The Dickens News Project

Dickens News PhotoShoot 1

During 2012-2013 CoolTan Arts worked with a group of participants and volunteers to create The Dickens News project – an original newspaper and exhibition series which explored Southwark’s heritage through the prism of Charles Dickens and his early life.

Exhibitions were held at The Cuming Museum, Southwark Cathedral, Morley Gallery and The Charles Dickens Museum. Original artworks celebrated the life and work of Charles Dickens, with a contemporary creative twist and social comment to boot!

The Dickens News newspaper was produced in partnership with The Southwark News and published on Thursday 8th November 2012. Articles, poetry and illustration explored Dickens early years and compared and contrasted society and social issues in Dickensian and modern day London.Experiences in Southwark inspired Dickens’ work. He spent his early years in Lant Street and his father was imprisoned for debt in Marshalsea prison. Later, a major theme in his work was social injustice and the enslavement of disadvantaged children and adults. Dickens experienced personal mental distress, also spending time visiting asylums and writing about the inhumanity of treatment by restraint.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund this project provided opportunities for CoolTan Arts’ participants and volunteers to gain some of the skills necessary for creating a publication. Workshops included oral history, story-telling, creative writing, archiving and journalism.

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A Postcard to the World

A Postcard to the World StampA Postcard to the World was a Mail Art project documenting Londoners’ feelings about the Olympic & Paralympic Games.

From summer 2012 through till spring 2013 CoolTan ran a series of free art workshops in Southwark and Hackney. Throughout the workshops, participants explored their relationship to the 2012 Olympics, in terms of its proximity to their daily lives and their resulting emotional and behavioural responses to the event.

Postcard to the WorldThe sessions, led by a diverse group of professional artists using a selection of different mediums, were open to all people with experience of mental distress and the wider London public who experienced the impact of the Olympic Games.

Inspired by the International Mail Art movement, where artworks are mailed, project participants used the iconic ‘postcard’ as a blank canvas to create individual artworks. Each postcard aims to tell you something about its sender and their place in time.

A touring exhibition of the artwork toured to several London venues, including Hackney Museum, The Cuming Museum, South London Gallery, Canada Water Library, South London and Maudsley Hospital and Tate Modern.

A blog was also created to showcase work from the project:

The project was supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council.

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Thanks to all who took part in our Sponsored Walk!

A massive thank you to everyone who took part in this brilliant day, we have now raised nearly £10,000 for CoolTan!

If you would still like to donate and help us reach our £10,000 target you can do so online here: www,

About 90 people gathered for our Innovation and Transformation Sponsored Walk on Saturday, 11 October, when we walked from Maudsley Hospital to Waterloo. Led by our Largactyl Shuffle group, this fun guided walk through London’s history, celebrated World Mental Health Day, and raised funds for CoolTan Arts.











This year’s theme was Innovation and Transformation in Medicine, Technology and Art, exploring the impact of WW1. We were joined by the Artist Taxi Driver Mark McGowan, who is known internationally for his performance art, and kindly decided to get out his cab and walk the talk to beat stigma.

Our first stop was just around the corner at the Institute of Psychiatry, where we heard about William Rivers’ pioneering treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome during the First World War. We then stopped to install two white memorial bikes at the junction of Albany Road and Camberwell Road. This was where one of our most valued volunteers, Richard Muzira, was sadly killed in a cycling accident last year.

We afterwards moved on to St Peter’s Church in Liverpool Grove and heard talks about zeppelin raids, conscientious objectors and the writer Vera Britain, who worked as a nurse in a military hospital in Myatt’s Fields during WW1.

There was a further talk about the war poets Wilfred Owen and Seigfreid Sassoon on the way to the Imperial War Museum, where we heard about art and prosthetics and the important role that black soldiers played during WW1. Our walk finished at The Vaults in Waterloo with cakes, hot drinks and a big thanks to everybody who did such a great job in fundraising for CoolTan Arts.

See our film of the event, made by our brilliant video group:

Review by Tim Russell. Photography by Julija Tamuleviciute, Andrea Abril, Shahin Shahablou, Nuala Hamilton, Rik Sanders and Michelle Baharier.

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CoolTan Arts Open Day – 10th December

‘CoolTan Arts’ – Mixing creativity with enhanced mental wellbeing!

  • 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!
  • What should you do? …

Come to CoolTan Arts Open Day!

Wednesday 10th December, 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 more about CoolTan Arts.

