Innovation & Transformation-CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle Sponsored Walk 2014

Walk for mental health with one of London’s most unique walks – CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle!

We will be joined by performance artist Mark McGowan – better known as The Artist Taxi Driver or Chunky Mark!

Date: Saturday October 11th 2014, 11.30am-4pm
Starts: Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill, SE5 8AZ (outside the main entrance)
Finishes: Southbank
Registration Fee: £5 unwaged, £10 waged

Sign up now quickly and easily online here

Innovation and transformation








What does the walk involve?

A 4.8 mile guided walk through London’s history, led by CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle. We will celebrate World Mental Health Day, with fun talks, art and performances along the route. This years walk theme is Innovation & Transformation – in medicine, technology, arts and psychology – and will explore how WW1 affected society. Come along, have fun, meet new people and help raise much needed funds for CoolTan Arts.

Mark mcGowanWe will be joined on the walk by The Artist Taxi Driver – a street artist, performance artist and prominent public protester. By profession a London taxi driver and occasional University speaker and arts tutor, he is known internationally for his performance art including shock art, street art and installation art.

Why are we raising money?

CoolTan Arts provide support in an area which has one of the highest incidences of mental distress in Western Europe. We enable people to develop their potential, reconnect with their aspirations, recover and enjoy life!

Due to severe funding cuts we need your help to ensure we can continue making a difference. The walk aims to raise at least £10,000 which would benefit CoolTan’s participants in any of the following ways:

  • Provide 200 free workshop sessions for vulnerable people without other funding from mental health services.
  • Provide accredited training sessions in employment skills for 60 people – enabling people to move into the workplace.
  • Expand our Cooking Club programme – giving our participants valuable life skills and access to affordable, nutritious meals.

You can read more about CoolTan Arts and the work we do here.

Where and when?

Setting off from Maudsley Hospital on Saturday 11th October at 11:30 and ending by the river at the Southbank, this 4.8 mile walk is suitable for wheelchair users and welcomes absolutely everyone to participate. The walk finishes with refreshments and a chance to get to know your fellow walkers.

How can I register?

  • Click on this link to a website called Eventbrite and you can register and buy tickets. Tickets are £5 unwaged or £10 waged, plus a small online booking fee, so please select which is relevant for you.
  • Or, you can download a Registration Form and return it to CoolTan Arts, Third Floor, 224-236 Walworth Road, SE17 1JE.
  • Or, register in person at CoolTan Arts.

Once you are registered to start fundraising, you can download our Sponsorship Form, or you can raise money online by setting up a fundraising page on

If you have any further questions, please click here for our FAQs, call us on 020 7701 2696, or email

If you can’t take part yourself please consider sponsoring our walkers:

Download our press release here: Press Release-Innovation & Transformation 2014

Download our walk poster – print, share and help spread the word:




convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

Vote for CoolTan Arts to win the Lloyds Community Fund!

10615608_10202871383405502_2857856563945245934_n CoolTan Arts needs your vote! We are pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted for the Lloyds Bank Community Fund 2014 in London Bridge.

We have the chance to be awarded a grant of up to £3,000 from Lloyds Bank. This would enable us to continue our work, supporting people with mental distress in the local community by developing our Largactyl Shuffle Walk.

The Lloyds Bank Community Fund was set up to help local people across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man to have a positive impact at the heart of their community by giving grants to up to 1,400 local good causes in 350 communities.
There are four good causes shortlisted in each community and Lloyds Bank is inviting everyone to vote for the causes they’d most like to support.

Voting runs from 9am on the 2nd September to the 10th October 2014. Cast your vote for CoolTan Arts by visiting the Lloyds Bank Community Fund website here

You can also vote by SMS – text ‘Vote LYT’ to 61119

Or by using Twitter – tweet #COMMFUND LYT

Or vote in a branch of Lloyds bank.

The  cause that receives most votes in each community will receive an award of £3,000, with the other groups receiving £2,000, £1,000 or £500 depending on the votes received.

Help us help you and get voting, we really appreciate it!


convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

Review of CoolTan Arts AGM

lr-DSC06478On the 16th September, CoolTan Arts had their Annual General Meeting (AGM) which covered their Annual Report for the past year; future plans and their being bestowed The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The evening started with a great turnout, packed full of supporters from volunteers past/present, CoolTan staff, participants, friends, London Borough of Southwark……(deep breath)….Hourbank, United St Saviour’s Charity, Southwark Day Centre, St Paul’s Church, MIND, APICU -  which pretty much conveys CoolTan’s diverse members.

