We've got a brilliant piece of news to share - that we've been asked alongside Space to Breathe to provide wellbeing support at both Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Greenbelt Festival this summer. This is a wonderful moment for us and something we're very committed to. From the start of our work we've been keen to involve the arts in our work with wellbeing - it brings a language and approach that unlocks so much within us and is so vital to our daily work.
At Edinburgh we've been asked to spend a week supporting volunteers and artists with 1-2-1 Mental Health First Aid (see left), with some creative input and to learn more about wellbeing issues at the Festival. We'll be there from 12-16 August at Fringe Central including 'Black Wednesday' - the middle day of the Festival which has been a crisis point during the festivals history. We are also going to spending time specifically with some artists to explore further the connections between art, performance and mental health and hope to make this a long-term relationship with this wonderful festival.
At Greenbelt we are helping to run a wellbeing venue and to provide some programming around the themes of spirituality and wellbeing. Expect creative and alt-worship and spirituality ideas, mixed with meditations and ambient music. We are also planning to collaborate with Proost artists to create installations around the site. On the Saturday night our well-received Proost Presents will return with Jonny Baker involved as we'll look at 'Roadside Stories' with a free resource to come too.
Finally we've also been invited onto site early to support the wellbeing of volunteers and then to support festival go-ers over the weekend. Greenbelt has been such a source of inspiration to us so it's good to give back.
In order to maximise this opportunity and also to create a downloadable resource for other Summer Festivals (include Tramlines here in Sheffield) we are going to be launching a Kickstarter fundraiser on 24 June to raise finance for these opportunities and to bring very element of creativity and resource we can to these projects. We'd be so grateful if you could have a think about how you might help us and whether you'd be prepared to spread the word when this happens.
Kickstarters involve a process of gift and reward and we're going to be including a deal on copies of our Summer Festival resource called "Festival" in this offer.
Festival is a new book we're releasing on Proost and at Greenbelt which looks at the concept of Celebration and will include:
guest articles from people like Richard Passmore, Beth Keith and Lucie Shuker
guest poetry from Rebecca Dean, Martin Daws and Talitha Fraser
guest art from Emily Garces, Lucy Freeman and others
creative wellbeing and coaching exercises.
The book will retail for £12 with a summer launch but supporters of our Kickstarter will be able to get copies of the book with their gifts, for example:
* If you gift £10 you'll get a copy of Festival with free postage before anyone else gets it.
* If you gift £70 you'll ten copies of Festival to give away to others, again with free postage.
We will also be offering a free Wellbeing Retreat for yourself and nine others in a local setting if you gift £500 to what we're doing.
Full details off the Kickstarter will be shared on 24 June and we'll be sharing news on our website and on social media but do let your friends know and think about whether you might be able to help us.