Open Day photo

1pm – Introduction and welcome
1:15 – ‘Why I Come to CoolTan’ (participant)
1:20 – Taster session of Self Advocacy
1:30 – Tour of building
1:45 – Talk about how creativity can enhance mental wellbeing in Art Room 2, including a practical drawing exercise
2.20 – Break for refreshments
2.30 – Q&A session and registration
3pm END

For more information contact Tara Logan-Shand at


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Seasonal Gifts from CoolTan Arts

foodformood Pic

Are you after some unique gifts for friends or loved ones during the festive season?

Visit the CoolTan Arts shop COOLTRADE to check out greeting cards made by CoolTan participants and other great gifts like our Food for Mood Cookbook.

The Food for Mood Cookbook explores the important link between food and mood and has beautifully illustrated recipes for some of our favourite culinary creations. Researched, written and designed by CoolTan Arts’ participants, Food for Mood serves up recipes and stories that reflect heritages from all over the globe. It would be a perfect gift for anyone!

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New art exhibition ‘Innovation and Transformation’

***New art exhibition***

CoolTan’s new art exhibition is  ‘Innovation and Transformation’ a showcase of new works by CoolTan Arts participants in celebration of World Mental Health Day.

Twenty artists have produced pieces which map advances in medicine, engineering, and technology during the 20th century. From the emergence of the light bulb to the discovery of Penicillin, the artists have explored wide-ranging examples of innovative ideas which have had a lasting and transformative impact.

The mixed media artwork is mounted on A3 boards, mimicking the style of the visually-striking pin-up poster.


Exhibition runs from 16th October 2014 until 16th January 2015. Gallery open Monday to Thursday 10-5:45, Fridays 10-5.

Venue: CoolTan Arts, Third Floor, 224–236 Walworth Road, SE17 1JE

Contact: 020 7701 2696 or email



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Largactyl Shuffle at ‘Flow’

On Saturday 18th October CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle took part in ‘Flow’ Tate Modern’s annual celebration of World Mental Health Day.

The group  ran a guided tour in the 4th floor gallery exploring several artists in Tate’s collection, including Vanessa Bell – her abstract painting and relationship with sister Virginia Woolf, Ellsworth Kelly -  minimimalist artist who had experience of mental distress, Josef Albers and his commitment to colour, and the work of Niki de Saint Phalle and her shot paintings – abstract works of art shot at with her rifle to revel/expose striking forms of colour.
The walk ended back on level 6 at the Flow event, with CoolTan Arts’ own artist and her ‘shooting gallery’. The Flow event involved six local and national arts and mental health organisations including Arts Network , CoolTan Arts, Outside In, Portugal Prints, SlamAdArt and Studio Upstairs.

Below are some images from the day by Photographer Fiona Mcauliffe:


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Black History Celebration – Photo Review


CoolTan celebrated Black History Month with a series of workshops in Poetry and Cooking exploring personal family histories and celebrating and honouring the first generation of migrants from the Caribbean and Africa.

The finale of this was a brilliant celebration on the 16th October where around 40 people enjoyed live spoken word performances and sampled delicious food created from African and Caribbean recipes by CoolTan’s Cooking Club. A special thanks to the tutors Antiqu’e and Jill Newman who led the sessions and all the volunteers and participants who contributed to the event.

This event was made possible by funding from Southwark Council. In Southwark, Black History Month has been recognised for over 20 years with a month long programme of exciting and inspirational events and workshops.

Photography by Andrea Abril and Shahin Shahablou.

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Southwark Stars – well done everyone!

Big congratulations to CoolTan volunteers Saffron Saidi, Tim Ajayi and Derell Kanell-Johnson who have won prestigious Southwark Stars awards for volunteering.

On Tuesday 7th October at the Keyworth Centre in London South Bank University award winners enjoyed a ceremony, refreshments and entertainment and received their certificates from Cllr Peter John.

Long term volunteer Saffron was honoured with a special award as ‘Volunteer of the Year’ due to her outstanding contribution.


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CoolTan Creative Workshops – 2015 Schedule

CoolTan are running a new series of FREE 12 week  workshops from the 5th 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. **Exciting new programme, book your place now**  Call 020 7701 2696 or email








Workshop Dates
Art – Tuesdays 11-1pm – 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 – 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 -  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 -  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 – 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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CoolWalks – New Dates

CoolTan are excited to have several new CoolWalks coming up in November and December 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.

