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The CoolTan Arts Review December 2014

INSIDE: Events, Reviews, Exhibitions, Insight, Poetry, Recipes ... and more!

FREE WORKSHOPS! CoolTan Arts are running a new series of FREE 12 week workshops from 6th January 2015. Workshops are open to all people 18+ with experience of mental distress who are currently unemployed and are not receiving a personal budget. Come along, gain new skills, meet new people and explore your creative side. Friendly and relaxed environment, with small groups and professional tutors.

Art Tuesdays 11am - 1pm Film Tuesdays 11am - 1pm Creative Writing Wednesdays 11am - 1pm WordPress Thursdays 1:30 - 3:30pm Photoshop Thursdays 11am - 1pm Call 020 7701 2696 or email to book your place now!

Š 2014 All Right Reserved CoolFruit Magazine was produced by volunteers at CoolTan Arts in workshops led by Annie Spinster

Written & Edited by:

Afey Yacob Andrea Cornfield Ann Fenn Annie Spinster Caroline Sparrey Gregory Baldeosingh

Layout & Design:

Alessia Passaretta, Afey Yacob and Caroline Sparrey

Cover Image:

Aaron Pilgrim - Grace & Friends Playing Snowball in Heathfield Court; 2014, acrylic on canvas.

Hattie Lucas Lillian Nalumansi Tanya Zhu

With Contributions by:

Amos Philips Debbie Francis Gerald Baker Jamie Merton-Richards Jill Spencer Patrick Idika Paula David Peter Cox Rik Sanders T.A.L.S.

We would love to hear your views and thoughts on what is in this magazine. Do you have any great photos or memories from our Sponsored Walk? What are your top tips for wellbeing in the winter months? Have you ever had to cope with benefit sanctions? Maybe you have a poem, recipe or piece of art you would like to share with us. Please send all letters and submissions to and we will include as many as we can. With thanks to The Maudsley Charity and Capital Volunteering Legacy Fund for supporting this project.


The CoolTan Arts Review

Welcome And Season’s Greetings to all our CoolFruit readers. It’s that time of year for festivities and this will be reflected within our December issue together with items about important social issues. Lillian Nalumansi investigates the problems that arise when people’s benefits are sanctioned and talks to those affected. Hattie Lucas looks at CoolTans innovative self-advocacy skills project. Jamie Merton-Richards discusses mindfulness and the journey towards a mind free from distress. As the sun sets earlier and the weather get colder in December we lose those precious hours of sunlight we enjoyed over the summer months. Annie Spinster investigates the use of light boxes in her article Some Light Relief. Gregory Baldeo-Singh looks at the history of the umbrella and we also have tips on how to survive the cold winter months. CoolFruit magazine is an excellent platform for both participants and volunteers of CoolTan Arts to display their creativity. This issue will not disappoint and we have fantastic creative items such as poetry, recipes, artists’ profiles, musical recommendations and artwork showcasing the talents of our members.

Contents Self-Advocacy 4 This Year and You


Exhibition 10 The Story Behind my Hoarding


Artist Profile: William Ball


Brolly Good! 22 Some Light Relief ...


Seasonal Poetry


Recipes 28 Sanctioned 30 Mind Full, or Mindful?


Artwork: Patrick, Gerald and Rik


Artist Profile: Nilo Fadai


Innovation & Transformation


Tips for Winter Well-being


Whistle While You Work




Get Involved 58


m a e T t i u r F l o o C e h T

The opinions in this magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of CoolTan Arts as a charity.


Skill stro s for a nger voic e


Last Tuesday, I came into CoolTan to volunteer and made a cup of tea in the kitchen. When I sat down at the table, Alan, a participant in the self-advocacy workshop, was concentrating on writing some notes. He told me that a representative of the Department for Work and Pensions was coming into CoolTan to deliver a talk about the shift from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payment. Alan was determined to prepare himself for the talk and to make sure that he asked important questions and raised his points. I asked him whether he felt that self-advocacy had helped him. He said ‘immensely.’ There were at least ten of us attending that morning. Tara went through the guidelines for participants when taking part in the group. She emphasised the importance of helping people find their own voice. This is the essence of the self-advocacy project: participants are empowered by knowing their rights, developing the confidence and skills to speak out, and challenge discrimination. The group asked many questions during the class and there was an atmosphere of confidence to probe the DWP official’s comments.



Beginnings Phil Ruthen, CoolTan’s former Advocacy Training Coordinator, facilitated the development of the self-advocacy project in 20092011. It was the UK’s first self-advocacy skills modular training course designed for and with adults experiencing mental distress. The need for this programme came out of earlier peer advocacy training in Southwark. The idea of a course was discussed at local forums attended by local service users, such as Southwark User Council. An intended trainining partner, Cambridge House Advocacy, generously gave peer-training materials to be adapted to help start the actual workshops’ start-up - their funding had been cut in the time between the bid, and the funding award. The opening years were a success, and 3 more years funding were secured, including a rare repeat grant from Comic Relief, expanding the project team with trainer Michelle Savioz joining full-time. At the time of its inception, it was a unique project, building also on longstanding training approaches from people with learning disabilities and their organisations in the international civil rights movements. Since then, other organisations have commissioned self-advocacy workshops from the project e.g. Together-UK.

The workshops There is a new topic each week and, importantly, the topics are repeated to enable wider access to training. Topics have included: assertiveness, managing personal finance, how to lodge a complaint, and navigating mental health services. The project is also about supporting others to advocate for themselves. Training is given by internal and external experts, for example, last week’s topic was Understanding the Mental Health Act, which was delivered by Bob Lepper, SLaM’s Trust-wide Legal Advisor. The topics are decided on by the participants, volunteers, and facilitators using a collaborative approach to ensure that the needs of participants are being met. A key principle of advocacy provision is that it’s free to sign-up for a place.


The training won Best Practice in Peer Support Development category in the Mental Health Providers’ Forum Best Practice Awards in 2013.

Karen, who provides anxiety and selfesteem training, was very pleased that participants had started to stay around after the anxiety management sessions. ‘These are people who would normally have just packed up their stuff and left,’ she said, ‘but instead they stayed for a cup of tea and discussed shared experiences.’ Some trainers have disclosed that they have a history of mental health distress, which can be important to some participants because it can provide them with hope. However, they do not go into specifics and are very clear that they are not counsellors. Karen has said that it has been a privilege to teach self-esteem, anxiety, and panic attack classes; she particularly enjoys the lively discussion that emerges. She also said that recovery is different for everyone and that self-advocacy can provide a toolkit for not being debilitated by mental distress, ‘People tend to come back to selfadvocacy because of the support and solidarity they get on a journey on which they must implement the skills and changes themselves.’


