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Messages and Poems of Hope and Inspiration By Various Artists of the Abstract Space Creative Arts Group

“You can recover if you believe”

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What is Abstract Space? Poems For Pepper Drenched Gallery The Journey of Life Islands The World which we all Live Never Knowing Turning 50 The Love of my Life Landmarks Needs Morning Senses Illumination Our Galaxy Space Through A Telescope You Are Who You Are Evening Sadness Retreat Games, Games, Games Frustration I wonder‌ Moving on Refuge Recovery Shelter Signpost Why did you? Special Youngsters today Elements Clouds Planet Celtic lands Significant other Liberation

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Voice of the planet Beginnings Polly Cathedral Summer Reflections - being a Christian

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Useful Acronyms

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Snapshot: George

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Positive Messages

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Acknowledgements and Note

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What is Abstract Space? Abstract Space are a group made up of people from many support groups Such as City Arts, Double Impact, Framework, Community Arts & Wellbeing Service and Span in Nottingham. Developed from an idea that was sparked from a course run by the organisations of City Arts, Double Impact and Framework called Access to Arts. The project idea entitled Collective Production which only ran for two weeks. Brought many users of the service users together to learn how to use digital photography, film-making and animation to partake in sharing skills and ideas to show that creative projects can be developed in a relatively short space of time and can bring confidence, self-esteem and interactivity and make them align to make friendships and get them to come out from a period of social isolation, through 10 days of total creation. Abstract Space meets up on a Wednesday every week with a creative session in the morning and a visit to a place of interest in the afternoon. Whether it be to galleries, museums and other places which service users decide collaboratively. We hope for one day to achieve funding status and where our creativity will take us no one knows. But look at it like this we are a group of service users with many conditions both mentally and physical and for one day each week we get through our front door to meet with others, go to places and discover that us less fortunate than others can share the same resources as the rest.

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Poems The following poems are to help to show you how doing creative writing such as poems, short stories can help you get your feelings down on paper.

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For Pepper A gentle cat A loving cat Bringing so much joy Curled up Next to me On the sofa Purring content I couldn’t watch you suffer Although it tore my heart To let you go I hold you In my heart God holds you In the palm Of his loving hand “The lion will lie down with the lamb” Little lion, Pepper By Suzie Challand

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Drenched Drenched in creativity, I wander on and on Wondering where my talents lie, and Where the time has gone Times past me by whilst I have been hiding, Hiding from myself Hiding from the piercing stares, Creeping around like stealth, I’m here now I’m forty five, Thank God I’m still alive I hope I’ve time to show myself And all that I can do Drenched in creativity like grass, in the morning dew, Will I sink or swim? I think I know the answer I’ll show the world I’m human not a dancer! Drenched in creativity, oozing Round the edges Giving life to what’s inside Fulfilling life long pleasures I’m bursting with a love for life The like I’ve never known Drenched in my creativity, My, my how I have grown By Wendy Allen

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Gallery Pictures, gold framed Competing for attention In the quiet room Cornish seascape Evokes memories of Holidays past The beach where I Built sandcastles Tossed messages in bottles Into a calm blue sea Wollaton tapestry, Rose gardens Fragrant in the Summer air Deer roaming parkland And the lake beyond Where I used to Skim pebbles Watch the waters ripple Pathway, tree lined, Russet leaves Carpeting the ground, Crackling wood Fireworks spiralling In to a starlit sky My life a kaleidoscope Blurred at times God sees the Whole picture And paves my way To the wider world In the gallery of experience By Suzie Challand

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The Journey of Life Life is a journey A journey of challenges The challenges they try us They test us We try our best to succeed Sometimes the outcomes may be favourable Sometimes they may not On Earth we are like ants Each with different abilities All with different skills We only have to try our best And that is the golden rule There are people who are nasty Who will call you and try to rule But ignore and report them as They’re just bullies And they are definitely cruel Every individual is unique No one’s just the same If everyone was Life would be dull and plain To help you gain skills Confidence and skills and believe That one day you are back on the train The train of life By Neil Worthington

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Islands City Island A riot of colour, Rumble of traffic, Drone of bees Waves lapping shore, Palm trees waving, In tropical breeze, Lush vegetation, Oasis of calm No man an island Each one unique, With differing needs Reach out to touch To offer support Network of friendship, To nurture, to value An all loving God ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself’ A loving command Through the journey of life By Suzie Challand