Full details on, or email or twitter @CoolWalks

blog walk borough1

CoolTan Arts CoolWalk – Regeneration
Saturday, 27th November 2014, 12:30pm
CoolTan Arts CoolWalks invites you to join us on a free guided walk to explore the area’s regenerations, including those of the past, of the present and the plan’s for the area’s future.  Learn new things, make friends, get fit and have fun.  But hurry – blink and you might miss it.

Start: East Street Library, 168-170 Old Kent Road, SE1 5TY
Start Travel Details: Bus: 21, 42, 53, 63, 172, 453
Finish: Imperial War Museum
Finish Travel Details: Tube: Lambeth North, Waterloo or Elephant and Castle, Train: London Waterloo, Waterloo East, or Elephant and Castle, Bus: 12, 148, 159, 109, 344 and 360.

CoolTan Arts CoolWalk – Freedom
Saturday, 13th December 2014, 12:30pm
Freedom is built one thought and one hope at a time.  Join CoolTan Arts CoolWalks on a free guided public walk through Camberwell to discover the area’s freedom fighters.  Learn new things, make friends, get fit and have fun.

Start: Camberwell Library, 17-21 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8TR
Start Travel Details: Bus: 12, 35, 40, 42, 45, 171, 176, 185, 436, 36, 345, 484, Tube: Kennington, Oval or Elephant and Castle, Train: Denmark Hill
Finish: Black Cultural Archives, Brixton
Finish Travel Details: 3-5 minute walk from Brixton tube and rail station, Buses: 2, 3, 35, 37, 45, 59, 109, 118, 133, 159, 196, 250, 333, 415, 432, P4, P5.



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FAQs – CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle Sponsored Walk 2014

CALS logo Oran

Thank you for your interest in taking part in CoolTan Arts’ Sponsored Walk. We’ve put together some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to give answers to any queries you may have.


1. What is CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle Sponsored Walk?

 A fun 4.8 mile guided walk through London’s history, using art, humour and history to destigmatise mental distress.
The walk will raise much needed funds for CoolTan Arts and will mark World Mental Health Day.
This year’s walk theme is Innovation & Transformation. Talks, artworks and performances along the walk route will look at changes in arts, medicine and technology – and will explore how WW1 affected society.

Why ‘Largactyl Shuffle’? The walk is named after the oldest anti-psychotic drug, Largactil, which can have extreme physical side effects including a distinctive shambolic gait, or ‘shuffling’.  Each month CoolTan run a themed Largactyl Shuffle walk – the Sponsored Walk being our biggest yearly event.

2. When and where does the Sponsored Walk take place?

The Sponsored Walk takes place on Saturday 11th October 2014 from 11.30am to around 4.00pm.

The walk starts outside the main entrance of Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill, SE5 8AZ and finishes on the South Bank.

3. Can anyone take part?

Everyone is welcome! The walk will include participants, staff, volunteers and other friends and supporters of CoolTan Arts.

4. How fit do I need to be? Is it suitable for people with disabilities or wheelchair users? What if I get tired and have to stop?

The whole walk is 4.8 miles long. The route is smooth, level and suitable for people with a disability and wheelchair users.

You don’t need to be fit and you can go at your own pace, so join us for half a mile, half an hour or the whole thing – it’s entirely up to you!

Our friendly CoolTan guides will be there to help you along the way if you need it.

We will have one scheduled rest stop at CoolTan Arts at approximately 2pm.

5. What do I need to bring with me on the day?

Please bring snacks and drinks for yourself, and wear suitable clothes and sensible footwear. Refreshments will be provided free of charge at the end.

6. How will I know where to go? What happens if I arrive late or I get lost on the way?

The walk leaders will meet you at the starting point outside the main entrance to the Maudsley Hospital on Denmark Hill from 11.00am onward. They will be wearing orange high-viz vests and rucksacks. The leaders will guide you on the walk.

If you can’t find the group on the day for any reason, call CoolTan Arts on 07985 658443.

7. Do I need to register in advance? How much does it cost?

 The Registration Fee is £5 unwaged and £10 waged (non refundable). We prefer you to register in advance so we know how many people to expect and can keep track of fundraising, although it is possible to register on the day.

To register either:

  • Fill in a Sponsorship form and return it to Olivia Moyes along with a registration fee of £5 unwaged or £10 waged. Address: CoolTan Arts, Third Floor, 224-236 Walworth Road, SE17 1JE.
  • Call us on 020 7701 2696.
  • Register at the start of the event on the day.

8. Do I have to get sponsorship to do the walk? Is there a minimum amount? What will you do with the money I raise?

Fundraising isn’t compulsory. You do need to pay the registration fee, however, as that helps cover admin costs.

