and disability arts including street theatre, dance, live music, film, installations and children’s activities. Prepare to be amazed!! Plus everyone can try out Paralympic sports and attend Q&A and autograph sessions with Paralympic medallists.

Find out more about the day’s events including Liberty Festival programme details here.

We hope to see you there!

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CoolTan Trip to Kew Gardens August 8th 2014

flowerJoin CoolTan on our regular summer trip to the beautiful Kew Gardens on Friday 8th August 2014. 

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, comprises of 121 hectares of gardens and botanical glasshouses between Richmond and Kew in south west London. Created in 1759, Kew Gardens functions as a botanical research centre and maintains the largest plant collection in the world.

Meet at CoolTan at 9.30am to travel together or  you can travel there independently and meet us at the Kew Gardens’ Victoria Gardens entrance at 11.00am.

Pleas note that because of this trip CoolTan will be closed for the whole day.

You can travel to Kew Gardens Station via the Richmond branch of London Underground or London Overground, and it is in zone 3.

You can also travel by South West Trains from Waterloo, via Vauxhall and Clapham Junction, stopping at Kew Bridge Station, which is 800 metres from the Gardens’ Elizabeth Gate entrance.

There are also buses. Route 65 runs between Ealing Broadway and Kingston, via Richmond town centre, and stops close to Lion Gate and Victoria Gate. Route 391 runs between Fulham and Richmond, stopping near Kew Gardens Station, while routes 237 and 267 stop at Kew Bridge station.

Please contact Olivia if you wish to put your name down for the trip,, 020 7701 2696. You will need to pay a £2 deposit refundable if you attend the trip.

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CoolWalks – New Dates for August

CoolTan are excited to have two new CoolWalks coming up in August 2014.
CoolWalks are guided walks for wellbeing, giving participants to opportunity to get to know more about their local area’s history and their local Southwark libraries.

blog walk borough1

Saturday, August 2nd, 12.30 – 4.00pm
Kingswood Library – Flora and Fauna
Start at Kingswood Library and finish at Crystal Palace railway station.

Discover the plants and animals of Sydenham and Dulwich woods, visit the site of the original Crystal Palace and walk with some dinosaurs.

Most of the route is fully accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Some may have difficulty accessing the woods. There is an alternative step-free route.

Kingswood House
Seeley Drive
SE21 8QR
How to get to the library
Bus: 3, 450
Train: Sydenham Hill

Thursday, August 28th, 12.30 – 4.00pm.
Dulwich Library – Eccentric Dulwich Walk
Start at Dulwich Library, end at Brockwell Park

Explore Dulwich and its unusual architecture and characters including Dulwich College, Dulwich Picture Gallery, the oldest purpose-built art gallery in the world, and Herne Hill Velodrome. This route is fully accessible and is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchair users.

368 Lordship Lane, SE22 8NB
How to get to the library
Bus: 12, 40, 176, 185, 197
Train: East Dulwich

Since February 2013, CoolTan Arts have run open workshops in Southwark libraries to design and research guided walks. The CoolWalks volunteer group undertakes local history research on selected themes to create the walks. Project participants have had the opportunity to access training in a range of practical skills including, library research, walk leading, blogging and graphic design. The project is run by CoolTan Arts, Southwark Council Public Health, NHS Southwark and Southwark Libraries, with all the walks researched, planned and led by volunteers.

The project is open to all and aims to make contact with local people, community groups and existing library users to get involved in the project.

Feedback from walkers has been overwhelmingly positive. One participant said of the walk: – “Learning more about the history of the area has made me feel involved with my community and makes me happier living here. I really enjoyed the event and it got me out of the house meeting people which I wouldn’t have the courage to do otherwise.” Another walker said: – “The walk made me happy to be alive.”

Project volunteers have started their own blog documenting the project which includes photos and information and research, it can be viewed at

If you would like to get involved, please contact or call 020 7701 2696




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New Referrals Information Session

Are you interested in the arts and would you like to find out more about CoolTan Arts?

  • Are you, or somebody you know, experiencing mental distress?
  • Are you looking for activities to help your recovery?
  • Do you want to break isolation, meet new people and explore your creativity?

Come along to CoolTan Arts New Referrals Information Session:

Wednesday 13th August 2014, 1-3pm
at CoolTan Arts, Third Floor, 224 – 226 Walworth Road, London SE17 1JE

Drop in any time between 1 and 3pm to find out about our current workshop programme, Self-Advocacy Skills Training and more!At 1:30 there will be a talk about workshops currently running, eligibility for those courses, and the registration and referral process, followed by a Q&A session. For more information, please contact Karen Unrue: or tel: 0207 701 2696
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CoolTan Creative Workshops – Autumn 2014 Schedule

SONY DSCCoolTan are running a new series of FREE 12 week  workshops from the 2nd September 2014. Workshops are open to all people 18+ with experience of mental distress who are currently unemployed and are not receiving a personal budget.