The future of self-advocacy Over the last six months, the self-advocacy group has been advertised on Meet-up, which has meant that people have attended who might not necessarily be mental health service users. This is part of a long-term goal to encourage many more people to be involved in the project. Tara, the self-advocacy trainer at CoolTan, also wants to develop a peer-led group that runs alongside the current project and has concrete aims. In order to facilitate this, she is planning workshops on how to run a group, how to speak confidently, and to eventually produce podcasts. There have been big triumphs and success stories during the course of the programme but, as Tara said, ‘It is the day-to-day things that are the real marker of self-advocacy. For example, helping people write letters, lodge complaints, and get a fair hearing.’

‘It’s about the “doing” as much as the “knowing”, and self-advocacy encourages people to do as much for themselves as they are able, through raising self-esteem and self-confidence. It’s not an easy thing to do, but 6 years of the course at CoolTan shows it’s something people really appreciate trying out.’ - Phil Ruthen, CoolTan’s former Advocacy Training Coordinator.


To attend Self-Advocacy at CoolTan • Classes take place on Tuesdays from 11am to 1pm and Thursdays from 2pm to 4pm. • Self-advocacy is free to attend and the majority of participants do not have Personal Budgets. • The environment is informal but structured where you can look at ways to help yourself, pick up strategies for challenging issues, behaviours or situations, and learn how to improve your general wellbeing. • One-to-one support is also available. • Contact: for more information. • You can begin at any time of the year.


This year‌everything has passed quickly.


Everything has been a blur. We focused body and soul on improving, And keeping that promise we made for you and for us; To live a life for the three of us; To live a life worthy of you, should you have been here to share it. This year we faced trauma and problems we had not imagined; Health that faltered, and grew slowly back, like tiny buds on trees. We fought to survive and then we fought to live. And we won small battles; They left some scars but we won them. This year, come the dark and the cold, we will wrap Our lives further together, and think of you. We hope that you are proud that we battled on, For each other and for you. When the coloured lights return, and dance, So does your spirit in all that we do. By TALS

Image from a CoolTan participant

This Year and You

Beyond the Confines, The mechanical mind vs imagination - Priyanka Kansal Sharma

xrays - Liz Innes

untitled - Grame Newton

Make te


Tower of Force - Horacio Bento

ees not war - Alika Samuel Timothy Agidi-Jeffs

Untitled - Saffron Saidi

t r I a n s n f o a o v n r a d m t a i t o i n o n

Intricate thoughts - Karon Carter la vita e bella - Ekaterini Koliaku

river of life - Noel Smith Side effects, Medicate them - Jamie Richards

Elvis Presley reading the paper in London 1958 - Aaron Pilgrim

Time and Light - Ese Imonioro

Homage to Tesla - Mike Fox

Innovation and Trasformation runs until mid-February 2015

t r I a n s n f o a o v n r a d m t a i t o i n o n

y r o t s e h T

behind . g n i d r my hoa

Part A. Events of 1972-73. It seems that when my parents moved away (from Birmingham to Surrey, by the way) mementos of my schooldays were misplaced which gave a sense of effort gone to waste. One school report remaining- no, not fine. Some essays marked with 6 or 8 or 9 but no school photos, loss of school reports and artwork, schoolwork, plus my thoughts. Fast forward just one year- my mother died. then I moved too- in Surrey I reside. I was at first untraumatized, not cross, but later hoarding stemmed from all this loss. Part B. 1973 until now, in same Surrey flat. My mother died, I lived with Father then my Father died. Alone, this must be when the muddle, mostly paperwork began. At home, I could not organize or plan. And then two years ago, I got support, so now began to file, throw out and sort. SCHOOL PHOTO 1965 WAS FOUND! And now I have less paper-work around.



A Hell is when, with papers all around, the one thing really needed can’t be found, or when mementos lost or just misplaced create a sense of effort gone to waste. I’ll sort all muddled paperwork around. (School Photo after ALL those years was FOUND) and hope no valued things will be misplaced that might give rise to awful thoughts of waste. Peter Cox, Jan 2009 revised 28/8/14 ( Windsor ), 1/9/14, 6/9/14.

Image from a CoolTan participant


William Ball: Artists Profile by Caroline Sparrey

William came to CoolTan about 10 years ago after a friend recommended it to him. He mentions to me that he enjoys the feeling of having his work exhibited as it gives him a feeling of accomplishment. “I try to get into every exhibition” he says and this is evident from the many paintings that are often displayed in the exhibition space.

“I try to get into every exhibition” I was first introduced to Williams work when he exhibited the paintings ‘Black and White’ and ‘In My Chair’ at CoolTan’s Summertime Blues exhibition in summer 2014. ‘Black and White’ is created using a mixture of positive and negative shapes of butterflies, clocks and cabinets. It is unusual that he uses black and white in his pictures as many of them use very strong and vibrant colours. His preferred artistic medium is acrylic paint and I also notice that he likes to use collage such as the butterflies and birds used in his piece ‘In My Chair’. “plates can be used as stencils”

William Ball attends CoolTan Arts

regularly and his artwork is often featured prominently in the exhibitions held at our gallery. He first ventured into art after enrolling on a watercolour painting course at Putney Art College. After losing his job he found that he needed something to focus on and art had always been something he had been interested in.


I ask William what his influences are and whether he has an idea of what he wants to paint beforehand. There are no artists in particular that influence him although he does have an appreciation for the artist Van Gogh. “I like Van Gogh. We all have a rich inner life and Van Gogh is very good at bringing that out in his work. He tells me “I don’t deliberately aim to have an objective when I start painting” and he is usually inspired by the world around him. Objects such as plates can be used as stencils such as the circles seen in his piece Construction1.

He also mentions that some of his pieces may be a little political but nothing complicated. His most recent pieces touch on a political message. Construction and the previously mentioned Construction1 use large structural images repeated with overlays of paint and the negative shape of a woman walking in the latter picture. These structures can be seen as missiles or buildings and William notes that there is a feeling of being misplaced and oppressed within these tall structures that represent the seats of power within society. The colours used within Construction1 can also be seen as being representative of the British flag.

Artists Profile

Some of his pieces may be a little political but nothing complicated At present he is continuing to experiment with these structural shapes, negative images and repeated forms to see where this takes him. He tells me that he has never been overly keen on conceptual art and prefers to explore abstract instead. Since joining CoolTan he has gained more confidence to experiment and says that he ‘likes the social and creative aspect’ of attending the classes held there. It is clear that he puts a lot of passion and drive into his work and so it is likely that there will be plenty more paintings and In My Chair, 2014 exhibitions from William in the future.

Black and White, 2014


Construction Series

These structures can be seen as missiles or buildings and William notes that that there is a feeling of being misplaced and oppressed within these tall structures that represent the seats of power within society.




COOLTAN ARTS WOULD LIKE TO WISH YOU A VERY HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON! Whatever you are celebrating, have a great one!

Please J oin us for CoolTan’s Christmas Party It’s the holiday season, come and celebrate with us! When? Friday 12th December, 6-10pm Where? CoolTan Arts, Third Floor, 224-236 Walworth Road, SE17 1JE We’d be delighted if you could join us and celebrate the last year. It will be a fun, friendly evening with refreshments, presents and karaoke! If possible please bring some food and drink to share together veggie, vegan, wheat and nut free options all very welcome. We will also be swapping gifts in a Secret Santa at the party, to take part please bring a gift costing £1 or less to put under the tree. Please RSVP to or phone 020 7701 2696 to let us know you are coming along.

