Whats “MENTAL” is that it hasn’t been done already….

Almost one in five people feel anxious all or a lot of the time, yet only seven per cent of people who say they suffer from anxiety seek help from their GP. (Mental Health Foundation: Living With Anxiety report, 2014)

Thats a lot of anxiety with little help sought. This is one of the reasons I am happy that Jeremy Corbyn has appointed a shadow “Minister for Mental Health” as a part of his new shadow cabinet. “Luciana Berger will directly work on mental health issues and consider how they can best be addressed by the NHS and prioritised by a Labour government.” About time we had more focus upon mental health and the impact that is has upon people and their lives. (read the full story HERE)

Something else I find interesting about this appointment is that the position has no identical counterpart in the Conservative government…Anyway… enough about politics, lets go back to what we at MollyQueen are all about. Making Art accessible to all… We look forward to listening to the personal survival stories of people who have experienced mental health problems… viewing their heart felt art… finding motivation and beauty in the world, through people who wish to share their knowledge and experiences, for the joy of helping other people….

FACE VALUE – Sneak peeks and snippets…

This is what is next for us...

Carnival MAD 15 – Madness, Mayhem and Merriment

Workshop activities – FREE as a part of Face Value – An interactive exhibition exploring the themes surrounding mental health.

Nutritional Resilience – Guest talk as a part of Face Value. Learn about the impact of nutrition on mental health, how society influences our dietary choices and how you can eat good food for a better you and a better planet.

Dance Workshops – get moving and feel the buzz of exercise through a fun focused workshop aimed around improving your confidence, self esteem and happiness levels!

Speed Art – yes, that’s right! Come and try your hand at Speed Art with one of our fantastically talented featured artists.

Mini Marvellous Market – With Art and creativity being such a widely used ‘therapy’ for those with mental health problems, we have decided to celebrate the joys of making stuff by hosting a miniature Marvellous Market as a part of the Carnival. Here are a few of the artists that will be showcasing their wares:

Gifts by Genie (fabulous felt works, jewellery, brooches, pins and stationary).

Paul Gidley (fantastic prints with a unique social commentary and anarchic slant)

Live Music from local musicians (more info coming soooon!!! We are very excited to have one of our personal faves back with us!)

Speakers Corner – Poets, passionate protagonists, pesky conversationalists and more…

For a fuller experience of Carnival MAD 15 – why not book your tickets in advance. You will be able to access all of this AND the carnival conference.

For a booking form contact carolineopenfutures@yahoo.com

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Stuff of Life and a mountain of donated goods. What next?

The Stuff of Life Festival

 Where else can you wander into someone’s back garden and stumble across a poetry stage, with rows of eager listeners perched upon pews? Is there anywhere else that you can expect to see a human fruit machine casually gambling away your pennies for prizes? Where on EARTH can you find giant paper mache vegetables and watch as they parade around the block on the shoulders of a live band and Morris Dance troupe? Without a doubt, the Stuff of Life Festival is one of the highlights of the year for plenty of people living in Sherwood Rise and the surrounding areas.  We are so lucky to have such a wonderful group of people, brought together by shared interests and values, who choose to put on such a fantastic, free, family friendly, community event. Huge thanks to everyone involved and to everyone who attended. Here are some photos collected from the Stuff of Life group on facebook.

(Credits to photographers in the captions.)


11928718_10153237478168843_2088707592937250813_n11960083_10153237479353843_8066489699236835997_n Paper mache Harvest sculptures and a busy park, parading perfection and child shaped smiles – Photos by LL

Roy Mccready-photography‎

Roy Mccready-photography‎

Mike Peverill

Mike Peverill

Jared Mark Wilson

Jared Mark Wilson

Mike Peverill

Mike Peverill

A mountain of donated goods for the Refugee Crisis

A HUGE thank you to everyone who donated to our Refugee Collection point. There was a LOT of generosity from Stuff go-ers who donated in total:

20 + tents, 25+ sleeping bags, 30+ blankets, lots of shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant and soap. A large amount of clothes, shoes and coats and lots more. We were inundated with donations and managed to fill not only my living room, but half of a garage too!

I want to make a special thank you to Jane and Julian for helping us with transport and storage. Your help has been hugely appreciated.

The donations have now been taken to Muslim Hands on Gregory Boulevard, who are working with a number of different organisations (including Calais Action) to ensure that the goods get out to where they are needed. As I arrived to donate our two cars full of bags, I was blown away to see such a large space so full of different items, all in the midst of being sorted and packaged to be on its way.

*** Muslim Hands in now CLOSED to donations until they have distributed some of the stuff they already have***


What next?

