The Talking Tree
PROJECT NOW FINISHED. Growing voices centers around our travelling talking tree, collecting the voices of people who have experienced mental health problems and the stigma they have faced. We are now taking our message into schools in Eden reaching out to educate young people about mental health and resilience.
We have now reached the end of phase 1 of Growing Voices having attended over 25 events and talked to over 2,000 members of the public. It's been an amazing and eye opening journey for us, having recieved such a warm welcome and postive response to our work wherever we've travelled. We really feel we've achieved our objective to get people talking about mental health and thanks to media interest in the project have reached a much wider audience with our message than we originally hoped. But, we're not finished yet! Building on the success of phase 1 we are now planing to take Growing Voices into schools and colleges in the Eden area, and subject to funding we hope to roll this part of the project out to educational establishments accross Cumbria.
We plan to talk to as many young people as we can, teaching about mental health and wellbeing and encouraging young people to be less judgemental about mental illness through our educational activities. We plan to help young people become more resilient by teaching about wellbeing and spreading our message that mental health problems are more common than most people think and that there is help out there for anyone who is struggling.
We are currently seeking to recruit volunteers to support this work by both sharing their own experiences and helping to deliver workshops based around building resilience and encouraging young people to look after their own wellbeing.
If you would be interested in finding out more please contact Zoe Quick (ne McIntosh) on: 07535018790/01768 840679 or email Zoe.Quick@cemind.org
Our talking tree, which is be the focus for the project, grew from the Wellbeing tree in Carlisle Eden Minds community café. Visitors to the café were encouraged to read the messages others had left on the tree and then inspired to leave their own message. This new tree, created by Carlisle artist Ben Gates, has travelled around events in Cumbria gathering peoples stories and messages about mental health and wellbeing wherever it goes. The stories are in the form of recordings you can listen to, leaves you can read, messages left by everyone the tree came into contact with. As well as the tree volunteers were be on hand to offer a picnic of crafty activities, cuppas and cakes made at the new Eden Community café.
The tree was created by Ben Gates with support from our project volunteers.
Ben found his interest was in sound making and the instruments used to create it whilst studying Sculpture on a fine arts degree. This led him to creating his own experimental sound/musical instruments and after leaving college he devised accessible and fun ways to run workshops for young people.
He now has ten years experience running workshops in schools and youth clubs, engaging young people in music and sculpture making with a difference. He has also begun developing giant outdoor instruments and sculptures for parks and sensory gardens.
For more information on Ben's work visit his website or contact Ben by email leftfootproductions