All welcome! Please note: CoolTan Arts will be closed after Friday 19th December 2014 until Monday 5th January 2015

Brolly Good! Gregory Baldeo-Singh investigates the history of the umbrella. Have you ever thought about how to start a conversation with a city gent? One good way is to start talking about the umbrella! I first became interested in this subject when looking at the array of umbrellas on a rainy day and interpreting this from an artistic angle. It’s nice to see the different types of wood and protective material in a rainbow assortment of colours. Keen to learn more about these fascinating cultural objects I chatted with Philip Naisbit of London’s most famous umbrella shop, James Smith & Sons Ltd. () in the middle of the West End. The company has been making umbrellas and walking sticks since 1830.

How did the umbrella become popular? Jonas Hanway popularised the umbrella. He was the first Englishman to carry one regularly. He was pelted by coachmen and chairmen for his persistence since they saw in his new craze a danger to their own means of livelihood. Hanway continued undaunted however and the custom soon became widespread. Because Daniel Defoe’s character Robinson Crusoe fashioned an umbrella from skins, they were often known as ‘Robinsons.’ But Hanway got the idea in Persia while travelling on business. Persians had been using parasols since they were imported by Chinese merchants on the Silk Road.

Where does the name ‘umbrella’ come from? The name comes from ‘umbra’ a Latin word meaning ‘shadow’. The parasol, a similar device designed to keep off the sun, takes its name from the Latin words ‘para’ - to protect and ‘sol’ – sun.

Types of umbrella … There are different types of umbrella. Most are made in the same traditional way that they have been for over a hundred years. Examples include: 1. A ‘tube frame’ umbrella with metal ribs fixed to a steel central tube. 2. A ‘fit up’ which has a wooden shaft with a different piece of wood for the handle. 3. A ‘solid stick’ umbrella. This has a single piece of wood which makes up both the shaft and the handle. This type of umbrella is also suitable for use as a walking aid.


Images by Richtom80, Matej Duzel, StromBer and James Smith & Sons Ltd.

Feature The folding umbrella is a modern design which collapses to half its length. James Smith & Sons also make golfing and fishing umbrellas and ones to take to the races. The Military also use them.

When was the umbrella designed? Modern umbrellas are based on a design by Fox Frames from the Mid-Nineteenth Century. They were originally made from brass and whalebone. Later models used steel for the ribs which made them stronger.

Where do James Smith & Sons source their umbrellas? Some are made at James Smith & Sons, others come from Italy, France and Germany.

Prices? Prices range from £19.95 for a small umbrella to the most expensive at £2500 which has a rare wood handle. The average price range is £65-£125. The Traditional Gent’s City umbrella has a metal tube with steel frame and ranges from £65 upwards. An umbrella with wooden ends and a wooden handle or a solid stick umbrella made from ash, cherry or various different woods is more expensive. Prices for these start at £250.

Why are most umbrellas black? Black is the usual London style. It goes with the bowler hat and the pin-striped suit. They are made in other colours but that is a traditional London style.

What about the superstition of opening umbrellas indoors? It is unclear where this superstition came from. One possible explanation is from the days when an umbrella primarily provided protection from the sun. To open one indoors was therefore an insult to the sun god. If you have a horse-shoe in the house it cancels out the bad fortune of an open umbrella.

Researching this article has been fascinating and has given me a totally fresh outlook on the umbrella. It was great to visit James Smith & Sons in their fascinating shop in the West End and I hope to return soon. If you’re ever in the area, it’s well worth a visit!


Some Light Relief … Annie Spinster investigates Seasonal Affective Disorder and the Winter Blues As the nights draw in and the mornings get darker, around 2 million people in the UK find they have a lot less energy and begin to feel depressed. When these symptoms begin to interfere with everyday life, they may be diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Winter City Landscape by Olga Kruglova

Even for those who are not depressed, the short dark days can lead to the ‘winter blues’, affecting our moods and energy levels. Most of us tend to have less energy, eat more and sleep longer in the darker months.

What is SAD?

SAD is recurrent depression that occurs at a particular time of year, usually in the winter. For some people who have long-term depression it can mean a worsening of symptoms over the winter and an improvement as the days get longer. Like other types of depression, the symptoms include low mood, lack of interest in life, low energy, sleep problems, low self-esteem and feelings of hopelessness.

What causes it?

The exact cause of SAD is not yet known but it is thought to be caused by reduced exposure to sunlight which affects the levels of serotonin and melatonin in the brain. Shorter days also affect our circadian rhythm - the brain process that tells us when to sleep and when to wake up.


Image by Barnaby at CoolTan Arts

What can you do to help?

Here are some simple things we can do to help keep us smiling through the winter months: • Get outside as much as possible, even when the weather is gloomy • Go out as soon as it’s daylight or as early as possible - this will help your brain to wake up • If you are working indoors, try to sit near a window • Open blinds and curtains fully and make sure your windows are clean - it sounds simple but it can make a big difference • Use bright lights in your home - the new LED lights are very bright and don’t use much power • Decorate your home with light colours to reflect whatever daylight is available

Wellbeing Don’t forget to do all the usual things to maintain your mental wellbeing as well: • • • •

Exercise Eating a balanced diet Getting enough sleep Keeping in touch with people you care about • Noticing your surroundings • Doing activities you enjoy, including learning new things and doing things for other people If you feel very depressed or you are having suicidal thoughts always see your doctor.

What about light therapy?

Many people with SAD find the use of a special lamp very effective for alleviating symptoms. There are two types of light therapy that can be used: Light boxes - these are large, very bright lamps that you sit in front of for a period of time each day, usually 20-90 minutes in the morning. Some people find an additional session in the afternoon when it gets dark helps too. They should not be used in the evening as they can disrupt your sleep patterns. Light boxes are medically approved devices, however they are not generally available on the NHS. Prices start at around £100 online but you shouldn’t have to pay VAT. Most manufacturers also allow you to trial the light box for 30 days.

Dawn simulators – these are lamps that wake you up gently by becoming gradually brighter over a period of 30 – 90 minutes. While they are not intensely bright like light boxes, many people find them effective for helping them feel more awake in the mornings. Most models can also be used to simulate dusk in the evenings, so aiding restful sleep. Prices for dawn simulators start at around £40 online. Again, you shouldn’t have to pay VAT. Some people find a combination of dawn simulation and using a light box once they are awake to be the most effective treatment.

What NHS help is available?

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that SAD is treated the same as other forms of depression. This means that you will not generally be prescribed light therapy. Your doctor can prescribe antidepressants or refer you for CBT or other talking therapies.