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The World in which we all Live The world is sometimes a mystifying place Sometimes full of wonder Sometimes a disgrace Life can be good and bad Nobody like the same Everyday a do-over like a journey on a train The hustle and bustle of the daily grind Life can be fast paced Some people are left behind These people we should not forget As life can be a time of challenge Full sometimes of joy, sometimes of tragedy, Sometimes full of regret But we should not forget Some things’ can be overcome By making new friends and contacts Sometimes they may be charitable or none But the importance is to make a link A link with someone The link may be large or small However you want it to be But that link may bring you hope and joy or even fame So to make summary of this simple verse Remember the world is a large place Which has its’ highs and lows And we are its people What will happen when we are born no one knows But with determination you can reach any goal Also make sure you make contacts whatever your blows As in life you will find that you live and learn Whoever you may be And in this life we must try To live a life equally By Neil Worthington

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Never Knowing Everyday seems to Stay the same Wake up and the spring time Air is crisp The sun is just rising I turn around And my hubby is sleeping Never knowing if he Would wake to find me Still dreaming Or up and about Doing the ironing It is now approaching autumn And the leaves are Late falling, Soon it will be winter And the weather Is setting denser Never knowing if and when Christmas would Mean sharing By Ovetta Dignum

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Turning 50 When turning 21 My whole heart sung The world seemed to have Just begun I felt great at 18 It seemed that I would Never get to 30 But now that I am Approaching 50 I will never get Shifty By Ovetta Dignum

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The Love of my Life When you look like I did at 29 You would never Think that Anyone would become Mine But now that I am 49 He is still in My mind And when i see that No matter how Bad I get He is still out There from the Onset My love My rock My guardian angel The love of my life Is always stable I hope when he needs me I will be able Because he needs me to Be the one He needs to cling to. By Ovetta Dignum

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Landmarks Llandudno, Great Orme Panoramic views Seagulls overhead Sheep grazing On the hillside Haufre gardens A riot of colour Shaded by Green leaved trees North riding college Country campus Glimpse of the sea From my bedroom window Learning to grow To be equipped For the adult world City school Infant classroom Tiny hands Colouring trees and Flowers for a spring Frieze Church Welcoming Congregation Hymns of praise To a loving God Holy Communion Inner peace Peace of the Lord By Suzie Challand

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Needs Newborn cradled In mothers arms Basic needs satisfied Growing day by day Gaining strength Relationships developing Bonds of friendship Network Hospice, Patients needing care And comfort To enrich each day Trusting God To meet humans needs His guiding hand In the Universe A lifeline To all who reach out And believe By Suzie Challand

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Morning Dawning, sunrise over The bay Flower filled banks Damp with dew The sea shimmers Waves roll In a steady rhythm To the shore City streets Traffic rumbles Commuters hurry To their destination Hospital Patient’s waiting For the doctors round Cry of a new born baby His journey of life begins God’s guiding hand His love supporting New every morning Only a prayer away By Suzie Challand

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Senses View from the bay Heather covered mountains Soft brown sand Wide expanse of sea Ships on the horizon Gliding to safe haven Vegetable soup On a winters day Scones fresh From the oven Oranges tasting fragrant On my tongue Holding a new born baby Warm in the cradle Of my arms Stroking a purring cat Curled up In the corner Of a rocking chair Fresh smell Of new mown grass Home baked bread Coffee percolating In the pot Hymns in church Voices united in harmony Hearing the Still small voice of God Balm for the mind Peace for the soul Perfect peace. By Suzie Challand

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Illumination Autumn sunlight Illuminating Russet leaves Shimmer of sun On a calm blue sea Flames dancing In a crackling fire Glow of moonlight Star studded sky Lighthouse Beacon of safety For ships In a storm tossed Sea Jesus Precious gift From God Light of the world Hope, peace and joy For all who believe By Suzie Challand

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Our Galaxy The stars move by Day by day The planets shine bright Along the Milky Way, Comets fly through the sky Like flickers of light, Meteors and asteroids Give us a fright The galaxy is vast, How long can it last We have so much to learn So much to discover May be in years, We can explore like the pioneers, Astronauts to the moon as before Hopefully they’ll terra-form May be they’ll go further, There are talks of going to Mars, And if achieved, The possibilities of going To other planets is assured In time our world may end, So on the scientists/observers and innovators, We must depend, To look to the cosmos and the future to the end, To make mankind last Let’s hope they’ll make spaceships, Like in the science fiction films, The possibilities are endless, As the technology grows, Cont’d Let’s hope to make contact, 20


