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CoolTan Arts wins national award for improving mental wellbeing

GSK_IMPACT_2015_winnerCoolTan Arts has won a GSK IMPACT Award, which includes £30,000 in unrestricted funding. Beating over 350 organisations to win the accolade, which recognises excellence in charities working in health and wellbeing, CoolTan Arts was recognised for their work helping transform people’s lives through creativity, self-advocacy and volunteer opportunities.

The award comes at a crucial time for CoolTan Arts as mental health services have experienced massive cuts during the last few years. This change has caused the closure of many local services and impacted on CoolTan’s capacity. This funding boost will go a long way towards enabling us to continue to support people, save lives and run innovative and exciting projects as we approach our 25th year.

Southwark has significant numbers of people living with mental distress, like depression, suicidal thoughts and anxiety. CoolTan Arts support people dealing with a wide range of issues, many of whom are receiving benefits and are rough sleepers. We run creative workshops, exhibitions and public art projects, and offers training workshop, which provide participants with the skills to challenge discrimination, and to access services to which they are entitled.

As well as helping service users directly, we work to publicly challenge stigmas and highlight issues faced by people with mental health problems. For example, our ‘Making it Happen’ project explored participant’s experiences of using personal budgets for their own health and well-being needs. The project also helped participants to make films and podcasts about the difficulties and anxieties they face.

The GSK IMPACT Awards, in partnership with The King’s Fund are designed to recognise the outstanding work of community-based health and wellbeing charities. In addition to the recognition and funding provided by the award, CoolTan Arts will have access to training and development managed by The King’s Fund, estimated to be worth a further £6,000. We will also be invited to also join the GSK IMPACT Awards Network. The Network supports more than 60 award-winning charities with the opportunity to develop their leaders, share and learn from each other’s experiences and expertise, and build the recognition of their contribution to their communities.

CoolTan Arts will receive our prize at a ceremony held at the Science Museum in London on Thursday 14th May, along with the other nine winners. An overall winner, who will receive a further £10,000 in unrestricted funding, will be revealed on the night.

Michelle Baharier, Chief Executive Officer at CoolTan Arts, said:
‘CoolTan Arts transforms people’s lives from being a medical label to being a whole person, building a positive identity able to contribute to their wider community as a member. We do this by facilitating creative opportunities in a safe and welcoming space, assisting people to maintain their well-being so they can stay well and out of hospital. We are really proud to have received this award which gives recognition to our valuable work. We are approaching our 25th year and we believe the impact of this award will ensure we will reach our 50th.’

Lisa Weaks, Third Sector Manager at The King’s Fund, said:
‘CoolTan Arts has managed to fuse creativity with support for people with mental health problems in ways which show innovation and real care. It is absolutely embedded in its community and is exemplary in supporting those who traditional services find hard to reach. It is a continually developing user-led organisation which is tackling stigma and helping to build recovery. This award is well deserved.’

A judging panel of health and charity experts who chose the winners included broadcast journalist Fiona Phillips; Gilly Green, Head of UK Grants at Comic Relief; Sir Christopher Gent, Chair of GSK, and Sir Chris Kelly, Chair of The King’s Fund.

For more information on the GSK IMPACT Awards go to www.kingsfund.org.uk/gskimpactawards

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CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle – Women’s Day Walk

womensday- for facebook

Saturday 21st March
Start: Tate Modern (outside the Turbine Hall entrance), Bankside SE1 9TG
Ends: Waterloo
Times: 11:45am – 4:30pm
Cost: free/voluntary donation

Join CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle for the ‘Women’s Day Walk’, a guided, stigma-busting cultural walk, designed to celebrate International Women’s Day and encourage mental and physical wellbeing, through art, exercise, humour and history.
We will be stopping for short talks on the writer, philosopher and advocate for women’s rights, Mary Wollstonecraft; Olive Morris, who set up the Brixton Black Women’s Group; the painter and multimedia artist Sonia Boyce; the artist and suffragette Mary Lowndes, the boxing promoter Bella Burge and many more. We will also be visiting the Feminist Library along the way.

Please wear comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water. The walk is accessible to wheelchair users and people with disabilities. The walk leaders wear orange high-viz vests and rucksacks. Call CoolTan Arts on 07985 658443 if you cannot find the group of walkers on the day. All are welcome!