Where can I find out more? Seasonal Affective Disorder Association NHS Choices pages on SAD Information from Mind Advice on choosing and buying a light box


Christmas by Debbie Francis

The fairy lights are on The Christmas tree is standing high The smell of Turkey roasting in the oven The family gathers Kisses and hugs Presents galore Mulled Wine for the tasting Spices hit the taste buds Head swimming Merry Christmas Sherry trifle to finish the day


Image: Riccardo Diotallevi - Merry Christmas!!!

The echoing cold breeze, warmed by the winter sun, and long sleepless nights, eased by her in my arms. The green of tomorrow peeks through the frost of last night. Her first word is a glimpse of who she will become. Distant birdsong dances around my ears. Her first, ‘I love you’, echoes back to me.

Poetry These poems are from Diagnosis: Hysteria? Prescription: Hysteria! CoolTan Books £5.99

Winter’s Child By Paula David

A pale blue sky is dusted with white. A soft sleeping face is swept with an innocent smile. The crackle of frost under my foot forces a new day. Her first chuckles blow away the wrinkles of night. Spring butterflies dance around the honeysuckle, like the demands of a pubescent beauty, who first learns to flirt. The rich scent of summer makes us dizzy with blossom. The strong pull of fashion aids her transition. The soundless tick of the sun’s shadow is counting the hours, the inevitable time, when my baby girl is a woman. Image: Mike Fox - Grey Landscape


CHAI BROWNIES From Amos Philips INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 30g 1.09oz unsweetened desiccated coconut 125g / 4.4oz plain flour 200g 7oz caster sugar 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 125ml very strongly brewed chai tea 125ml rapeseed oil 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD • Preheat an oven to 180C / Gas 4. • Spray a 20cm square baking tin with cooking spray (or grease lightly with oil or butter) and dust lightly with the 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. • Place the coconut in the bowl of a food processor, pulse until finely chopped, and set aside. • Whisk together the flour, sugar, 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder, the baking powder and salt. • Stir in the brewed chai, rapeseed oil and vanilla extract, just until all the ingredients are moistened. • Fold in the coconut. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. • Bake in the preheated oven until the top is no longer shiny – about 20 minutes. • Allow to cool for 1 hour before cutting Note: Make sure you use vegan sugar if you want the finished product to be 100% vegan.


These recipes are from CoolTan’s cookery book Food for Mood, available from CoolTan Arts, £9.99.



In most of Asia it is impossible to have a conversation about food without hearing about the various health-giving properties of the ingredients. Koreans in particular will enthuse at great length about how their copious consumption of garlic, chilies and kimchi has made them one of the healthiest and most diseasefree nations in Asia. As everyone around me seems to be coughing and sniffling with early Autumn flu, I have so far managed to escape by making daily potfuls of this warming, soothing Korean persimmon punch. Known as ‘sujeonggwa’ in Korea, this punch can be served hot or cold and is highly praised in Korea as an immune-system booster. The scent of the cinnamon and ginger simmering away will make your kitchen smell a bit like Christmas. Dried persimmons can be purchased at Asian and Middle Eastern Stores.

INGREDIENTS Serves enough for several glasses Ingredients: 2 litres of water 2 large thumb-size pieces of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced 6 3-inch pieces of cinnamon bark or sticks 6 tablespoons of honey (or more to taste) a handful of dried persimmons 1 handful of pine nuts

METHOD • Place the water, ginger and cinnamon in a pot and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 45 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by almost half and has a strong ginger and cinnamon flavour. • Strain out the ginger and cinnamon and stir in the honey until well dissolved. Add the persimmons and set aside to cool. Place the mixture in the fridge and chill well. • Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan on medium-low heat until the pine nuts are golden. Pour the punch into glasses and top each glass with a scattering of pine nuts. Serve cold. Note: This punch is also delicious served hot as a kind of tea.



Lillian Nalumansi investigates benefits sanctions ...

If you do not do everything you are supposed to do to be eligible for certain benefits, you may be ‘sanctioned’ - your benefits can be stopped, or in some cases reduced, for a period of time. The media is full of accounts of people who have been sanctioned unfairly, including cases where people have not attended Job Centre appointments because they had a job interview at the same time, people who have been offered a job but have failed to continue to look for work while waiting for the new job to start or people who have failed to apply for jobs which have expired or for which they are not qualified. People on ESA have been sanctioned because they have medical appointments that clash with Job Centre interviews or because there is no accessible transport to get them to the Job Centre.


The new sanctions regime came into force as part of the Welfare Reform Act 2012. Since that time, JSA sanctions have risen to an all-time high of 7% of all claimants in a month. This falls to 6% on appeal. ESA sanctions affect 1.16% of claimants in a month, falling to 0.97% after appeal. Since October 2012, a total of over 833,000 people have been sanctioned an average of 1.73 times each. Each month, more people are sanctioned by the Job Centre than get jobs through the Job Centre (statistics here).

Images by Alex and John Keogh

Jobseeker’s Allowance


Most JSA sanctions last for four weeks. These are called Lower Level Sanctions. Your JSA could be stopped if you do not attend a Job Centre interview, don’t do enough to look for work (or cannot show you are doing this) or do not attend an employment or training scheme. For a repeat offence in the same year, you may be sanctioned for 13 weeks. If you fail to be available for work, you may have an Intermediate Level Sanction applied. In this case your claim will be stopped altogether (this is called ‘disentitlement’ or ‘disallowance’) and you will have to reapply for JSA. You will have an additional sanction of up to 4 weeks (13 weeks for a second offence in the same year) once your claim is reinstated. The most serious Higher Level Sanctions will be applied if you leave a job voluntarily, are sacked for misconduct or fail to take up a job offer or attend a Mandatory Work Activity. In these circumstances you will be sanctioned for 13 weeks or 26 weeks for a second offence in the same year. For a third offence you may be sanctioned for three years.

Employment Support Allowance

If you are in the Work Related Activity Group you may be sanctioned for failing to attend a mandatory interview or a work-related activity. You will be sanctioned for one week in the first instance, 2 weeks for a second offence and 4 weeks for a third offence in the

same year. Your ESA will not be stopped altogether but you will lose the ‘prescribed’ component (currently £65.45 for a single person).

Income Support

Since April 2014, lone parents in receipt of Income Support, whose youngest child is aged 1-4, are expected to undertake Mandatory Work Related Activities similar to those in the Work Related Activity Group for ESA. If sanctioned you may lose up to 20% of your IS for an indefinite period.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new benefit that is being rolled out. It will replace JSA, ESA, IS and some other benefits. Sanctions may be applied depending on the ‘conditionality’ of your ‘claimant commitment’ - the agreement you sign when you make a claim. Conditionality is supposed to be personalised to each claiment and take account of their individual circumstances so the reasons for sanctions and the amount and timescale of a sanction are complex to work out. The Citizen’s Advice Bureau has a guide on their website here.