Come along, gain new skills, meet new people and explore your creative side. Friendly and relaxed environment, with small groups and professional tutors.

**Exciting new programme, book your place now**  Call 020 7701 2696 or email

Workshop Dates

Art – Tuesdays 11-1pm – Start 2nd September. Empower yourself through creativity with our unique art workshop. Experiment with different themes and styles, and  explore various art techniques, such as acrylic, watercolours, charcoal etc. Meet like minded people in this small friendly group with a professional and supportive tutor. Suitable for all levels. Embrace the opportunity to exhibit in CoolTan and beyond!

Film – Tuesdays 11-1pm – Start 2nd September. Learn how to do your own film-making and editing. Use some of the latest cameras and sound microphones to make your own creative piece of work for internet or DVD. Along the way you will gain a good working knowledge of the Final Cut Pro editing programme. No previous experience necessary except basic I.T skills.

Creative Writing – Wednesdays 11-1pm – Start 3rd September. Explore techniques, find inspiration and learn how structure your writing to make it exciting and engaging. Come along, learn, create and enjoy!

WordPress – Thursdays 1:30-3:30pm – Start 4th September.  Be guided step-by-step through the process of how to create a customised mini website, using WordPress, the popular free blogging platform. We’ll be covering the basics of WordPress installation, how to use the WordPress dashboard, how to create and modify menus, content pages and posts, handling digital media, such as images and videos, as well as exploring the many options available to customise the appearance and design. No previous experience necessary except basic I.T skills.

Photoshop – Thursdays 11-1pm – Start 4th September. Learn how to edit and retouch your photography to a professional standard. Use layers, filters, text and drawing tools to create artistic effects.  Gain the skills to cut out and combine images to create collages, posters and artworks. No previous experience necessary except basic I.T skills.

Location: CoolTan Arts, Third Floor, 224-236 Walworth Road, SE17 1JE.

With thanks to our funders:


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Largactyl Shuffle Garden Walk – a Review

On Saturday 19th July CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle led a ‘Garden Walk’ from Maudsley Hospital to Myatts Fields, exploring the fascinating social history of Camberwell’s best loved green spaces.  Walker Jonathan Polkest took these photos and wrote the below review:

Here are some images from the Largactyl Shuffle Garden Walk which was excellent (my aubergine plant from Myatts Field Park bears witness to this).

The photos “illustrate” parts of our walk from Maudsley Hospital through Ruskin Park, the weather was peculiar, raining occasionally with little or no cloud, as featured in the photograph of the group speaking to some volunteers at the Loughborough Junction (Farm) horticultural project (truly inspiring).

We sampled their salad vegetables and gained tips on growing ‘your own’ and then visited Myatts Field Park, in particular, the horticultural greenhouse with the inspirational Fabrice.

We ended our walk in the bandstand of Myatts Garden with a very interesting perspective of Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth, on the site of a massive Field Hospital, I photographed it in black and white, re evoking its pastoral history. Many thanks to Lu and to all the peripatetic drifters for an inspirational day.





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NEW: Feel Good Food Fridays

Feel Good Food Friday-lrCome along to CoolTan Arts on a Friday afternoon to sample the delights of our kitchen!
We are now offering a lunchtime menu of tasty and healthy soups, mains, salads and more.

Feel Good Food Fridays will take place every week between 1pm and 2pm and is open to the public. The price for a plate of food is £3 suggested donation.

You can pop in, get a lunch, look around the gallery exhibition and catch up on all the latest CoolTan news!

Please let us know in advance if you would like to have lunch. Contact Olivia on 020 7701 2696 or email

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Showcase Smoothie at CoolTan Arts – a Review

CoolTan Arts were thrilled to have a visit recently  from Showcase  Smoothie  for a performance of  urban music and spoken word.  CoolTan volunteer Ereomala Atigolo attended the event:

Lyrical, entertaining, passion, beats, vocal beauty, raw and honest; this is the description of a Showcase Smoothie performance!

On the 17th July 2014, CoolTan Arts had a get together with Showcase Smoothie – a major new literature and music based project, led by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) and partnered by a range of arts, health and educationally based organisations. The aim of the project is to showcase the talents of people with experience of mental health problems, and has a particular focus on young black men.

During their visit, they bestowed us with a 30 minute performance, showcasing a calibre of diverse performers of various ages. CoolTan’s gallery space was packed, full of an eagerly waiting audience; listening to the background beats of the sound system, before each of the performers walked on stage. With each performer approaching the stage, each one had their own style and story that they delivered through rap lyrics, singing and spoken words. The audience was clapping, participating and being captivated by the lyrical and vocal sounds of Smoothie.