Celebrate ‘Mad Pride’ with us at Carnival MAD 15

Saturday 10th October


9.30am – 5.30pm

A day of madness, mayhem and merriment brought to you by Making Waves, Open Futures, The MollyQueen Collective, Nottingham Trent University and The Institute of Mental Health.

Attend the FREE Conference by booking your tickets in advance, or pop by as a voyeur to view our interactive exhibition, sample the live busking and peruse the Mini Marvellous Market…

Check back here very soon for updates, sneak peeks and more…

This is what is next for us...

Email themollyqueen@googlemail.com for more info

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The Refugee Crisis – How you can help

If like me, that horrific photo of the poor little boy has tipped you into action over the refugee crisis, here are some ways you can help.

There is a Vigil Monday 7th September 7pm Market Square – to show solidarity, meet other people and find out how you can help and most importantly to drop off your donations for refugees.

Cal Aid – to donate money and see if you can help in any other way.

Refugee Action Website – for more information, another monetary donation point and to find out about other ways you can help. Why not raise some money with a “Big Night In”?

Take a look at this website in Germany, they are eagerly trying to set up similar projects in other places. If it could work for you, why not pop them an email?

There will be a gathering in central London on September 12th to show support for positive change ahead of the meeting on the 14th September of the EU’s 28 member states for emergency talks on Europe’s escalating refugee crisis.

And my bit of action is to arrange a donation point on Saturday’s Stuff of Life festival, please see the list below for what items are needed/not needed.

What we DO NOT need:
Town Shoes

What we BADLY need:

MENS SHOES: trainers or hiking shoes size 41-46 (No city leather/heels or wellies)
TENTS, COVERS, TARPAULIN (even incomplete)
CANDLES or other lighting implements

What we ALWAYS need:
Tracksuit trousers
Jeans size 28-32
Sleeping bags
Plastic bags
Woolly hats
If anyone wishes to help me with this collection, please drop me an email to themollyqueen@googlemail.com – need help particularly with raising awareness, transport and help on Saturday.

Have a good day, be grateful for what you have and please tell your friends about the donation points (this Saturday – stuff of life festival OR Monday 7pm in the Market Square),


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You are what you think…. my take on positive thinking.


Today was a good day. I left the house on time, having done all of the little jobs I had planned to do. I arrived too early for my meeting, allowing a little time to let my daughter play on the swings she so dearly loves. Of the row of four swings, two were hanging as they should and the other two had been coiled around the pole and were way out of even my reach. I am quite tall.

Sitting watching my daughter swing higher than high, it occurred to me that this is one of those ‘glass half full’ things people seem to go on about. Had I had a bad morning, I may have focused upon the two swings that were so out of reach and the impact upon child’s play that this may have had. Those two imaginary children stood impatiently queuing needlessly for a turn on the functioning swings. The frustration as parents try to free them from above their heads, to no avail. The prejudices and stereotypes that flow through the mind as you try to imagine just WHO would have done such a thing.

Instead, it was a good day.

The glass was half full. There were two swings still in perfect working order. I sat upon the bench and focused upon the smiles and gleeful cries from my daughter as she kicked up higher and higher. I took in the sunshine, the greenery, the smiles from passers by. I felt grateful for this little bit of stolen play that I could witness in a day all too often filled with rushing from one task to another.

Positive thinking. Described by Remez Sasson as “a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the bright side of life and expects positive results.”. Well, that is all very well, but it is a difficult attitude to maintain when you are having a bad run of luck, you are feeling unwell or when things just aren’t going right. I think that quite often, just thinking positively is not going to help. Sometimes, it needs to be a little bit deeper than that.

In my experience, negative thoughts are deeply connected to experiences, feelings, behaviours and the rest of the stuff that makes us complex creatures tick. It has taken me two rounds of cognitive behavioural therapy to even begin to understand where my negative thought patterns may have come from, let alone how to challenge them. The beginning of my journey into understanding the way my brain works has enabled me to deal a little more effectively, with my issues. It has grounded my sense of self and given me a deeper understanding of how certain situations affect me and how to deal with them. In times like this, where I feel elated and grateful for what the world has to offer, this is something to be proud of. Something to share with others. Something to say.

On the days where the disabled swings are at the forefront, the achievements I have made reduce in size and become diminished by the insurmountable challenges ahead. What good is positive thinking then? What good is putting a positive slant on something when you are defeated, exhausted and irritable? Those are the days when sometimes, it’s okay to acknowledge that there may be a hole in the glass. It just isn’t going to go well. There may well be frustration, needless queuing and interrupted child’s play. You may feel furious, dejected, defeated or any of the multitude of negative emotions that we possess the keys to. This is okay. It is okay to feel negative emotions, some of the time. To appreciate and acknowledge them. To understand them and piece them into their place in your journey.


Read the full book here. <—- The Velveteen Rabbit.