With other life out there, As maybe we are not alone, And they are looking for a friend. Maybe they are like humans, Just like us. Maybe they have superior technology Which we can’t comprehend, To help us advance, So let’s aim for the future And give life on earth a better chance. By Neil Worthington

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Space Through A Telescope As we observe the stars above, We see their brightness and Constellations in amazement And watch them flicker their Growing patterns of light, at different times There are many galaxies, Just like our own, Like Andromeda The planets in each are just starting to be known The search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI) And NASA telescopes are always on the go In the hope that, another intelligence will Start to show With all the galaxies identified And those yet to be found I am sure there must be at least one So let the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence go on By Neil Worthington

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You Are Who You Are You can be what you want to be You can see who you want to see You have the right to do what You want to do You can be you If you stay true No one should dictate who you are You are a miracle Yes you are a star Life can be tough and it can be hard But with determination you can discard All those that tried to hurt you And put you down Made you feel ill and made you frown As you took your time and made your move The risks you have took to be fulfilled You are so skilled and confident There’s no turning back You’ve reached your goal So make tomorrow today And say You are who you are And to the others that caused you pain Just report them and put them to shame You’ve reached your target and made your aim There’s no stopping you now You can do it don’t be shy The world is your oyster and you’ve gotta try By Neil Worthington

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Evening Bedtime story Snuggling under Warm duvet Child clutching Teddy bear Curtained room Soft lights, Purring cat Curled on the sofa Tuning to Brahms Bedtime lullaby Moonlight A quiet garden Star studded sky Prayer of thanks To a loving God Settling to sleep Resting in his love By Suzie Challand

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Sadness Missing her, when I was a child She enveloped me in a Safe blanket of love and warmth Missing her and yet She left me years ago When disease claimed her Fragile mind Today I hold her in my heart Mother of mine Freedom from the dark depression That rendered me helpless No joy until the Curtains parted and Sunlight led me home. Lost opportunities sliding From my grasp, Words unsaid, friendships severed, Fragile china smashed to tiny, Jagged shards Recovery, new hope, Uplifted by God’s Guiding hand Inner peace, Once more By Suzie Challand

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Retreat Crowded shops, Jostling on pavements, Deadlines insurmountable, Ringing phones, Incessant noise, No reply, Nothing to say Woods, quiet glades, Birdsong echoing, From tree to tree, Reflection in a clear stream, The way that I can be, Should be, Rippling image No longer elusive Beyond the woods The waves lapping shore A shell Perfectly formed Nestles in my hand God holds me In the palm of his hand And opens me to Endless possibilities The sound of a vast ocean Echoes hope within a Single shell, Music to my ears A song of endless peace By Suzie Challand

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Games, Games, Games Games, Games, Games There are so many games, that can be played Games of the past, the present And future, And of the world Games however can be used Not just for play They can be used for exercise, Co-ordination and therapy purposes For memory, and strategic thinking everyday For children they can increase Their development and life skills And improve their health, stamina and Strength each and every day But everyone should be encouraged to Play games from a young or old age As games can build character, Confidence and determination to succeed In anything they may do each and every way Games are a large part of our heritage And all across the world They can make us who we are To help us aim for the future With hope and co-operation for all Games can be played by anyone – Able bodied, disabled, old and young They can help us feel both Physically and mentally strong By Neil Worthington

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Frustration We’ve lived our lives, With hurt and misery We’ve been torn, We have been scorned We’ve been used, We’ve been abused We’ve been joked And poked We’ve been pushed And we’ve been pulled From pillow to post And what matters the most Is we have all been tormented And no-one has ever Apologised And no-one has seemed to care You do not know What it is like the pain We feel through our lives And we do share with Other people the Burdens that they and we have To go through That make us discouraged, Depressed and low Why do they do this to us We should all ask Because everyone has The right to be happy in their lives You are just weaklings with Your unjust ways, You are spineless and hurtful, And in so many ways, You should remember Cont'd What goes around, 28


