| Community Projects

Art In Mind was started in 2004, a joint venture between Arran Visual Arts and the Community Mental Health team who make the referrals to the group. It has been funded by the Awards for All Lottery fund, The Robertson’s Trust, and The Weir Foundation, as well as supported generously by local Arran residents. In the past it has raised its own funds through the sale of cards and paintings, and we hope to do this again soon.

Art in Mind was also fortunate to receive funding from the Arran Community Council Funded by Scottish Power Renewables’ Beinn an Tuirc 3 Windfarm, in November 2023. This fund has enabled the part-time employment of an Art in Mind Coordinator, Faye Waterlowe, and the development of a second weekly Art Group. “Art in Mind Mark 2” meets in Brodick Hall. Art in “Mind Mark 1” is a weekly Art group for residents of Arran suffering from Mental Health conditions. It meets in the Ranger Centre at Brodick Castle.

Both groups have qualified local artists who act as Tutors. Ann Hume, Isobel Milne, Zabdi Keen, and Mike Bailey, teach, help and support group members with their artistic efforts. People with a mental health problem, who are interested in Art are offered the groups, and referred by the Community Psychiatric Nurse.

The main aim of Art in Mind is to reduce social isolation, providing a safe and relaxed environment where people can socialise, while being creative. Over the years, this has increased the confidence of individuals attending, and enhanced their feelings of well-being. There is no time limit, so some people have been coming for the twenty years, others come and go, but they all know that the door is open for them to return.

There is a relaxed, friendly and sometimes really industrious atmosphere, not to mention frequent doses of laughter! Time can be spent in group activity and doing your own ‘thing’, with plenty of help, support and advice – often achieving great results.

A very important aspect of Art in Mind is often people can feel ill, low, scared and very alone, but on making what can be a very real effort to come to the group the atmosphere is such that you can come away feeling you’ve achieved something that day, and maybe not so alone.

When asked what people enjoy most recently, answers included:

  • “Friendship”
  • “Meeting up with like-minded people”
  • “Social and relaxed atmosphere”
  • “Feeling for the first time in my life, like I belong somewhere”
  • “It is a safe place to come”
  • “Learning about art”
  • “Acceptance and understanding”
  • “Nobody judges you”

When asked if the group helps them in their daily life, some said:

  • “I can’t imagine life without it”
  • “Yes, it gives me a focus during the week, which I look forward to”
  • “Yes, Socialising with other artists”
  • “Yes, I look forward to it, it’s the only time I go out and meet people”

We hope to celebrate the 20th Birthday of Art in Mind in some way in September 2024.

Craft, Coffee and Chat (previously known as The Umbrella Group)…

…was started in 2014, an initiative between AVA and Arran Community Voluntary Services. After ten year’s a re-launch with a more descriptive name was thought to be timely.

Craft, coffee and chat is a weekly craft group in Lamlash church hall for anyone feeling socially isolated or lonely. It is led by a rota of volunteers who encourage and support members in a wide range of crafts including card making, felting, origami, clay modelling and painting . The Craft, coffee and chat group is open to anyone interested. Contact ACVS on 01770 600611 if interested.

People attending this group have said:

  • “It’s about meeting folk,and occupying my mind, …and the biscuits”
  • “I come for the company and the giggles”
  • “The volunteers gain great enjoyment from meeting people, and feeling like I’m doing something for the Community”
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