I asked Sasha Dee who is a CoolTan trustee and also a participant in the poetry workshop about the event, he said “People should come to these kind of performances because of the topics; the presentation is so cool that it is accessible for all kinds of people. Even if people are not fans of poetry, give it a chance and it will change your preconception of the event”.

The showcase even had a featured musician that added a layer and richness to one of the artist’s performance; by playing a Tabla which is a membranophone percussion instrument (similar to bongos).

We even had our very own Jill Newman, who is our Cooking Club Manager, who did an impromptu performance of an Indian classical dance, called Kathak with the Tabla player.

As spectator you can see that the project provided these performers with confidence and a method to convey themselves in a creative way.

You can find out more about the project at:

Review and photos by Ereomala Atigolo.

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Out Now – New Issue of CoolFruit: The CoolTan Arts Review

Following the success of last year’s pilot, we are pleased to announce that Issue 1 of CoolFruit, Spring june_coolfruit_coverinto Summer, is now available.

Click here to read

Packed with artwork, poetry, recipes, artist’s profiles and lively articles to inform, delight and guide you smoothly from Spring into Summer.

Read about exciting CoolTan projects and get the insider’s view with articles by CoolTan participants and volunteers. Learn about the CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle as well as CoolTan’s new Artangel collaboration At the Crossroads with Vincent. Consider the issues around deportation and its effects on mental health. Be informed and demystified about the ESA process and be delighted by a whole selection of articles to take you exploring on a path to mental wellbeing.

We hope you will enjoy reading this issue as much as we have enjoyed creating it!

Happy reading!

To make sure you’re on our mailing list and get a link to future issues as soon as they are available, please contact

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Mad Hatters Tea Party – A Review

mh6We had a wonderful time at the Mad Hatters Tea Party at CoolTan Arts  on Saturday, 14th June, which was attended by over 40 people and gave everyone the opportunity to have fun, try out new things and enjoy a taster of our work.

There were four free workshops, the presentation of special certificates to our volunteers, and an opportunity to have a private viewing of our new exhibition, Summertime Blues. The theme of the exhibition was ‘anxiety & summer’ and all the artwork was created by CoolTan participants in our creative workshops. The exhibition will be open from 11th June-11th August but this event marked its official opening.

The free workshops that people could  join included Food and Mood, where they made ice lollies with mood enhancing ingredients, Understanding ‘Panic Attacks’,   Postcard Art – ‘A Message 2U’ and Anxious to Get Painting, where participants painted the table and chairs to create a  Mad Hatters’ inspired scene.

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party was  part of the Anxiety Arts Festival London 2014, which rans throughout June in London venues. The Festival challenges the stigma and discrimination that surround mental health by looking at the creative and productive force of anxiety, and showcases an exciting programme of art, film, performance, music, dance, theatre and talks

Here are some images of the exhibition Summertime Blues

Here are some images from the day

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Summer Solstice Midnight Walk 2014 – A Review

About 130 walkers gathered for our Summer Solstice Midnight Walk on the 21st June when we enjoyed a moonlit stroll from Tate Modern to Maudsley Hospital, as part of the Anxiety 2014 Festival.

We stopped at the Crossbones Cemetery on Redcross Way, to hear about its history as an unconsecrated burial site; the Borough, for an activity about night working; and the centre of the Elephant and Castle roundabout to create surreal living sculptures, before enjoying some coffee, cake and poetry at CoolTan Arts.

Our final two talks were about psychogeography at Burgess Park and surrealism and mental health at Camberwell Green, before we finished the walk with hot drinks at Maudsley Hospital.

Photography by Andrea Abril, André Batista, Andrew Black, Rik Sanders, Emma Thatcher and Michelle Baharier.
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CoolTan Arts at Waterloo Festival – A Review

CoolTan Arts were thrilled to be part of this years Waterloo Festival, participating with a poetry performance and an art exhibition!

CoolTan Poets and Southbank Sinfonia

On Thursday 26th June CoolTan Poets collaborated with Southbank Sinfonia Orchestra on an  amazing hour long performance at St John’s Church Waterloo. Both groups have worked together over the last few months to create this celebration of words and music, looking at the theme of WW1. A video of the performance will be available soon so watch this space!

Here are some images of the day:

World at War: Fragments.

Our art exhibition Fragments was created in response to the music of the Southbank Sinfonia Orchestra and was installed in St John’s Chruch for the duration of the Waterloo Festival (June 26th t0 July 1st). CoolTan artists explored the connection between warfare and mental distress.

 Fragments was a multifaceted portrayal of warfare, using the creative imagination to look at World War 1 and other conflicts.

The artworks gave glimpses into a myriad of worlds and voices, gaining strength in the overcoming of isolation, marginalisation and woundedness and the human spirit’s ability to rise above adversity. All artwork had been made in weekly workshops at CoolTan Arts.

Here are some images of the exhibition:

For more information about the Waterloo Festival please see the website:

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