Avoiding Sanctions

When you first make a claim - ensure your Jobseeker’s Agreement or Claimant Commitment is as realistic as possible and takes into account any health or disability-related limitations you have. Take someone with you for support if possible. Give full written details of the effect your health has on your everyday activities and your ability to move towards work. Ask - If you are not sure about anything. Make sure you understand exactly what is required of you. Get organised - Keep track of all appointments and aim to turn up early you may be sanctioned if you are just a few minutes late. Communicate - Let the Jobcentre know as soon as possible if there’s anything in your agreement that you can’t do, and explain your reasons - e.g. you have a medical appointment, caring responsibilities or can’t afford the travel. Follow this up with an email or letter. Keep records of everything - all the times you spend looking for work, all the jobs you apply for, anything the Job Centre gives or sends you including texts and emails. Ask for anything important to be put in writing and if something is agreed over the phone, confirm it with a letter or email. If possible record phone calls. If you are sanctioned or threatened with a sanction this will all be valuable evidence. Complain - if you are asked to do something unreasonable don’t wait for a sanction, use the Jobcentre complaints procedure immediately.


Being sanctioned can have a profound effect on individuals’ physical and mental wellbeing, as many of CoolTan’s Participants can attest: Jane was wrongly placed in the ESA Work Related Activity Group and was sanctioned when she was unable to report to an officer at the Job Centre. ‘I went into arrears with my bills,’ she said, ‘I have pets - I couldn’t let them go without so I ate less myself.’ Sebastian was sanctioned because he couldn’t produce enough evidence that he was looking for work. ‘It affected me massively’ he told me, ‘I had to borrow money and go without a lot of things. I developed a kind of transient lifestyle because I was out looking for food all the time at day centres and food banks. Lots of people assumed I was homeless.’

Images by Lydia and Chris Jones

What to do If you are sanctioned ... Keep turning up - for appointments and carry on doing everything in your agreement even if your benefit has been stopped. If you don’t you may be sanctioned for longer. Get advice - from someone independent, e.g. the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or another local advice centre (see resources at the end) Make sure other benefits are not affected - If your JSA or ESA is suspended then your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit could be stopped as well although you should still be eligible. Contact your Local Authority as soon as you can. You may need to put in a new claim for HB and CTB or provide additional information. Ask for the decision to be reconsidered - if you think it was unreasonable. This is an official process called a Mandatory Reconsideration. Write to the address on your decision letter detailing why you consider it to be wrong or unfair, including all relevant dates and times. You have one month from the date of your decision letter to ask for a reconsideration. Send this letter by recorded delivery if possible and keep a copy for yourself. Appeal - if you are not happy with the outcome of the Mandatory Reconsideration. Around 50% of appeals are successful. Get expert advice before appealing. Your appeal must be in writing. There is an official form you can use to ensure you give all the necessary information. You can pick this up from your Jobcentre or download it here. Write to your MP - copying in the Jobcentre and any private sector providers involved in your case. This will help ensure your complaint is taken seriously.


Practical help Hardship Payments If a sanction leaves you unable to afford basics like food or heating you may be eligible for a Hardship Payment - a reduced level of benefit. You will need to ask at the Jobcentre for the form to apply for this and will be expected to provide evidence of hardship. Get independent advice before claiming as it can be a difficult process. If you are on JSA or ESA you will not have to pay this back but you will if you are on UC. Food Banks These are voluntary organisations, mainly run by the Trussel Trust although some are run by churches. They can provide you with up to 3 days’ worth of food if you have no other options. You will need to be referred by someone like a GP, social worker or sometimes your local CAB. Other help There are likely to be other small charities in your area that offer free or very cheap food, hot water and clothing, or just somewhere warm to go during the day. Ask at your local CAB.


Images by Magnus D and Bromford

Have Your Say! The Work and Pensions Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into benefit sanctions policy and is inviting comments from interested organisations and individuals. Full details of how to have your say here

Hurry! - you only have until 11th December to submit your comments.

Resources Citizen’s Advice Bureau National advice line: 03444 111 444 Peckham CAB, 97 Peckham High Street, LONDON SE15 5RS, Tel: 0344 499 4134 Bermondsey CAB, 8 Market Place, Southwark Park Road, LONDON SE16 3UQ Tel: 0344 499 4134 Streatham Hill CAB, 1 Barrhill Road, Streatham Hill, LONDON SW2 4RJ Tel: 0844 243 8430

Other sources of advice Blackfriars Advice Centre, Cambridge House, 1 Addington Square, London SE5 0HF Tel: 0207 358 7034 Rightfully Yours: Southwark Council’s benefit advice service - Tel: 020 7525 7434 One Lambeth Advice: Lambeth Council’s advice service - Tel: 0344 245 1298

Contact your local Jobcentre (e.g. if you need to change an appointment) - national number: 0345 604 3719

Appealing your Sanction Government guide to appeals here, Download the appeal form here

Useful websites Benefits and Work: Turn2us:


By Jamie Merton-Richards Mindfulness seems to be the big buzzword at the moment. That in itself is not a good reason to look into something. However, after a good friend suggested I explore it, I discovered something that is now an important part of my journey towards a mind free from distress. One definition of mindfulness is ‘a mental state achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations’. Jon Kabat-Zinn is the creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine. He helps people cope with stress, anxiety, pain, and illness by teaching them mindfulness. He defines mindfulness as ‘paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.’ I like that definition. It’s easy for me to criticise myself so practising mindfulness nonjudgmentally is helpful. About a year ago, during a particularly bad depressive episode, once again being unable to get any worthwhile help from the NHS, I attended a short Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy course. The teacher was great, the people were nice, but I wasn’t in a good enough place mentally and after only managing to get to three of the classes I dropped out. However, some of the techniques I learned stayed with me and as my mental health went through various ups and downs over coming months, I found myself drawn back to the mindfulness practice. It helped a lot. I began doing regular mindfulness meditation and found my anxiety, depression and my general ability to cope with the world improved. I have my days or weeks when I can’t or won’t do it – like so many other things that I know would be good for me, the times when I least feel able to do them are usually the times I really need them. I’m not very good at sticking with things just because there’s a long-term positive result, but in true addict style, needing


Image: Mind Full, or Mindful? by Henck van Bilsen, © The CBT Partnership

YouTube Videos:


Professor Mark Williams - Talks and meditations Pema Chodron - An American Buddhist nun with a great sense of humour! a quick fix, with meditation and mindfulness practice the fact I always feel better afterwards makes them that much more attractive. Of course it’s more beneficial if I practice often but I try not to beat myself up about not doing enough and just do what I can. Being able to do something now, today, which stops the endless mind chatter, the worrying, the stress and negative thinking, means that more often than not I actually do the practice. For anyone experiencing mental distress in any form, or even if you simply feel like there’s a lot on your mind and it’d be nice to still that for a while, why not give it a go? They say you need to go on a course to really learn the techniques and I can see why, but don’t let that stop you testing the waters by exploring some of these resources:

Resources: The Free Mindfulness Project You can download various short free mindfulness meditations here. The Oxford Mindfulness Centre You can access free ‘3 minute breathing space’ meditations here and find further information on using mindfulness to help mental health. Be Mindful A good source of information about mindfulness from The Mental Health Foundation, including how to find a course near you. Book: Prof. Mark Williams The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (Guilford Press, 2007) – this is an excellent book and includes a CD of Guided Meditation Practices A version of this article was originally published on Jamie’s blog: journeysthroughthecracks


Gerald and Patrick have one-to-one digital art lessons at CoolTan. If you are interested in having individual lessons with us, please see page 58 for details of how to join.

