Our First Year

Many Minds Annual Review 2018 A4

To kick off Mental Health Awareness Week, we at Many Minds are launching our first annual report. The report highlights all the work we have done in our first year and all the connections we have made to make this work possible.

Download your digital copy here: Many Minds Annual Review 2018 A4

We have had an exciting and inspiring first year. We have connected and worked with our members, sharing what we have in common. We have played games, shared vulnerabilities, taken risks, learnt new ways of working, told our stories, overcome challenges and made powerful performance that has touched the lives of our members, volunteers and audiences.

We wanted people to have a little taste of the work that we do and get a sense of playfulness and connection and have based it on a game of SNAP! We worked with Eatcake design to make the report which contains SNAP! cards that you can play with someone to experience a moment of connection with them whilst finding out more about what we do.
You can download and print the Many Minds SNAP! Cards here  or contact Olivia on Olivia@many-minds.org /07843 210 272 for a printed copy.

We have also partnered with Aglow Films to work alongside our members and make a film about our first year where we also play word SNAP!

We are encouraging people to find someone to play with over this week and share their moments with us on social media. You can find us on :




To find out more contact us on Olivia@many-minds.org /07843 210 272


We Need Volunteers!

P1180087Many Minds members have devised an outdoor walking performance for this year’s Harbour Festival on Sunday 22nd July. Sidewalk will take audiences through squares, streets, car parks and up trees and explore untold stories exploring a different side to our city.

We need a team of volunteers to help out on the day and ensure the smooth running of the three performances we have planned. You might be running one of the performance spots, taking bookings from audiences or helping to get props on site.

These roles are essential for the performance to run smoothly. We need people for 2-5 hours in time slots of 1-3:30pm or 3-6pm or for the full time (1pm -6pm) on Sunday 22nd July if you can! I’s a great opportunity to experience our work and be a part of a great team for the day. We will provide refreshments on the day and a Many Minds t-shirt for your time.

Here are some more details about the show:


Contact Olivia Ware on 07843 210272 or olivia@many-minds.org if you are interested in being involved.

Free workshop offer- For BAME Refugees and Asylum Seekers

3 Cardboard Citizens Bristol Residency Photo Camilla Adams 2_0

Many Minds is offering free theatre and performance workshops for organisations and community groups working with refugees, asylum seekers and people who identify as BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnic).

The workshops will engage with people’s creativity, build confidence, self-esteem and connection with others. Expect lot of laughter and fun. We use non-verbal practices that make our sessions accessible for people with language barriers and learning difficulties.

We want to make it easy for everyone so we can come to you and run workshops in your space.

We are looking to make a performance piece about Bristol and want to include many different voices. Participants who enjoy the workshop can continue to engage with us on a weekly basis to devise and create this performance.

To find out more or to book a workshop, contact Olivia Ware on 07843 210 272 or Olivia@many-minds.org

Join the Many Minds Team?

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We are looking for an Assistant Producer (Temporary Contract) to join us! details below:

Hours 7 hours per week for 12 weeks. (Must be available on Thursday evenings) Contracted dates: Week commencing 23rd July – Week commencing 15th Oct.

Salary £10/hour. Freelance contract.

Application deadline: Friday 6th July

To apply for this post, please send a CV and covering letter outlining how your skills and experience fits the person specification. You are also welcome to submit this in audio or video form if you wish.

We are dedicated to making the application process as accessible as possible so please get in touch with us about any access needs you have. Please contact Olivia Ware on olivia@many-minds.org or 07843 210 272 for more details or if you wish to discuss the role.

About us

Many Minds is a Bristol based mental health charity that facilitate creative spaces and make performance with people managing their mental health.  We work with individuals to engage with their creativity, improve confidence, self-esteem and build social skills and networks. We run workshops in theatre making skills to devise and create high quality contemporary performance. For more information visit our website www.many-minds.org

Job Description

This post with Many Minds will support and produce a forum theatre piece with young people aged 16 – 25 years with experiences of homelessness and / or mental ill-health. The project is a partnership project with 1625 Independent People, homelessness theatre company, Cardboard Citizens and other arts and social sector partners.

The successful candidate will be required to support weekly workshops on Thursday evenings from 5-8pm in central Bristol over 12 weeks and the production of 2- 3 live performances in various settings. The other hours will be carried out from home or in community venues where the group’s work takes place and can be worked flexibly in agreement with the charity’s Directors. The Assistant Producer / Project Worker will report to the Director of Many Minds.

