Arts and Minds


The Arts & Minds Network aims to bring together people in Leeds who believe the arts can promote mental well being. The network is open to anyone who in Leeds wants to see the growth of arts and health – including service users, carers, mental health workers, artists, arts organisations and mental health organisations.

How did Arts and Minds (AM) start?

10 years ago NHS people interested in arts and mental health classes. There were many things going on in isolation so people started to coordinate good practice and projects. At the time it was done under the auspices of the Leeds Partnerships Trust, which has evolved into LEEDS & YORK NHS FOUNDATION Trust.

Arts and minds started purely voluntary, no one was unpaid, out of good will.
Then about 6 years ago, some money to pay a development worker Linda Boyles, and 2 years later money became available to employ a development manager.
Linda filled the latter role and Tom Bailey became the new development worker.

What are the aims and objectives of Arts and Minds?

The focus is on mental health and arts; to foster creativity. Arts and Minds is trying to inform Arts projects with a mental health focus and arts focus via the website and a printed magazine.

So somebody might ring Tom and say I work for service users in mental health, do you know of a arts project relevant to their needs? So the development worker signposts people to the right arts group or project for their needs. As such Arts and Minds is about client centred-ness, user survivor centred-ness. Workers service users, survivors, word of mouth between any or more than the above can make queries and referrals or self referrals.

Arts and Minds asks people to join as members, so that they can get the newsletter by post or email, the latest news and arts events. There are currently 900 members. Carers and workers are involved and there is a self defined membership, Arts and Minds is a broad socially inclusive, non discriminatory equal ops membership.

Tom Bailey started to divide work into 3 areas : Visual, Performance, Book and Film

Tom says:

“we offer a broad opportunity to involve people in arts with different individual needs for creativity. We are trying to offer different art forms, and to involve as many different people as possible: music, dance, film, drama, book clubs, writers groups, walking groups etcetera.


Arts and Minds doesn’t run all the groups we advertise or refer people to. We support these groups by signposting people to them if we think they will benefit. . We signpost group volunteers, managers, coordinators to sources of funding. We collaborate together so that everyone benefits – win-win.


And we don’t do lots of visual arts, as there’s no point – other projects do this, but where there is a needs we will spot it and try to cater fr it. Arts and Minds supports arts creativity in Leeds, encouraging mental health services users. Arts is a really good way to aid recovery.”

There is a distinction between arts in health, and formal art therapy. Arts and Minds is looking at working with art therapists and to make the case for art therapists to be used more within NHS services partly as a way of arts creativity. So give your views to Tom Bailey on this proposal and copy emails to

OTs are excellent at their job, using arts and crafts to aid recovery

What has Arts and Minds has achieved so far:

The Love Arts 3 week festival (it used to be 7 weeks)

The big Highlights Exhibition in the Autumn, and 100s of events in 10 years on many aspects of art

post by Milan Ghosh


An interview with Mark Cruse, a very nice man and Inkwell’s Manager


 Milan: How was Inkwell set up?

 Mark: Well it was a Pub …

Milan: I know I used to come here The Shoulder of Mutton I am a Chapel-Town boy and Chapel-town’s not far away …

 Mark: It was set up 4 years ago…It’s great for us all really. Inkwell was an idea to set up a safe place space for people with mental health needs to change neurosis to artistic creativity by seeing creativity in their difficulties. It is shaped by users suggestions, opinions, and involvement

Inkwell is a project of Leeds Mind. Art is therapeutic, creativity is therapeutic, you don’t need to be an Art Therapist to see that. Inkwell is very busy with various projects art, painting, drumming, Secret Cinema monthly, on which Sue Renagur wrote a post for leedswellbeingweb.

 There’s also Meditation Classes run there by Leeds Mind Peer SupportCall Leeds MIND on 0113 3055 802.

Some subjects taught are:

1. Mindfulness of Breathing – Steve HART

2. Loving Kindness – Steve Hart

3. ZaZen Practice

4. Body Scan [for relaxation and bliss]

5. Mahamudra – you’ll have to ask Steve, or better come along!?

 In Conclusion: There’s plenty of good things going on in the world, in which YOU can participate, for your improved physical, mental and spiritual well-being, and that of others too.