Gerald Baker



Patrick Idika My name is Patrick, and I designed a collage which is funny and colourful. I started at CoolTan Arts almost 6 weeks ago. I had an induction day. I started to learn about different terminologies, types of portraits, photographs and types of editing. When I started here I wasn’t sure about cooking or computing but I decided to give Photoshop a try, I have found the lessons to be interesting.


feather grid 02

Images by Rick Sanders



Artist’s profile

Nilo Fadai ... talks to Jill Spencer about her artwork

Nilo Fadai is a relative newcomer to CoolTan Arts. I meet her after her Tuesday art workshop in CoolTan’s gallery where her work, Love Idol is hung as part of the Innovation and Transformation exhibition (see page 10 for more images from this exhibition). Nilo tells me that she has been making art on and off throughout her life. ‘I used to do a lot of textile design and screen printing,’ Nilo explains, ‘With screen printing you can be really precise. I designed scarves and dresses, drawing my inspiration from flowers, birds and the natural world.’

Love Idol is quite a departure then: a glamorous Marylin Monroe reclines on a beach towel, collaged against a vivid blue backround while at the bottom of the canvas two sailor girls grin cheekily. There is a tension here



between the two representations of femaleness, made more explicit by the sailors’ speech bubbles - ‘I’d join the navy’ ... ‘I wish I were ... a man?’ and the cutout letters exhort the viewer to ‘Make love, not war’. What is it possible to be as a I find Andy Warhol’s work woman in this world? modern and navy glamorous - it’s The looks fun but quite sexy implies war not love. ‘I have looked at Pop Art a lot but this is the first time I have had a go’ Nilo tells me. ‘I like Andy Warhol a lot, especially the prints he did of Marylin Monroe. I am greatly inspired by the idols from the1950’s - they always appealed. It’s nice to look at them in more depth. I find Andy Warhol’s work modern and glamorous - it’s quite sexy.’ Are there any other artists Nilo particularly likes? ‘Gustav Klimt - I love the gold he uses and I find his painting style quite feminine, the way he swirls the paint’. I ask Nilo about her process: ‘At the moment I’m working on a series of Pop Art pictures with images of Claudia Schiffer and a guy. I use different effects including collage. My work

is experimental. I begin by looking through books with nice photography. I choose imagery I like from photos, art, anything I like and from that I make my own art. I use collage and add cut up writing, like poison pen letters. I like working with tracing paper, making a tracing. You gather the information and then it’s up to you if you want to do a painting or a collage or whatever.’ Nilo has been coming to CoolTan for three or four months, what does she get out of coming here? ‘I enjoy it, it’s somewhere to relax’ she says, ‘As well as this art class I come to the Self Advocacy group on Thursdays.’ She tells me that she hadn’t made any art You gather the for a few years information before coming and then it’s to CoolTan, up to you if ‘I’m just getting you want to warmed up again’ she says. do a painting ‘In the future I or a collage or whatever want to see my art taking me to bigger better things as I learn new techniques.’ It has been exciting to speak to someone who is just rediscovering their joy in making art. I look forward to seeing where Nilo’s art takes her next.


Innovation & Transformation: A Review in Two Voices Andi Cornfield and Ann Fenn share their experiences of CoolTan’s Sponsored Walk, held to commemorate World Mental Health Day.

Mid-morning on October the 11th saw me struggling across Jamaica Road’s dual carriageway to pick up a 188 bus to the Elephant. I’ve never been a keen walker and now, with age, I have difficulty walking even very short distances. I promised to try to do some of the stages of the walk by bus, meeting up with the mass of walkers where I could. When the bus reached the Maudsley Hospital stop, the CoolTan contingent, a bright patch of orange T-shirts and Hi-viz orange jackets, was easy to spot. After a group photo on the front steps, Michelle welcomed us all, thanked a team from Barclays Bank who had come to take part and introduced the Mayor of Southwark who offered words of support and encouragement. The final welcome speech, from Chunky Mark, London’s famous Artist Taxi Driver, was short, entertaining and subversive. He talked about the government withdrawing funding from the arts, proclaiming, ‘They want you to look at the TV instead!’



I watched as the hundred or so people headed down Denmark Hill, their cheery patch of orange gradually fading from my sight. I sat on a bench for a few minutes looking at a small tree whose leaves had appropriately acquired an autumnal tinge of orange at their tips. A squirrel skipped past me, and I headed off to negotiate the traffic and reach the bus stop on the other side of the road. Our first stop was just around the corner at the Institute of Psychiatry. Informative speeches given here covered some history of the Institute and William Rivers, the psychiatrist who was at the forefront of thinking on shellshock during WWI and later. He had believed that anyone, no matter how courageous, could be overcome by fear in the line of battle. He had pioneered talking therapies and had treated the war poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen who had met right here at the Institute and, after Rivers’ treatment, had volunteered to return to war.


People chatted quietly as they walked but there was no feeling of obligation to talk. The sun danced in and out of clouds. As we drew near to our second stopping point, the sky had darkened again and it began to rain. We made our way through Camberwell Green, bright umbrellas held up like marching banners, pausing to admire the carved wooden bench installed by CoolTan, bearing the words, Imagine, Create and Inspire, and the ginkgo biloba tree planted by them. I went on to the corner of Albany Street to meet the walkers, but there was no sign of the Walk for half an hour or so. At last, I saw the familiar orange coming towards me through the park; I went across and joined them for Richard Muzira’s eulogy. Richard was a long-standing volunteer and participant at CoolTan who had been killed in a cycling accident around a year ago. CoolTan had placed a painted-white ‘ghost bike’ near the junction in his memory but sadly, this had later been stolen. The idea of having some of Richard’s poetry written into the pavement by the junction was also being investigated. As we made our way across the park I realised for the first time that Richard’s family were there, pushing the bikes along the walk. After some moving words and the fastening of two new ‘ghost’ bikes to the railings, the Walk set off again. I watched the orange outfitted crowd head off out of sight and tried to follow by bus. I got off the bus too soon and had a long and difficult walk but luckily, the excellent cafe at St Peter’s Church had not run out of food! Soon I was seated with friends, eating good food in a good atmosphere.



