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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CoolTan Council

Picture11CoolTan Arts is looking for willing people to join the CoolTan Arts Council!

Information on CoolTan Council meeting in November:

The CoolTan Council held a second meeting and it was decided that participants who joined us would visit with other groups to raise awareness and ask if anyone else would like to be part of the council.

In order to share what people are doing in the art/poetry/IT/gardening/magazine groups, we wanted to ask for participants from each group to come along and share what they are doing in that group. This would allow everyone to find out what goes on in the other groups at CoolTan Arts.
The next meeting of the CoolTan Council will be held on 4th November at 1.30pm
We are hoping to gather a group of participants and volunteers who are willing to attend meetings both at CoolTan Arts and externally, to represent the organisation, and have your voices heard in services that exist for you.

If you are interested please speak with Kaya or Tara or email or or call 0207 701 2696.

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Mental Health Wellbeing Advisors – Job Vacancy

An exciting opportunity has arisen at CoolTan Arts for someone who wants to see mental health services move away from the medical model and drive change in the primary health care system. A dynamic and vibrant person who is self motivated and enjoys a challenge.

Job Title: Mental Health Wellbeing Advisors
Location: Third Floor, 224-236 Walworth Road, SE17 1JE
Salary:  £25,000 pro rata, 2 days ( 15 hours) per week. 1 Year Contract.
Closing date: 5pm 20th August 2014
Interviews:4th/5th September 2014

To apply please e-mail a completed application form with CV to  CoolTan-Arts-Mental-Health-Well-Being-Advisors-Job-Pack-2014 No previous applicants please.

About CoolTan Arts: We aim to promote positive mental health/well-being, bringing about a change in how participants perceive themselves, enabling people to gain greater focus and to re-establish their relationship with society. CoolTan Arts is an organisation dedicated to the de-stigmatisation of mental health by the engagement of people with mental distress working, volunteering and contributing to the public environment though the arts.  We aim to achieve this through quality arts education, well-being and support services including self Advocacy.

Job Purpose: To pilot an exciting new service, to provide an innovative GP referral system of Arts on Referral (AoR) for people with low level mental-distress, building on the 23 year model established by CoolTan Arts (CA) for people with more severe mental ill-health. To enable CCG’s to commission Social Prescribing, including Arts on referral (AoR). Increasing our referrals and personal budget holder’s opportunities.
To provide GP surgeries with a dedicated Creative mental Wellbeing Advisers’ (WA), skilled in developing individual wellbeing plans for users of the health service. During this trial period the pathway will be via CoolTan Arts services.
This post exists for these key reasons: to develop an integrated, preventative holistic approach to mental distress. for the NHS. Acting as the main link between CoolTan and the statutory mental health services, and broader community.
Social prescribing for mental health is a mechanism for linking patients with non-medical sources of support within the community. It recognises the contribution of social, economic and societal factors.  One form is Arts on Prescription (or Arts on referral (AoR).

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CoolWalks – New Dates for 2014

CoolTan are excited to have several new CoolWalks coming up in October, 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

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CoolTan Arts CoolWalk – Literature & Green Spaces
Thursday, 30th October 2014 12:30pm
CoolTan Arts CoolWalks welcomes you along on our free guided journey through Peckham’s hidden literary history and through SE15′s amazing number of green and open spaces.  Learn new things, make friends, get fit and have fun.

Start: Peckham Library, 122 Peckham Hill Street, SE15 5JR
Start Travel Details: Bus: 12, 36, 37, 63, 78, 136, 171, 177, 197, 343, 345, 363, 381, 436, P12, P13, Rail: Train to Peckham Rye
Finish: Peckham Rye
Finish Travel Details: Rail: Peckham Rye, Buses: P12, 78, 37, 484 (Nunhead Lane); 343, 484, (Peckham Rye or Strakers Road); 12, 197, 63, 363 (Peckham Rye or Forest Hill Road); 112, 176, 185, 40, 312, P4, P13 (Lordship Lane)

CoolTan Arts CoolWalk – War in Walworth
Saturday, 8th November 2014, 12:30pm
On Remembrance Weekend CoolTan Arts CoolWalk invite you to join us on a free walk to reflect on the stories and experiences that war has had on the citizens of Walworth and nearby.
The walk is approximately 4 miles and is suitable for all walkers.  We would ask participants to bring a bottle of water, wear sensible walking footwear and weather appropriate clothing.  There will be a short stop where you will be able to eat your own snack or purchase something to eat.