 

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CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle – LGBT History Walk

On Saturday, 21st February  CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle celebrated LGBT History Month with a fun guided walk from Camberwell to Vauxhall.

The walk focused on Southwark’s rich Queer history interlaced with tales of momentous local Drag pubs and Camberwell’s lost music halls. Here are some photos of the day:

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Photography Exhibition ‘Elephant & Castle’s Finest’

Tuesday 24th February saw the launch of a new exhibition in our gallery space, ‘Elephant & Castle’s Finest’ – a photographic exploration of the local area and it’s hidden stories and treasures.

Work was created in street photography and local history workshops which ran at CoolTan Arts throughout January, funded by the Mace team at Newington Butts.

Visitors to the exhibition made the following comments: ‘Inspired’, ‘Beautiful artwork’,’The exhibition really captures the spirit of Elephant and Castle and provides an insight into the lives of people who live here’, ‘I was impressed by the quality of the work and pleased that Mace is supporting CoolTan.’

The exhibition will be open from 24th February – 2nd March 2015 at CoolTan Arts, Third Floor, 224-236 Walworth Road, SE17 1JE.

The photographs can also be seen on the Mace hoarding on Newington Butts for the next few months.

Here are some photos from the launch event:

 

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New issue of CoolFruit

Coming soon …

The next issue of CoolFruit: The CoolTan Arts Review is out on 27th March 2015.CoolFruit Cover-March- Hope V2-lr

As the first green shoots push up from the earth we take Hope as our theme for this Spring issue. Read how Rachel Kelly discovered poetry as a route to wellbeing and how Caroline Sparrey overcame selective mutism.

Learn about CoolTan’s innovative Wellness project which can help you spring-clean your life, and about those fighting back against London’s housing crisis.

Investigate what it means to be a 21st Century Woman, learn to draw a spring-time bunny and enjoy Sunil Chauhan’s selection of Songs for Hope. Plus – Artist’s profiles, poetry, recipes and more!!

Join our mailing list to receive a copy to your email as soon as it’s available: contact emmathatcher@cooltanarts.org.uk.

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CoolWalks Guidebook Launch – Monday 2nd March

Coolwalks invitation launchCoolTan Arts & Southwark Council are proud to announce the launch of the CoolWalk’s Guidebook. 

The guide book brings together the research and creativity of the CoolWalks volunteers and is a valuable resource for anyone wanting to take up physical exercise and learn about the varied and interesting history of Southwark.

Monday 2nd March, 3-4pm at John Harvard Library, 211 Borough High Street, London SE1 1JA.
To attend RSVP to deirdre.love@southwark.gov.uk or call 020 7525 2475.

CoolWalks is a collabration between CoolTan Arts, Southwark Libraries and Southwark NHS which recognises the link between physical activity and improved mental health.

There are twelve themed unique walks in the series, each starting one of the borough’s libraries.  Each Coolwalk was researched, devised and led by volunteers to enable walkers of all abilities to come together, to explore, to learn and to share their experiences covering 12 themes and all parts of the borough.  Each walk is fully accessible.

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The Breakfast Club supports CoolTan Arts

Spitalfields1One of London’s most popular cafes, The Breakfast Club, are showing their support for CoolTan Arts at the moment. Their Spitalfields branch are donating us £1 from each ‘Green is Good’ smoothie they sell and also the profits from their merchandise sales.
So pop on down to Spitalfields to sample a smoothie and some of the other tasty items on their menu!
Their address is: The Breakfast Club Spitalfields
12-16 Artillery Lane,
E1 7LS
Thanks so much Breakfast Club, we really appreciate it!
http://www.thebreakfastclubcafes.com/locations/spitalfields/

breakfastclub-logo

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“Healing Words” workshop with Rachel Kelly

Rachel-Kelly-forwe_2906960b“Healing Words” workshop with Rachel Kelly
At CoolTan Arts, Third Floor, 224-236 Walworth Road, SE17 `JE.
Friday 13th and Friday 20th March and  Friday 17th and Friday 24th April between 12-1pm.

We are very pleased to welcome back Rachel Kelly – journalist, author, workshop leader and ambassador for SANE.

Many of you might have seen Rachel at our Peace Day event, when she came to talk about her experience of mental distress, her poetry workshops and her book, Black Rainbow, which tells the story of how she overcame depression through poetry. The event was a great success and we are pleased to announce Rachel has offered to come back and run workshops in March and April at CoolTan Arts.

