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#SmashingStigma – Designs in Mind

Photo of a person in the dark walking past JOLT shop in Oswestry which is full of light and invitationDear All – soon I will create a project page on fair acre press about our new Arts Council England-funded visual arts project called


Meanwhile I would like to introduce you to one of our amazing “activity partners” Designs in Mind – and their shop Jolt – both in the heart of Oswestry in Shropshire.

It is an extraordinary place. Incredibly well equipped with large windows, friendly faces – an extraordinary resource for the mental health services to be able to refer to.

All research proves what we all already know – that creativity is good for everyone’s mental health.

Designs in Mind has been helping the more vulnerable in the community for 25 years.

Their shop – JOLT – is full of sunshine and incredibly high quality-I wanna-buy-it-all goods

I just received the following, by email – and want you all to know about this. Thanks. Nadia x

PRESS RELEASE: #SmashingStigma

13th February 2018

Tucked away in Oswestry, in Shropshire, our studio- Designs in Mind, is dramatically changing how people can access support for mental health issues and together we are finding ways to live life better.

“I deliberately contemplated suicide, a cry for help – I felt ashamed and guilty that nurses were spending time with me. Without Designs in Mind probably I’d be overweight, drinking too much – and the bottom line – I wouldn’t care.” Lynne

Designs in Mind is a working studio where adults living with mental illness join the studio as a member of the team, making and designing commissioned artwork and products for retail. We have 25 years of experience in how creative challenge, friends and purpose can help change minds and transforms lives. Even more, our latest Impact Report highlights that 95% of members report an increase in their own wellbeing.

Our work is intensive, recognising the recovery path that everyone takes is different – no two stories are the same. Unlike most mental health support, we are not time limited and people are not treated in isolation. People learn to be part of a group, to communicate and work collaboratively, and they can stay till they are ready to move on. We see the transition from people only coming out of the house to the Designs in Mind studio; to doing their own shopping, meeting their children from school, joining other groups, volunteering or going back to work.

“The measure of its success is illustrated in my own journey from absolute wreck to fully functioning individual. I now Chair the Executive Group, I am Company Director and a regular volunteer.” Mike

Our new adventure is the opening of our first shop, JOLT, on the high street making conversations about mental health everyday, a place where people can get support with fear, judgement or shame. We have launched our #SmashingStigma campaign so that more people can get support when they need it.

We want to start a conversation about mental health that is powerful. No more treading on eggshells. We are not invisible and we do not want to be hidden away anymore.

80% of leaders in NHS Trusts fear they will have too little money to provide timely, high quality care to people seeking mental health support.

We aim to raise £40,000 to pay for the lease and overheads of our shop, Jolt, for the next 3 years.

With the costs of running the shop covered, everything we earn from the items we sell in the shop will directly fund the studio – meaning more people with mental illness can get support when they need it. This is ambitious and we need you help to get us there.

This is a link to our campaign film and platform.    You can find out more about our work here  and here


Help us get #SmashingStigma and change mental health services forever.

Catherine Wilks [email protected] 01691 655 140 17a Cross Street, Oswestry, SY11 2NF

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