Start: Newington Temporary Library, Elephant Artworks – Second floor, Elephant Road, SE17 1LB
Start Travel Details: Bus: 12, 21, 35, 40, 45, 53, 63, 68, 136, 148, 171, 172, 176, 343, 363, 453, 468, P5
Rail: Train to Elephant & Castle, Tube: Elephant & Castle
Finish: Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ
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 – 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

cooltan-arts-largactyl-shuffleAre you interested in London’s hidden stories? Then CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle is for you! Join us on fun guided cultural walks for mental and physical wellbeing.

The themed walks are researched by volunteers who create intriguing talks on local history, arts and mental health. You can learn new things, get fit, and take part in fun interactive activities.

The Largactyl Shuffle is named after the oldest anti-psychotic drug, Largactyl, that can have extreme physical side effects including a distinctive shambolic gait, or ‘shuffling’.

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 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 Walks

May 17th 2014 – Pagan Walk
Tate Modern  -  Camberwell

June 21st 2014 –Midnight Walk
Tate – Maudsley

July 19th2014 – Garden Walk
Maudsley– Myatts Fields

August 16th 2014 – Industrial Walk
Tate Modern– Bermondsey

September 20th 2014 – Black History Walk
Maudsley – Peckham

October 11th 2014 – Sponsored Walk
Maudsley – Southbank

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

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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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Volunteer Coordinator – Job Vacancy

cooltan_spiral outlineAn exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced Volunteer Coordinator at CoolTan Arts.
CoolTan Arts is dedicated to the de-stigmatisation of mental health. Projects at CoolTan Arts aim to engage people with mental distress through working, volunteering and contributing in civic and public engagement. We achieve this through quality arts education, well-being and Advocacy services. CoolTan Arts has won the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.

Job Title: Volunteer Coordinator

Location: 224-236 Walworth Road , London . SE17 1JE

Salary: £24,000- £26,000

Terms: 37.5 hours (Per week)

Responsible to: Operations Manager

Responsibility for: Volunteers

Closing date: 7th July 2014

Interviews: Friday 18th July


To apply please e-mail a completed application form with CV to 

Download a full  CoolTan Arts Volunteer Coordinator Job Pack

About CoolTan Arts:

We aim to promote positive mental health/well-being, bringing about a change in how participants perceive themselves, enabling people to gain greater focus and to re-establish their relationship with society. CoolTan Arts is an organisation dedicated to the de-stigmatisation of mental health by the engagement of people with mental distress working, volunteering and contributing to the public environment though the arts.  We aim to achieve this through quality arts education, well-being and support services including self Advocacy.

Job Purpose:

CoolTan Arts is looking for a dynamic, experienced ‘people person’ who is upbeat and lively with a ‘can-do attitude’ and works well in a team. The Volunteer Coordinator will lead on recruiting, engaging and supporting a range of volunteers from diverse and excluded communities; especially those with mental distress, disabilities and long-term health conditions. The right person for this role needs to be flexible and have a range of skills to meet changing needs. This role will lead on the organisational overview of volunteering for CoolTan Arts.


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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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CoolTan Arts Stays Up LATES

The CoolTan Arts Stays up LATES book is now available to view online!CoolTan Arts-stay sup-LATES-Cover

Also, the film footage of the events can be seen here:

CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle @ Science Museum LATES researched and led a series of guided gallery tours on mental health at the Science Museum during 2013-2014. The tours explored objects in the museum with a connection to mental health heritage, inspired by collections in the Medical, Psychology and Science Galleries. This resulting book is a record and celebration of this work.

If you have enjoyed this publication please consider donating to CoolTan Arts, so we can keep providing our award winning workshops, walks and projects:




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