To sign up for this free set of workshops looking at how healing words can help with wellbeing please contact olivia@cooltanarts.org.uk or call 020 7701 2696.

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Open Day – Wednesday 11th March

Open DayDrop in any time  to find out more about CoolTan Arts.
Wednesday 11th March, 1-3pm
CoolTan Arts, Third Floor,
224 – 226 Walworth Road, London SE17 1JE

Want to take a taster for self advocacy? Find out how to make your voice heard!

Want to find out why drawing is helpful for your mental health?

How about taking a taste of some of our healthy ‘cooking club cuisine’?

Find out why people come to CoolTan Arts!

For more information please email Tara tara@cooltanarts.org.uk

Open Day photo

 

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CoolTan Arts in Guardian Christmas charity appeal

Guardian

 

 

 

 

CoolTan Arts have been really pleased to be part of the Guardian Christmas Charity Appeal, we’d like to say a big thanks to the Guardian for their support!

The appeal has been incredibly successful with the final amount totalling £397,000. Thank you also to everyone who donated and helped spread the word.

Each year they choose a theme to support over the festive period and in 2014 they choose mental health. We were one of nine mental health charities who were selected to benefit along with Mind, Starwards, MAC UK, Kidstime Foundation, Rethink, Samaritans, Centre for Mental Health and Gardening Leave.

Check out this wonderful article about us by Simon Hattenstone:  http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/dec/05/-sp-christmas-charity-appeal-cooltan

Our Cooking Club project and patron Rosemary Shrager were also featured in the appeal in early January with a great article by Hannah Jane Parkinson and Emma Howard: http://www.theguardian.com/society/christmas-charity-appeal-2014-blog/2015/jan/02/-sp-rosemary-shrager-cooking-mental-health

 

 

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CoolTan Creative Workshops – 2015 Schedule

workshops

CoolTan are running a new series of FREE 12 week  workshops from January 2015. Workshops are open to all people 18+ with experience of mental distress (self defined) who are currently unemployed.

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

**Book your place now**  Call 020 7701 2696 or email olivia@cooltanarts.org.uk

Workshop Dates

Art – Tuesdays 11-1pmStarts 6th January (12 weeks) 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 11-1pmStarts 6th January. (12 weeks) 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 –  Starts 7th January. (12 weeks) 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 –  Starts 8th January. (12 weeks) 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 11-1pmStarts 15th January. (12 weeks) 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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Help create a new artist app at CoolTan in 2015

Artist appFollowing the success of the Van Gogh walk launched earlier this year, CoolTan Arts is continuing the collaboration with Artangel, artist R.M. Sánchez-Camus and Pan Studios with a new digital media project.

Every Wednesday 10:30am-1:00pm @ CoolTan Arts Computer Lab
Starting 4th February 2015
Workshops are every week until the July and open to everyone. Drop in whenever you can!

Learn about smartphone technology, apps, GPS, interactivity and how to extend artmaking into the public sphere. Workshops will give hands on art training in social projects, sound projects, walking and digital media.

The project will explore the balance of the real/conscious vs. the imaginary/subconscious offering participants a safe space in which to play with their creativity, as an act of creative living.

This is an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about the crossroads of digital media and art making. If you would like to participate please contact olivia@cooltanarts.org.uk to register for the workshops.

If you haven’t heard the walk, you can stream or download it here:
http://www.artangel.org.uk/projects/2014/at_the_crossroads_with_vincent/about_the_project/at_the_crossroads

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CoolTan Council

Picture11CoolTan Council – What can it do for me?
CoolTan Council is a group of volunteers and participants who want to make a difference at CoolTan Arts, and in Southwark. 

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 17 March from 4-5pm at CoolTan Arts.

We are looking for people who would like to develop their public speaking, peer-support and employability skills.  (Training will be offered to participants and volunteers who wish to undertake an active role in the CoolTan Council.)
 
What can I do for CoolTan Arts?
This meeting will focus on the future of CoolTan Arts building and what has happened with previous plans.

Don’t stay silent! Use your voice for CoolTan Arts!

Speak to Kaya or Tara in Self Advocacy, call 0207 701 2696 for information or e-mail kaya@cooltanarts.org.uk or tara@cooltanarts.org.uk.

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