As it is the 11th of November we of course turn our thoughts to those who have given their lives in conflicts across history and the world. From the World Wars to more recent conflicts fighting to preserve the security and principles we all hold dear and sometimes take for granted.

Being involved with mental health and the benefits of creativity I also look to those who have served in our armed forces who have struggled to integrate back into society. It is understandable that the traumas, stress and horrors they witness in active service stay with those when the move into life outside the arm forces. It must be a terribly difficult experience to go from being with comrades and friends in the close knit community of regiment and unit to then being alone with only yourself to rely on and cope with such traumatic illness as Post Traumatic Stress. We see reports of so many people from the armed forces ending up on the streets or in dire mental health need as they attempt to reintegrate with society. It is also notable that there is a long history of service personnel returning from conflict to little real support.

The number of times people recall grandfathers and fathers who served in the two World Wars recounting stories of their struggles which they tried to keep to themselves or away from their families.

Some clearly cope but others are left very isolated and vulnerable. As we celebrate the memory of those who have fallen, as we thank those who have served, let us also ensure that those same people are supported. Supported to deal with the traumas they may have witnessed. Supported to enter back into society and find meaningful and useful purpose. Supported to build and lead their lives without stigma and suspicion.

So maybe we should remember today. And also remember throughout the year as we help those from the services and all our society who are struggling with issues in their lives.


Some artwork from S2C people this week:

Important News……(No really!)

Okay, if you read last weeks blog about change then you just knew I was going to drop something out there. Well, okay, there is something to tell!  have been the Chair of S2C since we started forming the organisation amid the collapse of Workbase. Having started and run the WellArt Group as part of Workbase with my friend Jo  a couple of years before that it seemed a very logical thing to do to save that format and start over so I guess in total we have been doing our particular brand of art for health for nearly 8 years.

One thing about growing an organisation is that at the start you can do it with a small team at first but then as it grows and develops you need to get more people involved. We have some fantastic volunteers who work their socks off to help our service users and we have amazing service users who defy their illness daily to do amazing things.

We have a big project in mind in the coming year which is going to take a lot of work. For that reason I have decided to step down as Chair of S2C. I will be remaining a Trustee but will be focusing on my roles as Creative Director and Manager. In fact you probably wont notice much difference!

So, the empty Chair. We are very fortunate to know some ace people and are very happy to announce that our good friend Julie Tait has agreed to take over the role. Julie brings a wealth of experience in running creative events and fundraising. Julie is one of those people with great connections and the will to drive projects forward. In the past it has been Julie and her team who created and delivered Mintfest and more recently The Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

Julie will be looking to help us move forward and supporting me to provide a better service for those we help. We are all very excited about  working with Julie and I am sure it can only mean bigger and better things ahead.

There that was to bad was it as changes go!

Some of this weeks fabulous artwork.


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