Does come around And hopefully with pain You’ll learn That one day That maybe one day you’ll Be in the same situation That we’ve been in And I hope you feel like You’ve sank in a puddle of mud, And remember then who’ll Not be surprised The people who you victimised By Neil Worthington

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I Wonder‌ I wonder if some people knew, What other people have to go through, What some people have to endure, Due to bullying, stress, anxiety, mental and physical disability Some people cannot care less, Even though they see people living, With their life in a mess We should celebrate those that care for them As they do show compassion, help and learning Which help those afflicted grow Those that call, tease, torment, hurt And insult all should know That they are no one special and are idiots And may have to know that one day They may be subjected to all the conditions Mentioned above And then how will this be when they have to Live with these conditions Take that from someone who has had them all By Neil Worthington

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Moving on Although your journey back from mental health Or physical health may seem long You can make it You can be strong By joining organizations that are Aimed to help you You can do courses, volunteer and Other work opportunities, That bring you routine and structure Everyday That improves your self-esteem, confidence, And assertiveness in many ways Volunteering can bring you so much Trust me I know It can make your recovery better than you imagined It can use your past skills and lead to others That can make you More employable So make your goal be To join courses, take volunteer opportunities and others To make you better To live for the future professionally By Neil Worthington

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Refuge Place of safety Offering support, Warmth permeates the walls Troubled women Fleeing from violence Blotting out memories That hurl in to their minds (it wasn’t always like this) In time they will move on, Mend their shattered lives, Look in the mirror again, Find a measure of peace By Suzie Challand

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Recovery Dark blanket, enveloping me, Tossing, turning in a sea Of near despair Misery, a daily routine, Sleep elusive, no joy Gradually, steadily the blanket lifts, Floats away on a welcome breeze Throughout the numbing relentless pain God hold me safe “Underneath are the ever-lasting arms.� By Suzie Challand

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Shelter Nest high In the old oak tree Fledglings Safe under Mother blackbirds wing Tree house In a summer garden, Games, toys, A child’s delight Homeless Wandering aimless In city streets Night shelter Clothing, food, Snuggling under duvet God hides us In the shadow of his wings In the storms of life Perfect security By Suzie Challand

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Signpost A country garden wide lawn Honeysuckle trees bearing fruit Roses and hollyhocks A riot of colour And the air scented fragrant Neglected garden overgrown and she alone grieving Nothing to keep her here Compact flat in town No flowers, no trees on the Terraced street Garden centre compost, Plants to grow To nurture she fills a box with Rich brown earth Plants with care And waters well Her window box Rainbows flowers Waving in the summer breeze Her tiny garden A beacon of hope Renewed By Suzie Challand

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Why did you? Blinkered you judged What you thought, you said Indifferent, you never questioned why, And at the point in time, I couldn’t explain That I was drowning in a sea Of near despair Your duty of care Did not extend to me Smug, complacent Your harshness Overwhelmed me Today, I look back The distance between us Indented Your power to hurt me Lost in time Times past By Suzie Challand

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Youngsters today Today they hang around in gangs Some noble, some horrible But they still are Our next generation Who are mostly Filled with a lot of vexation Students who study so hard try To achieve what we never could in our day But still we try to help them along Because deep inside We know they can be strong By Ovetta Dignum

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Special In our lives we don’t always feel special But when we find Respect and compliments From a person Who does not Even know us It puts us on a high That lasts for quite a while When we are in doubt We try to find That special time Or someone Who has a guiding light I found my special one Who is now My number one By Ovetta Dignum

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Clouds A child’s frieze, Small fingers, Tear cotton wool, Stroke, shape, Clouds in a, Summer sky Grey clouds, A sullen sky, Rain pounding pavements In city streets Looking to the sky For inspiration, Stretching to The clouds, Touching white velvet Clouded landscape, Clear skies, God guides us, Paves the way, In the Panorama of life By Suzie Challand

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Elements Salt air From waves Crashing to shore, Fresh country air In wildflower meadows Flames spiralling From autumn bonfire Illuminating night sky Tranquil lakes, Rivers alive With fish Vast oceans Spanning continents Snow of the arctic Fertile rainforest Rich brown earth In city gardens Where vegetables grow In abundance Stewards of God’s Earth We need to take care, Embrace the riches Of his creations The wonders Of this world By Suzie Challand