However, CoolTan Arts relies heavily on donations and fundraising by people like you, particularly since losing our core funding in 2011. If you do decide to help us raise money, there is no minimum level – we are grateful for all contributions!

CoolTan provide support in an area of London which has one of the highest incidences of mental distress in Western Europe. Due to severe funding cuts to organisations like CoolTan we really need to raise extra funds to secure our future.

100% of the money you raise will go directly to supporting people with mental distress through the provision of creative workshops, self advocacy, wellbeing walks and training and volunteering opportunities.

9. How do I start fundraising?

 You can start fundraising whenever you like after you have registered. You can either:

  • Download CoolTan’s official Sponsorship Form – you can use this when asking for sponsorship from friends, family etc. Bring the form to the walk to get signed by one of our walk stewards. All money raised should be returned to CoolTan Arts by 25th November 2014.
  • Or, if you prefer to fundraise online, you can set up your own fundraising page on, linked to CoolTan’s official event page.

To sign up to Justgiving do the following:

-       Go to

-       Click on Get Started

-       Then click on Sign up

Once you are registered you can make a fundraising page by doing the following:

-       Go to

-       Click on Fundraise for us

-       Then click on Taking Part in an Organised Event

-       The click on Innovation & Transformation Sponsored Walk

-       Justgiving will then guide you through the set up process.

Make your page as interesting as you can, for example by adding photos and updates.
Tell everyone why you’re supporting CoolTan Art. Let them know that we rely on fundraisers like you, particularly after heavy funding cuts.
These days more and more donations happen via social media, so do share your page on Facebook and Twitter and email it to friends and family.

10. What if I can’t take part in the walk but still want to contribute?

There are three easy ways to support CoolTan Arts’ Sponsored Walk:

  • You can text ARTS99 £3 to 70070 to make a £3 donation, or any other £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10. It’s quick and simple.
  • Help us spread the word by sharing information about the walk.

11.  Where can I get help with any other questions about the Largactyl Shuffle?

For any other questions about the Largactyl Shuffle or Sponsored Walk, please email Olivia Moyes on or call 020 7701 2696.

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Largactyl Shuffle Walk Dates 2014-2015


Largactyl Shuffle

Are you interested in London’s hidden stories? Then CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle is for you! Join us on our fun guided cultural walks for mental and physical wellbeing.
Each month the walk explores a different theme, through intriguing talks on local history, arts and health. You can learn new things, make friends, get fit and have fun!

 The Largactyl Midnight WalkShuffle has been running since 2006 and is named after the oldest anti-psychotic drug, Largactil, that can have extreme physical side effects including a distinctive shambolic gait, or ‘shuffling’. The walks are researched and led by our Largactyl Shuffle volunteer group who meet weekly to plan the walks.

Walks happen on the third Saturday of each month and last approximately 4 hours.

Walks are family friendly and inclusive and are suitable for people of all abilities including wheelchair users. You can join us for half an hour, half a mile or the full distance of 4.8 miles.

Walks usually start from outside the main entrance of Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill, SE5 8AZ OR from outside the Turbine Hall entrance of Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG.

Upcoming Walkscooltan-arts-largactyl-shuffle

November 15th 2014 – Literary Walk
Maudsley– Peckham Rye

December 20th 2014 – Musical Walk
Tate – Bermondsey
12pm – 4pm

Jan 17th 2015 – Health Walk
Maudsley – Burgess Park

Feb 21st 2015 – LGBT History Walk
Maudsley – Cross Bones Cemetery

March 21st 2013 –Women Walk
Tate – Waterloo

April 18th 2015 – Rights and Equality Walk
Tate– Walworth

May 16th 2015 – Pagan Walk
Tate Modern  -  Camberwell

June 20th 2015 –Midnight Walk
Tate – Maudsley

July 18th 2015 – Garden Walk: Green Cuisine
Maudsley– Myatts Fields

August 15th 2015 – Be a Good Sport Walk
Tate Modern– Bermondsey

September 19th 2015 – Black History Walk
Maudsley – Peckham

October 17th 2015 – Sponsored Walk
Maudsley – Southbank

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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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Largactyl Shuffle Literary Walk November 2014

literary walk

Join CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle for our Literary Walk, a fun guided cultural walk for mental and physical wellbeing.