After rest and refreshment at The Electric Elephant café in the crypt, we heard Lu give a talk on military hospitals, shell shock units, and the role of VAD (voluntary aid detachment) nurses in the war. Then Tim described a German attack on Camberwell in which a bomb demolished a whole row of houses nearby, killing ten people. We paused at an urban allotment ground - it was during WWI that communal growing had first emerged. At this point, I wasn’t sure if I could go much farther! I set out slowly, stopping on the way to Walworth Road to have a really good cup of real coffee at a pavement table. This gave me some energy, and I boarded a No. 12 bus that would take me to the back end of Waterloo Station where the walk was due to end. We arrived at West Square, a fenced garden square bordered by Georgian terraced houses. It was here that we picked up the thread on Britain’s best-known war poets. Gathered on pathways between neat, geometric blocks of grass and understated flowerbeds, we stood and listened to the bare realities of war as expressed in Owen’s ‘Dulce et Decorum est’, ‘The Sentry’, and Sassoon’s ‘How to die’. Bright sunlight flashed across the park creating a chiaroscuro backdrop for startling words. I had read these poems at school; they were not easily forgettable words. On reaching the Imperial War Museum, we made our way through the grounds to a spot in front of two 54ft cast iron naval guns which point out from the entrance of the building as if declaring its purpose. Here, we listened to the final talks of the day. The role of artists in war was considered. Fiona, an artist, described the plight of soldiers such as Henry Tonks who was shot in the face during the war but having survived, continued to suffer further through society’s inability to accept him with his injuries. She talked about surgical treatments of that time, comparing these to the modern day and presenting a primitive looking contraption which she had been given to use herself when she had recently become disabled. The final talk considered black history and its connections to the war. I got off the bus at a conveniently located bus stop at the end of Lower Marsh. I knew the venue for the walk’s finish was accessed from this street and was ‘under the station’, but was not quite sure of the directions. I settled myself to rest and wait at a table outside a pub on the corner, and, within a few minutes, a bright patch of CoolTan orange swung into the street as the walkers, looking remarkably fresh and cheerful, came almost to the end of their day’s journey. They waved; I waved back and then tagged on behind them.


We arrived at the corner of Lower Marsh, a lively market street in the heart of Waterloo, my own locality. Turning left off the street, we entered the tunnel leading towards the station. Through echoing darkness, the walls shone out around us in a multi-coloured bombardment of street art. There was a heady smell of spray paint. A huge metal sign at the end of the tunnel declared THE TUNNEL, AUTHORISED GRAFFITTI AREA. No Sexism. No Racism. No Adverts ...You don’t have to be a gangster to paint here so please don’t behave like one. Halfway down the tunnel we entered through a doorway into the underground arts venue, The Vaults. We were led through to a large, industrial warehouse style room which offered itself today as a private impromptu café for our group. In one of the underground spaces refreshments were ready for the tired, but gently jubilant, walkers. Photographs were taken and an announcement that the walk had raised its target of £10,000 was applauded.


I emerged from the tunnel feeling tired from the walking and yet genuinely inspired and exhilarated by the experience. I had learnt something about camaraderie and the energy produced by joining together for a cause. I had also learnt quite a bit about the war and connected with it on a new level. As I walked along the street at the heart of my local community, I looked around me with a renewed sense of gratitude and the strong suspicion that my first sponsored walk wouldn’t be my last.

Gradually people started to head home, except for a number of hardy folk who repaired to the pub on the corner. I joined them for a short time, then, knowing I had more bus stops to deal with, decided to head for home. As I stood at the bus stop and thought that the day had done me good – I was feeling less tired than when I started! Then my coach arrived … a big, friendly, red London bus.

It’s not too late to support our walkers!

You can donate on our JustGiving page here or use the donation form on page 59.

New!! - watch CoolTan’s video of the 2014 Sponsored Walk on the theme of

Innovation and Transformation. Available on Youtube here.

Tony Lynes, 1929 - 2014

We would like to thank and remember the well-known and much loved social campaigner Tony Lynes. Tony was celebrating a friend’s birthday after doing the sponsored walk when he was involved in a car collision. Sadly he died the next day on October 12th. Tony was a great supporter of CoolTan and attended our Sponsored Walk. We send all Tony’s family and friends our sincere condolences.


People Care Association Christmas Party Don’t be home alone on Christmas day this year. If you (or someone you know) will be alone on Christmas Day why not come along to the People Care Party at Bacon’s College on December 25th. We offer: • Free Traditional Christmas Meals and Entertainment • Free Transport Door to Door

Dinner will be served at 1pm Bacon’s College is at Timber Pond Road, Rotherhithe, SE16 6AT (Go down the LHS of the Rotherhithe Tunnel entrance)

Just ‘Phone Les Alden 0208 693 5207 to book your place Closing date 16th December. We regret we are unable to cater for children. Ethnic and Diet Meals available – Please notify in advance We also need volunteer helpers and drivers! This Party is for residents of the London Borough of Southwark

We acknowledge the generous assistance of Southwark Council and local Business and Charities

People Care Association Ltd. is Registered Charity No. 1077651

‘What’s your top tip for mental well-being during the festive season?’

Vox P o p

It’s a lovely time of year for food, fun and festivities, however Christmas can bring its own stresses and strains and many people find the festive season quite difficult. Here are a collection of tips from CoolTan’s participants, volunteers and staff to help you get the most from the season.

Avoid the supermarkets until January 3rd

Listen to some music’

Don’t compare yourself with others and how they are celebrating enjoy your own Christmas for what it is Get cosy and enjoy a good movie on TV’

Use Christmas as an opportunity to get back in touch with old friends

If you have a lot to do, delegate. Don’t try to do everything yourself if there are others who could help

Remember it will all be over soon


Even if it’s really cold, try to get out for a walk. The city can look beautiful in the winter

Don’t spend more than you can afford

Make time for activities that are non-commercial - join in with some carol singing or see what’s on at local museums

See the positives

Make sure you eat some healthy food in amongst the treats

Don’t ask for miracles - especially at Christmas

Dress appropriately for the weather Enjoy a drink but don’t drink too much

‘If you find Christmas day difficult, try to treat it just like another normal day and do the things you’d normally do.’

Get as much sun as possible

Eat mindfully. There’s lots of delicious food at Christmas so savour each mouthful

Even if you’re on your own you still matter. Make Christmas what you want it to be and treat yourself well.

Watch some funny TV or read a funny book

Make time to spend with people you love, or at least like


Families can be stressful so make sure you take some time to yourself to breathe

Port and Stilton

Make sure you get enough sleep. If you are out partying a lot, make time for an early night now and then’

Treat yourself to small things that you enjoy like a warm milky drink’ Plan ahead but don’t over-plan. Be realistic and don’t worry if not everything goes as expected

Take part in some fun activities like ice-skating

It’s not wrong to thieve a tree


Whistle While You Work

This is a collection of songs from late 60s to early 2000 that have inspired me. Some of the songs are very retro and have come from a period of time in my past life. Rambunctious and lively they include funk and some rock, some sad songs that I loved a lot. Gregory Baldeo-Singh

Kate Bush: Cloud-busting

Sunday afternoon, on your own, your mood is somewhere you wouldn’t rather be. Go down the pub, and forget about it. Take a walk in Kate Bush’s shoes, maybe understand what it is all about. Welcome back summer 2014. You Tube Link

Julian Cope: World Shut Your Mouth

Up there with the Cosmos, oozing with music chemistry, when someone says to you ’why didn’t you eat the whole apple’ tell them shut your mouth. You Tube Link

The Smiths: What difference Does It Make?