Michelle Baharier, our CEO of CoolTan welcomed everyone to the 2014 AGM and introduced Deputy Lieutenant Jenny Beckley to the stage and awarded CoolTan the 2014 Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service; which is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. CoolTan was given a certificate signed by the Queen and a domed glass crystal…..picture it as a 3D laser crystal with the Queen’s Emblem crown, very snazzy.

DSC06467Sasha who is our Chair of Trustees commenced with a reading of his section of the Annual Report, with CoolTan accountant Keilah presenting the financial report.

Once the annual report was delivered, CoolTan staff carried out a 60 second presentation on their past and future efforts with CoolTan and their cooperative achievements with the volunteers. This was a great approach for the staff to illustrate the impact they’ve had with CoolTan and future goals.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was not the only award given out, special awards were also given for CoolTan’s dedicated volunteers who were awarded a certificate for 100+ hours of volunteering.

Once the meeting was over, Michelle Baharier announces there was a buffet for the guests, after a poetry performance by Peter Cox who is a regular volunteer. Peter performed two of his own poems called ‘Two men’ and ‘One man’; the poems were delightful and witty which in my opinion lr-DSC06470sustained the audience’s appetite.

Once the night was over I asked Michelle Baharier her thoughts of the AGM and her words were “fantastic, food was divine, very positive event and attendance was amazing.”

The AGM was informative, pleasurable and conveyed their diverse audience – and being at the event, you can see that CoolTan Arts has positively affected the participants, volunteers and staff.

Review by Ereomala Atigolo
Communication Assistant

convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

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 (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 – 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:


big lottery_pink

convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

CoolTan Council

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

Information on CoolTan Council meeting in October:

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 23rd October at 4.15pm
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.

convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

CoolTan Trip to Kew Gardens – A Photo Review

On Friday 8th August CoolTan had our annual summer trip to Kew Gardens. We had a great time exploring the gardens and greenhouses and soaking up the last of the sunshine! We were very lucky as we got the opportunity to climb to the top of the famous Kew pagoda, which was open for the first time in 8 years.  Here are some photos from the day:


convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

Largactyl Shuffle Industrial Walk – A Photo Review

On Saturday 16th August CoolTan Arts’ Largactyl Shuffle held an ‘Industrial Walk’, through the main throughfares, back streets and riverside stretches of Southwark and Bankside. On the way they visited the Hop Exchange, the historic riverside wharfs, the Leathermarket, Jam Factory and explored the work of local artisans. Here are some photos from the day:

Photos by Oksana Dotsenko

convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

New Staff Members

Introducing Tara

New Staff member - Tara

CoolTan would like to give a big welcome to Tara  Logan Shand who has recently joined the team as our Self Advocacy Trainer.

Tara says: – ‘ I have been busy meeting participants and getting ready for the new Self Advocacy course, which I am really excited about.

I have a background in illustration, working freelance commercially and also on my own graphic novels, mixed with 5 years as a support worker for a large charity, taking on advocacy cases and supporting people to have lives they are happy with.

I am pleased to part of an amazing organisation that works to make real changes in people’s lives!’



convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

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).

convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

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

blog walk borough1
CoolTan Arts CoolWalk – Myths, Legends & Tall Tales
Saturday 4th October, 2014 12:30pm
Think you can tell fact from fiction?  Join CoolTan Arts CoolWalks, as part of the Nunhead Bite food festival, to find out on a free guided walk through Nunhead to uncover its local characters, their myths, their legends and their tall stories.  Learn new things, make friends, get fit and have fun.

Start: Nunhead Library, 88-138 Gordon Road, SE15 3RW
Start Travel Details: Bus: P12, 78 or Train to Nunhead
Finish: Honour Oak Station
Finish Travel Details: Train: Honour Oak Station, Buses: P4  or P12

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 – Walworth at War
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 Walworth and it’s citizens, and how these continue to shape the area’s landscape.

Start: Newington Library, 155 Walworth Road, SE17 1RS
Start Travel Details: Tube: Elephant & Castle, Train: Elephant & Castle, Bus: 12, 35, 40, 45, 68, 148, 171, 176, 468. P5
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 – Regeneration
Saturday, 27th November 2014
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.



convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

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 24th September 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
convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

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.

convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

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

convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

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.





convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

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

convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

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.

convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

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

convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

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

convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

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.
convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post

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:

convert this post to pdf.

Print This Post