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Planet Spinning to the rhythm Of the universe, Snow-capped mountains Wooden glades Where birdsong echoes From tree to tree And in the city parkland Oasis in the metropolis Two thousand years ago The son of my creator Came gentle to this world To bring new hope for all So many people Turned their backs Opted for shadow land While I longed for illumination Eternal life Children of the planet Still, still there is A dream to be fulfilled Stretch your arms to the sun, Flood one with light Eternal light By Suzie Challand

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Celtic Lands There are sites to behold Up there in the north Of the Celtic lands Where wildlife flourishes All through the year And throughout all the Weathers The Celtic lands are Something that we Must treasure The history and Legends we Must always measure It’s people who have Inspired The music and traditions Which always pleasure Up there in the Celtic lands By Neil Worthington

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Significant Other She smiled a lot, Miss Moore Kept Smarties in her pocket, Never made us clear our plates. She let us race, run riot, Riot in the playground, Leapfrogged through our laughter, Hugged away our tears Miss Timms, twin sets, tailored skirts, Stood silent, disapproved. She taught national curriculum, Crisscrossed boxes, Filled in forms, Locked us in levels one to three, Never smiled, Not even when Wayne Wore odd socks to school At half past three We escaped, skipped home Through terraced streets To see Miss Moore at number 9 Ran helter skelter To her open door She knew us by name Crisscrossed birthday cards With kisses, One of us, she knew What made us tick By Suzie Challand

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Liberation They were never enough, The dream job, dinner parties, Holidays abroad The pristine penthouse street She never called home She craved, craved more They were not the answer The smart executives In sleek sports cars Whose hands were smooth Not for her the girlfriends She met for lunch in Harrods Whose small talk Numb her brain She deserved more The convent retreat She sits in terraced garden, Wildflower fragrant Sunlit, green The marble statue gleams Christ draws her to the light His arms reach out Embrace her All in peace Bride of Christ She takes her vows, Her choice, his way This inner joy Is sufficient By Suzie Challand Voice of the Planet 44


I am the drone of honey bees Down an English country lane, Murmuring grass on alpine slopes, Pan pipes in an Irish glen The roar of the pacific A howling arctic wind From every corner of the earth I hear your discordant tones In corridors of commerce, In crowded conference halls I hear you shout in city streets, Brawl in public bars, I listen to your victims too, They cry day and night, I hear their weary voices, Hear and weep, Weep for a change of heart Cry me a ripple, Ripple in a stream Streaming to the river River rolling to the sea Flood the ocean of my heart, Wash my pain away And later at the dawn of a new day When birdsong echoes, Echoes from the hills, Respond to the refrain, And sing, sing me a symphony Of reconciliation, A universal symphony of joy By Suzie Challand Beginnings

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First winter night Snow covered trees Silhoutted Against a dark sky Green buds appearing Daffodils opening Vegetables growing In rich brown earth Early summer sun Rose scented garden Bathed in warmth Cool days Heralding autumn Tang of wood smoke In the air Baby born In humble stable Light of the world Bring hope to mankind New Year Time of change And challenge. The hand of God Guiding us From day to day Paving the way To the future By Suzie Challand

Polly 46


I’m a little black kitten And they’ve called me Polly I’ve got lots of toys, And boxes to climb in They got me a scratching post as well I like to scratch the furniture I bite sometimes, but I’m only playing. I like to walk on the worktops, and Play in the sink, but they don’t like it. They say naughty cat, Polly but I don’t care I’ll just keep on doing what I like. When I’m tired they stroke me, I like to be stroked and I like to Purr and purr Suzie told me that God made me for them To love and look after, thank you God I like being a kitten It’s a good life I’ll be going out soon, and That’ll be an adventure I can’t wait I’m going into my little bed To sleep now Bye Bye. By Suzie Challand

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Cathedral I am a cathedral I have solid walls, And beautiful stained Glass windows They are illuminated by summer sun, And sparkle with natural light When morning and Evening services Are held my walls Echo with the Songs of the choir In quiet times many people Come to kneel and pray I know an all loving God hears Every word, and that their prayers Will be answered Sometimes after evensong They light a candle. It glows in the dark, A beacon of hope All are welcome In the cathedral Come one day And find the peace you crave God bless By Suzie Challand