There is always possibility, despite the dark side of life and the world, so don’t lose out, get the power of positive arting, creating, thinking, meditating out. Don’t stay inside your head, or de bed.

Life is for living, and life is short.

 by Milan Buddha ‘mad’ (i.e. True Individual) GHosh.

 Another post is coming very soon…


 artsandminds Leeds and York NHS Trust

 Milan blogging on and on this time for Arts and Minds…

Shiny Boots of Leather


Hello again.  On this dark wet afternoon, here’s a dark poem!  Some of you might be familiar with the title


The only men

Who are fully grown

And never childish

Are evil men.

I watched a film

Made by Hitler’s chums.

They thought the Aryan man

Was a macho man.

But in the discos

Of San Francisco

A moustachioed Nazi

Flecs his pecs

Admires his glistening chest

Scans the club

For the submissive.

Some ladies in the corner

Wearing stupid wigs

Just laugh at him.

‘Not to my taste darling,’

‘The seventies are over honey’

But the Nazi does not

Go home alone

He’s got himself

Something nice and naive

Who wants to see his camp.

Call it youthful folly.

But the folly

Is shocked

By the Iron Crosses

And swastikas.

‘Don’t worry,’ says the Nazi

‘It goes back to my punk rock days,’

‘We all used to do it.’

‘Before my time,’ says the folly.

The Nazi grinned, showing gold teeth.

‘Your my time is now, my love.’

Daniel Tavet (c)


( image from

Pecking Order


Just at home, got a bit of internet time, which I don’t normally have.  Thought you might like another poem.

Pecking Order


A forty-something male

Gave a patronising smile

To Dean

A twenty-something male

Smug in his belief

That his age made him wiser

And his class

More human.

Dean covered up his indignation

At the staid hoary suit.


The grey pinstripes

Of a man with no blood.

See him tower

Over the powerless

Or those with wide eyes

And lolling mouths.

“Automatic good manners

Serves a purpose,”

Says George,

“It goes back to the Normans

Kept the peasants in check.”

Dean was a stranger here

And thought best to do as the Romans.

Once business was done

He’d soon be home

Playing computer games

And smoking dope.

But George

Had a hard day’s work ahead

And was dependent on trainees.

“Where’s my temp with the nose stud?”

He muttered.

She was in the car park

Smoking roll-ups


What to make Dean

For his tea.

Daniel Tavet(c)

Directly elected for Mayor for Leeds?


Elected mayor the way you go must be your decision.
Photo by Rob Farrow under creative commons license

Directly elected Mayors for Leeds is this a good idea or bad for local democracy?

Leeds is going to the polls on May 3 to decide on a referendum for locally a elected Mayor what will you be voting for?

 The UK Parliament website describes:

The Conservatives in opposition pledged to hold mayoral referendums inEngland’s twelve largest cities outside London. Following the passage of the Localism Act 2011, ministerial orders providing for mayoral referendums in each of the cities on 3 May 2012 have now been approved by Parliament and made by ministers. These relate to ten cities since the city councils of both Leicester andLiverpoolhave resolved to adopt mayoral systems. The Government has announced that elections will take place on 15 November 2012 in those cities which vote for a mayoral system.

As regards mayoral powers, the Localism Act allows for the delegation of “local public functions” to “permitted authorities”. The Government is taking a “bespoke” city-by-city approach to the decentralisation of powers. However, it has said that cities with an elected mayor will automatically meet the requirement for strong and accountable leadership necessary for taking on new powers and funding streams.

Would a directly elected Mayor be good for Leeds?

The worry for me is how much power is invested in one individual and their ability to steamroller through their plans for a city without any reference to locally elected councilors I know that their has been real concern regarding the actions of the Mayor of Doncaster by the local councilors who have felt that their voice as local elected representatives has not been heard and effectively ignored this can’t be good for local democracy the system of which has evolved and developed to provide for consultation and governance with checks and balances to protect the public good this may not be perfect but at least it is accountable and honestly representative. So I for one will be opposing this concept.