Wellbeing Web Training

DSC00232 We’d like to encourage more people to write, and share photos and films, about what it is that we enjoy and keeps us well living in Leeds, so we’re organising some days of training over the Summer to tell people about our blog, and help them get started blogging with us.

The first of these will be at Swarthmore Education Centre on Thursday 18th July from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day will be free, and we’re looking for 10 volunteers who:

 Have lived experience of mental health problems

 Are passionate about wellbeing and want to share their experiences of improving and maintaining their own wellbeing in Leeds

 Have a basic computer skills e.g. email, browsing the internet, word processing

 Have an intention to upload material to the Wellbeing Web once the training period is over

 Are comfortable working with other people in small groups.

If you’re interested in joining, or you know anybody else you think might be, e-mail: leedswellbeingweb@gmail.com or phone Terry on 07929 421945. Places are limited, so please apply by Thursday 11th July. We’ll confirm your place on Friday 12th July.

We’d also like to hear from you if you can’t join us on that day, but would still like to be involved in some way – contact us and we’ll try and think of something. Perhaps you could write a guest blog about something you think is worth sharing?

You can also follow us on Twitter @Leedswellweb and it’s always great when people leave comments on blogposts.


Adult learners Week – FREE COURSES at Swarthmore, for everyone. Wed 22nd & Thur 23rd May.

The fabulous Swarthmore Education Centre is hosting an Adult Learning week, on the 22nd and 23rd May from 11 am – 2 pm   The courses are open to everybody and are FREE!!!!!!!


Courses include French/Spanish conversation, Sign Language, Hand drumming, Herbalism and Printing!

There are so many benefits from taking community courses – some of which include: Having fun, meeting new people, increasing confidence, generating new ideas, preventing isolation, trying something new, having a creative outlet and the list goes on….

For more information contact Swarthmore on 0113 2432210.

Swarthmore Education Centre,  2-7 Woodhouse Square, Leeds LS7 1AD

Raise the Roof at Swarthmore

untitled2 Swarthmore%20Education%20Centre untitled images OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Swarthmore Education Centre has been running courses for 104 years from the little terrace in Woodhouse Square just round the corner from Joseph’s Well. It’s amazing what you can do there. Over the last 30 years I’ve started courses in classical guitar (the short-lived ‘Segovia’ phase), mime (the even shorter ‘Bowie’ period). radical psychology (the noisy ‘Reichian’ year), and British Sign Language (beginners – even that was a bit too advanced). In truth the only thing I really stuck at was the People’s Choir, a weekly gathering of about 50 of us, which I had great fun at for several years. Ok I wasn’t a great student, but the fact was I was able to have a go at all those things, and learned some interesting stuff.

In the Summer Leeds Wellbeing Web had our 2nd set of training at Swarthmore and as the course tutor I loved the relaxed atmosphere and the general friendliness. Staff seemed quite happy to be confronted by enthusiastic community journalists eager to try out their interviewing and camera skills. One particular piece of footage never quite made it to the blog at the time but it was about Swarthmore’s roof fund – here it is for the first time:


After 150 years the old roof was getting a bit leaky, so this year has seen the replacement of 4 of the rooves of the historic pre-Victorian buildings that make up Swarthmore. That still leaves 2 to do and it’s massively expensive, so more funds are needed, and the lovely people at Swarthmore are having a party – and you’re invited! Maggie says “Everyone is welcome to attend ‘Raise the Roof’, Swarthmore’s Christmas Reggae Party with reggae music from DJ Peter James and reggae band Mojah. This takes place on Friday 14th December from 7.30pm – midnight. There’s a licensed bar, and food to share (free).

Tickets £5 in advance or on the door – available from Swarthmore’s café or reception. All funds raised will go towards Swarthmore’s Roof Appeal.

See http://www.swarthmore.org.uk for more details or about any of the amazing things you can do at Swarthmore. (There’s an open day on 3rd January, 10.30 – 1.30 and 5 -7 p.m. if you want a look around). You can always just send them a cheque to them at 2-7 Woodhouse Square, Leeds LS3 1AD, or drop in and check out the good, cheap community cafe, and free craft cafe every Wednesday.

Creative Space Cafe @ Swarthmore Education Centre – Wednesdays 3pm-5pm

Recently I painted a butterfly in an art project at Swarthmore Education Centre.  The project H(art) was run by Erica Mitchell who is the new Community Engagement Project Worker at Swarthmore.  It was Erica’s clever idea to paint jigsaw pieces which were then to be assembled together to create a giant heart-shaped jigsaw. The brief was that you could paint anything using the colours; red, white and black.

Take a look at this colourful and fun short film I made about the day. See if you can see my butterfly!

H(art) was a one-off event and was part of The Love Arts Festival but don’t panic as Erica also runs a weekly drop-in Creative Space Cafe.

 The Creative Space Café –  every Wednesday during term time from 3pm until 5pm.

 It is a weekly art and craft session which is held in the Swarthmore Coffee Shop. There is no cost and no need to book – just turn up and join in.

For more information please contact Erica at erica.mitchell@swarthmore.org.uk or just turn up!

Erica also mentioned that she is looking for volunteers to support the Creative Space Café. If you are interested in arts and crafts, and can offer help and guidance to other people during the craft session, contact Erica.

 Thanks Vicky 🙂

Swarthmore now offers ‘taster sessions’ with groups in community settings.  Taster sessions allow people to give-it-a-go without having to commit to a full course. Many people find that this increases their confidence to come down and see what Swarthmore has to offer. Contact Erica for more information whether you are an individual or community group.

There are many courses available at Swarthmore Education Centre, 0113 2432210.

Instrumental evening, Love Arts Festival, October 2012

As part of the Love Arts Festival, Instrumental hosted a great evening at Swarthmore Education Centre.  This quick film shows the highlights of the evening.

I interviewed Dave Lynch who represented High Royds Memorial Garden and Mike Jolly from Cloth Cat, a music charity in Leeds.  Dave talks about how music helped him express his feelings and Mike Jolly encourages people who are in receipt of means tested benefits to take a free course.

The artists involved were Lunar Calling, Georgette Hilton, Dave Lynch, The MoMo’s, Instrumentalists and Biscuit Heads & the Biscuit Badgers. They were each very different in style and the talent really was outstanding.

Instrumental promotes gigs in Leeds to raise awareness and money for mental health causes. The evening was a collaboration between Arts and Minds, Cloth Cat and High Royds Memorial Garden.

A very inspiring evening..

Thanks Vicky 🙂