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Summer Sunrise The sea shimmers Midmorning Holidaymakers relax On golden sands Dotted with sandcastles, A child’s delight In the orchard Green leaved trees Heavy with apples Rose scented gardens Mingled with lavender Honeysuckle by The garden wall, Pleasing to the eye God bless us With this season Of warmth and colour By Suzie Challand

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Reflection – being a Christian In 1986 I was suffering from severe depression. I’d always been a Christian, but I dabbled in other things that were anti-Christian – spiritualism, reading horoscopes and going to fortune tellers. In February I went to a Christian Healing Service at Aspley Pentecostal Church where Mervyn Banks was. I surrendered my life to Jesus, and became a born again Christian. Mervyn Banks laid his hands on my head, and I believed that I would be healed. Within a few weeks I was well and my values were different. I saw my life from a Christian viewpoint, and attended church regularly. I have remained a Christian over the years and my faith to me is as essential as breathing. Thank you Jesus By Suzie Challand

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Useful Acronyms The following acronyms contain positive messages that can help you.

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BE T.R.U.E Be Truthful Rested Understanding Educated

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JUST BE C.H.I.L.L.E.D Confident Help others Ignore bullies Live and learn (Remember mistakes do and can happen) Let others know if you are experiencing any problems Entertained Determined to reach any goal

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BE A.C.C.E.P.T.I.N.G Be Assertive Confident Creative Everything you want to be Polite Trusting Innovative Noticeable Genuine To Yourself And Others

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BE C.R.E.A.T.I.V.E Be Caring Reassuring Easygoing Accepting of other people Thoughtful Inspiring to others Valued Everything a person should be

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Snapshot 1: George I’m right fed up with my daughter I’ve had her up to here Silly cow. Only trying to persuade me, to go into an old folks’ home. I know what she’s after, me money, the grabbing little minx. My little house would fetch a tidy sum. But I’m not budging. Her husband is just as bad, useless article. Been on the dole for years always asking to last a tenner, I told him straight last night. “Get yourself a job you’re not getting another penny out of me lad”. Anyway enough about them I’m off to my Day Centre. I play dominoes with the lads and have a good cooked dinner. Tara By Suzie Challand

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Positive Messages The following are positive messages that could be helpful to you.

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Do not live your life in fear at the hands of Bullies Remember you have as much of a right to do things in life as much as them and report and shame them.

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Any form of Bullying Is Unacceptable If you are experiencing any bullying, please tell someone.

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It is your right to do things without any harassment and undue pressure in any environment. In School In Play In Work

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Take up a hobby/interest as these can help take your mind off things. Examples are: Creative writing Computing Reading Going to the library Drawing Colouring Painting Photography Walking Taking up a sport Joining a college course in a specific area There are so many hobbies/interests available for you to do It may be you can meet people with similar interests and you could make new friends.

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If you are experiencing any illness it is important to think of the 3 “Rs� Rest Re-cooperate And Relax And make contact with your GP Friendship Making new friends and contacts is important as it provides a link for you to express your feelings and be positive. You can participate in activities which you both can enjoy.

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Acknowledgements We at Abstract Space would like to thank the following for helping us create this booklet: City Arts who have made the abstract space service a structured creative group by giving us 2 hours on a Wednesday Morning to develop our poetry and art work. Neil Worthington for poetry and abbreviations and typing Suzie Challand for excellent poems and support Ovetta Dignum for her poetry contributions. Wendy Allen John Brookes for suggesting we continue a user led self-help service after us attending a two week course which is helping many people with various medical conditions. Tony Redmile for help with and support producing this book. BIPED for help self-publishing this book. Arts on prescription, City Arts, Nottingham Double Impact, Nottingham Social Inclusion and Wellbeing Service (Span and CAWS) Open arts forum

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Galleries we have visited throughout Nottingham Nottingham Castle and Museums Brewhouse Yard Museum Nottingham Contemporary Nottingham Lakeside gallery Djanogly Gallery Wallner Gallery Nottingham Society of Artists Groundwork Greater Nottingham for letting us see the Tram Travellers Event Note: All the support services that close down who help people with physical and mental health the more people are going to end up going to go to their GP or Hospital which means they will be overcrowded and overstretched with there being no support services so leave these services alone.

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Reprint June 2011

http:// me mphasis.ning.com Š 2011 Abstract Space

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poetry book final edition REPRINT PROOF 1