Round and round riffs accompany that deep understanding that Morrissey has about writing lyrics. This song does open the windows of the mind. Bravo and encore. You Tube Link


The Troggs: Wild Thing

Sweet sixteen and never been kissed. Well this is the song to change all that. Rough cowboy music. This is one that is sure to make you laugh, especially at karaoke. Anybody can do it. This one brings back fond memories reciting this in one of my first bands. Long live The Troggs. You Tube Link

Images by Tim Hamilton, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Trevor Wintle, bunky’s pickle, Anna & Michal, Amanda Richards, Airwolfhound

Asian Dub Foundation: The Real Great Britain

Reverb and Bass set the stage for this retro smooth production of what only ADF can do. Good video as well. You Tube Link


George Clinton and the P-Funk All-stars: One Nation Under a Groove.

This one gets you wondering where it got its inspiration and where it comes from. Sounds like Nose Candy. No I’m not complaining. Just make sure you stay to the end of the party. You Tube Link

The Rolling Stones: Wild Horses.

How do you do? What can I do for you? Maybe discuss Wild Horses as part of the issue [Doctor’s orders]. You got the blues, then that’s what to do. You Tube Link


Creative products from CoolTan Arts - Great seasonal gifts!

CoolTan Books

A Postcard to the World

CoolTan Books, price £7.50 A beautiful collection of 14 original postcard artworks, created for our ‘A Postcard to the World’ mail art project.

Food for Mood CoolTan Books, price £9.99 A uniquely creative cookbook from CoolTan Arts, which will inspire you to cook and eat well whatever your mood!

Greeting Cards


by the CoolTan Poets CoolTan Books, price £5.99 An anthology of poetry by members of the poetry group at CoolTan Arts. ... a book of brilliant growling poems, dandified wild work ... funny, witty, moving, political, sassy, wise Ali Smith

Diagnosis: Hysteria? Prescription: Hysteria!

Poems by the Women of CoolTan Arts CoolTan Books, price £5.99 An anthology of poems by the participants of the CoolTan Arts Women’s Poetry Group and some of the female staff and volunteers who work there.

£2.50 Each -

Dimensions 11cm x 15cm This is a small selection, we have many more designs available. Free shipping and 20% discount on orders of 3 or more cards.


All items are available through CoolTan’s online shop, CoolTrade, or directly from CoolTan Arts reception. Drop in or contact or phone 020 7701 2696


Canvas bag £5.50

Aprons £10.50

Fairy Bag £10.00 Beautiful reproduction of a classic CoolTan artwork. 100% cotton canvas.More designs are available.

Teatowel £6.50

Teatowel £10.50 100% cotton, printed with a fun, colourful design by CoolTan artists.

NEW!!! CoolTan T-Shirts


Orange or black, fitted or loose, available in a range of sizes.

Largactyl Shuffle Products Rucksack £19.99 High visibility and water repellent.

High Vis Vest £15.00 Our Largactyl Shuffle logo is included in the front and back of the vest.


Getting involved with Joining a Workshop At CoolTan Arts we offer a wide range of activities including visual arts, poetry, cooking, textiles, computer skills, walking ... Workshops are funded in different ways, so some workshops are free and open to everyone, and for others there is a fee to pay, or they are set up to support certain people. If you have general questions about workshops or would like a copy of the latest timetable, you can come in and speak to our reception volunteers, or to Olivia Moyes, our Admin Officer. You can also ring her on 0207 701 2696, or email You will be asked to fill in a registration form before you can attend a workshop. If you have a social worker or are with a CMHT and are interested in joining a workshop, your registration form will be passed onto Karen Unrue, Community Involvement Advocacy Coordinator: or phone 0207 701 2696. Karen will contact you with more info about how to start at CoolTan Arts. Most workshops are advertised on our website: and in our monthly newsletter, along with information about who the workshops are for and if you need to pay.

Volunteering at CoolTan Gain a unique experience with a lively independent Arts organisation! We have recently been awarded the Investing in Volunteers quality standard and have also won the Queen’s Award for Volunteering. There has never been a better time to volunteer at CoolTan Arts! Make friends, have fun, learn work skills and brush up on your talents in a safe, supportive environment. We usually have a wide variety of volunteering opportunities ranging from practical activities to admin and reception, graphic design to workshop assistants. We also have various volunteering roles with specific projects. There are lots of training opportunities, tailored to your volunteer role, and we pay up to £4.40 travel expenses per day. Opportunities are advertised on our website: and in our monthly newsletter. You can also call in to CoolTan and ask to see the volunteering bulletin with all the latest roles in it. To find out more about volunteering or to apply for a role, please contact our volunteer coordinator or ring 020 701 2696. You will be invited to attend a Volunteer Induction Session. CoolTan Arts welcomes volunteers with disabilities.

If you would like to sign up for the monthly newsletter (sent to your email) please contact or phone 0207 701 2696.

Please consider a seasonal gift to CoolTan Arts CoolTan Arts provide support in an area which has one of the highest incidences of mental distress in Western Europe. We enable people to develop their potential, reconnect with their aspirations, recover and enjoy life! We’ve had a fantastic year and run some really exciting projects, in spite of severe funding cuts. Please help us continue to do what we do by making a donation to CoolTan Arts this Christmas. Ways to donate: • • • other

Donate securely using JustGiving: Use the form below to make a one-off or monthly donation Donate by text: Simply send COOL96 £3 to 70070 to make a £3 donation, or any £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10. It’s quick and simple!


CoolTan Arts believes mental wellbeing is enhanced by the power of creativity

HOW TO FIND US CoolTan Arts Third Floor 224-236 Walworth Road London SE17 1JE 020 7701 2696 or 0798 5658443 Email: Web: Tel:

*We are to the right of the main post office between a Specsavers Optician and Paul’s Discount Store. To enter the building press 6 and the bell icon. Inside there is a lift (press 3 in lift) or stairs which you can take to the third floor. CoolTan Arts are there on the right.

* The nearest tube station is Elephant & Castle which is approximately a ten minute walk. *Buses from Elephant & Castle and Camberwell (get off at East Street stop) 12, 35, 40, 45, 68, 148, 171, 176, 468 & P5

CoolTan Arts Entrance

With thanks to our funders and sponsors

CoolTan Arts has received the following awards: • Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, 2014 • Investing in Volunteers, 2014 • South London Membership Council’s Innovation Award, 2013 • MHPF Awards - Best Practice in Peer Support Development, 2013 • Southwark Arts Forum - Celebrating Diversity Award, 2013 • Shortlisted for Guardian Charity Awards, 2013 We are proud to have as Patrons: Arthur Smith, Maggi Hambling, Ali Smith, Clare Allen and Rosemary Shrager Registered charity number 1064231, Company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales reg. 3244552

Coolfruit issue 3 december 2014  

The latest issue of CoolFruit: The CoolTan Arts Review is packed full of poetry, paintings and prose. Our seasonal edition will have you mak...