Date: Saturday 15th November 2014
Time: 11.45am – 4pm
Start: Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill, SE5 8AZ
End: Peckham Rye.
Cost: free/voluntary donation

Setting off from Maudsley Hospital, the walk will commemorate William Blake’s birthday and we will stop en route for talks celebrating South London’s literary world, looking at novelists, poets and scriptwriters with connections to the area. These will include the painter, poet and printmaker William Blake, the poets Dylan Thomas and Robert Browning and Victorian crime fiction.

What, when and where?

Please meet outside the entrance of Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill, SE5 8AZ, at 11.45am. The walk leaders will be wearing orange high-viz vests and rucksacks. The full walk is about 4.5 miles and lasts about 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 are welcome!

For more information, see or contact Emma Thatcher by email or phone: or 020 7701 2696. All contributions are much appreciated


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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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Summertime Blues Exhibition

CoolTan Arts latest exhibition is Summertime Blues. All artwork was created by CoolTan participants in creative workshops, and the theme is ‘anxiety & summer’. The exhibition is in CoolTan’s gallery space, Third Floor, 224-236 Walworth Road, Se17 1JE. The exhibition is open from 11 June-11 August 2014, Monday – Friday 10am-5pm.

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CoolTan Arts wins Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

The-Queens-Award-for-Voluntary-Service-Logo-MBECoolTan Arts are proud to announce our success in being awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.  Thank you to all our volunteers, past and present, for their support, time and impact, this award is very much for them, as it is for all those involved in CoolTan Arts.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is an annual award to recognise and reward excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.
It is given for outstanding achievement by groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time to helping others in the community, improving the quality of life and opportunity for others and providing an outstanding service.

Michelle Baharier CEO said: ‘I am delighted that CoolTan Arts has won this prestigious award it is a testament to everyone who has ever volunteered at CoolTan Arts, their hard work, their giving of their time freely, either in the days when we squatted our buildings or since we become a charity. The DIY culture that CoolTan is famous for is actually the ‘Big Society’ that governments dream of.  Give power to people and communities so they can flourish on their own, with a little help from peppercorn rent.  What is life for? It’s about helping each other, we take money to the grave but we help each other when we are alive, is there any other point to life? If you would like to join our award winning team get in touch with us. Well done every one at CoolTan Arts for your efforts!’

Rachel Ball Volunteer Coordinator said: ‘This is a fantastic recognition for all our past and present volunteers and the hard work, enthusiasm, time, comment and skill sharing they have given to CoolTan Arts. I hope this award will inspire new people to become a part of CoolTan Arts and contribute to their community.’

B&W photoCoolTan Arts started life in 1990 as a 100% volunteer run organization and the brilliant contribution of volunteers is still vital to our ongoing existence and success.  CoolTan is still very much a service user led organization and our volunteers help to run the organization and have a strong influence on our ethos and ongoing mission.
Our volunteers start and run workshops, walks and projects, support our office team, design our flyers, outreach to our local community, cook, garden, research, write about us and what we have achieved, photograph us in action, and help us to host events and exhibitions.

sponsoredwalk-lrCoolTan’s volunteering programme is set up to support volunteers with mental distress and many of our volunteers say that their experience at CoolTan has given them confidence to achieve their goals and try new things.
‘CoolTan helped to keep me more mentally stable by giving me a sense of purpose; it was a reason to leave the house, a nice place to go to where there were always friendly faces and words.’ CoolTan Arts Volunteer 2014.

Our flagship project The Largactyl Shuffle has been planned and run monthly by volunteers for the last 8 years. The free guided walks explore local history, arts and culture, promote mental and physical wellbeing, destigmatize mental distress and provide a space for people to connect and have fun.
On June 21st the Largactyl Shuffle group will run a guided Summer Solstice Midnight Walk around London, looking at Mad Buildings, Surrealist Art and the anxious city! Reserve your space on the walk here:

Read more about the Queen’s Awards here:

Download our press release here: Queens Award Press Release



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Largactyl Shufflings LGBT History on Resonance FM

Largactyl Shufflings celebrate LGBT History Month. A CoolTan Arts Show on Resonance Fm.

The show was broadcast on Friday 7th February between 8-9pm.

CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle sashay through the queer history of Southwark!

The group shared stories about past and contemporary LGBT locals. Discover how they are represented in old ballads, songs and poems. Learn about the LGBT people and mental health.

Listen again to our Largactyl Shuffle LGBT History Radio Show on Resonance FM. 

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Positive Change

As part of our International Women’s Day celebrations, CoolTan’s current exhibition ‘Positive Change’, looks at inspiring female figures.

The exhibition runs from March 7th to May 30th 2014 open Monday to Friday 10-5pm, drop in and have a look!

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