Read about Positive Thinking here. <—- Why Positivity isn’t always a good thing.

Read about CBT here. <—- Mind Website with plenty of info about CBT.

Face Value 

An Interactive exhibition exploring the themes

surrounding mental health, at more than face value.

Saturday 10th October 9.30am – 5.30pm 

The Institute of Mental Health, Triumph Road

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Face Value – Say whaaat?

Face Value – (an interactive exhibition.)


  1. to accept something as it appears to be rather than studying it more closely.

2. the apparent worth or implication of something.

Join us at The Institute of Mental Health at Nottingham University on Saturday 10th October between 9.30am – 5.30pm as we explore ‘Mental Health’ beyond it’s face value.

“Mental health is defined by the World Health Organisation, as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” But what does this mean? What is ‘realising potential’? Is it achieving everything you wanted in life? Everything your parents wanted for you? Everything that is expected of you? What is expected of you? Why? What are the normal stresses of life? What is normal? Is anyone productive and fruitful all of the time? What sort of contribution to the community do I have to make? What if my community doesn’t want me? What if I don’t understand? What if i disagree? Who listens to me? Who cares?

The exhibition consists of contributions by local artists who each have their own experiences of mental ill health. Some artists have chosen to explore their own emotions and stories, while others have chosen to depict certain aspects of society that discriminate and disempower survivors of mental illness. Some artists have chosen to focus upon the positive elements of their experiences, such as the beauty within recovery or the wonderful feeling that exudes as life’s obstacles are overcome. Each piece within the exhibition has a powerful message and will support you as you explore the impact that mental health experiences can have upon individuals, families and their communities. This exhibition is a safe environment to confide, express, discover and share.

As part of the exhibition, there will be featured workshops surrounding empowerment and self esteem, confidence, nutritional resilience, and more. There will be information available from local services and organisations that can offer advice and support.

Please be aware that there are two parts to the event on Saturday 10th October. The art exhibition is free and you will be able to attend free workshops throughout the day.The other event is described as a heady mix of conference and carnival around mental health themes of ‘Trauma, Transcendence and Transformation’. To attend the conference you MUST buy tickets in advance. For more info about the conference, please contact carolineopenfutures@yahoo.com. Tickets are based on a voluntary donation.

Date: Saturday 10th October

Time: 9.30am – 5.30pm

Address: The Institute of Mental Health, Triumph Road, Nottingham NG7 2TU

Email: themollyqueen@googlemail.com

Face Value postflyer copy

In association with Making Waves, Open Futures, Nottingham Trent University and The Institute of Mental Health.

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Pirate Park Picnic – A fantastic success


Huge thanks to everyone who came to the Pirate Park Picnic last week.

It was lovely to find so many friends of the Pirate Park and to watch the children playing. Special thanks to our fabulous storyteller from A Touch of History and JayFace the most amazing face painter in existence. Further thanks to the wonderful May from Forest Kids Nottingham for her nature activities, including fairy door making and nature hats.

Nottingham City Council were there to tell people about their plans for the redevelopment for the park. Nothing is set in stone yet, but they have plans that they hope to be formalised by the middle of September. We are hoping to hold another event around then so that everyone can express their views about the proposals.

The redevelopments should be going ahead in November, so expect the park to close for a few weeks while they get busy. As soon as we know more, we will let you know!

We will be emailing everyone who gave us their email address soon, to let you know what exactly will be happening with the Friends of the Pirate Park group (FoPP). This includes those children who signed up to be on the Children’s Committee!

We look forward to seeing you at the park soon!


11051808_10153089792940678_3283385619457834925_nThanks to Sita Pops for the fantastic panoramic photos!11110056_10153089802105678_2669090532485763772_o11845157_10154078725823272_8667298244634746576_oThanks to Mark Ryan of Rapicam, for supplying the above image of the site.10900024_10153420295468564_8860784034181140083_o

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Face Value merges with Carnival MAD – October 10th 2015

We have the pleasure to announce that we will be joining forces with Making Waves to take part in a fabulous event on Saturday 10th October 2015.  Carnival MAD is a brilliant event that aims to raise awareness of mental health issues via a whole day of Mayhem and Merriment. The event will be taking place in a fabulous venue, details to be announced very soon….

M – maladjusted to unfairness, unkindness and oppression

A – activists and architects of resilience and wellbeing for ourselves and others

D – dedicated to dialogue, deconstruction and discovery

Face Value will be exhibiting local artwork based around the themes of mental health, stigma, recovery and other artist interpretations. There will be poetry, live music, performance art, well-being workshops, nutritional therapy – ‘good mood food’ workshops and more.

We will be posting a lot of information over the next few weeks, including how to get involved, what to expect, where to find us and everything else you need to know.

Face Value postflyer copy

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