This role would suit someone who has some experience in community theatre / arts projects and has an interest in working with young people.


  • To assist with the set up of workshop space for weekly sessions including sourcing refreshments, setting up and clearing the room and to assist with workshop activities and games.
  • To welcome and settle participants and help them carry out administrative tasks including members forms, sign in sheets, media consent and feedback forms as required.
  • To take part in check ins, briefings, debriefing in relation to the workshop sessions and participate in meetings and supervision sessions with staff and volunteers working on the project.
  • To liaise with partner organisations, venues and other stakeholders about the project.
  • To lead on the marketing and publicity for the project and performances including handling mail outs, distributing leaflets, updating listing sites, contacting media and creating and posting on Many Minds’ social media platforms.
  • To help implement evaluation and monitoring systems needed by funders and the project.
  • To oversee the administration work of the project including maintaining files and records, handling correspondence, emails and phone calls.
  • To assist with general administrative and producing tasks for the organisation more widely as required.
  • To represent Many Minds at networking meetings for arts and health groups as required.

Person Specification

Knowledge, Skills, Qualities and Experience

  • Experience, and / or training working in community arts projects.
  • Experience of using and / or working in mental health, homeless or young people’s services. (We particularly welcome applications from people with experience of mental ill-health.) The sensitivity, skills and experience to work with vulnerable people and to create safe and secure environments for this group.
  • Excellent organisational skills. The ability to plan and work effectively with wide range of people, including partners, theatre venues, media and participants.
  • An ability to motivate and inspire others and be a good role model for young people.
  • Good communication skills. The ability to build good working relationships with a wide range of people.
  • Experiencing using social media platforms.
  • A high degree of motivation. The ability to work independently and on own initiative as well as being part of a team.
  • Strong administrative skills. (incl. Word processing, spreadsheet and other I.T. skills) Ability to organise activities, handle paperwork and monitoring and evaluation of projects
  • Experience of working in live theatre. Understanding of the production process.
  • A passion and enthusiasm for live theatre, applied theatre and forum theatre.

Great Bristol 10k

IMG-2408On 13th May 2018 after weeks of preparation and training a group of Many Minds members and volunteers ran the Great Bristol 10k, supported and cheered on my members, friends and families. This is our first major fundraising event as a newly established Bristol based charity and so far we have managed to raise £1,560, and there’s still time to donate so if you haven’t already here is the link:

What a run, we all made it past the finish line in under an hour. What incredible love appreciation and support from super-hero supporters as young as 4! What a great team. We are so proud of the runners who are taking positive steps to improve their mental health through exercise and raising money to help support the work we are doing. We saw this quote on another runners t-shirt and it really struck a chord with us
‘if you want to go fast go alone if you want to go far go together’.

As a new charity we wouldn’t be here without the tireless support of our dedicated members, volunteers, board, partners, friends and families who have given us more time, money, support, joy and enthusiasm than we could have anticipated. Thank you everyone for all you have done so far, let’s go far together!

April Fools Fundraiser

28516444_1573051636083460_2912230623331151216_oOn the eve of April Fools Day, Beyond the Ridiculous is organising a fooling fundraiser to raise money for Many Minds.

Beyond the Ridiculous are a company of Fools. Fooling is a solo form of improvisation where each fool enters the stage without a plan and plays with what arises. Thoughts become stories, spontaneous characters emerge and raw feelings are danced and transformed.

Come down and join in the April Fools Fundraiser at the Greenbank Pub in Easton on Sat 31st March at 7:30pm. Tickets are £7.50in advance / £8 on the door. Tickets available here: https://aprilfool.brownpapertickets.com/. All profits go to Many Minds.

To find out how your donations make a difference, check out some of the stories of our members HERE

Time to Talk: How performing can help us talk about mental ill health

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Many Minds are doing street performances around Bristol City Centre to get people talking as part of the national Time to Talk campaign.

We will also be promoting our Artistic Director’s one woman show HELP! about her own experiences of anxiety and depression that she is performing on Feb 22nd – 24th at The Wardrobe Theatre in Bristol.

Click here for tickets:  http://thewardrobetheatre.com/livetheatre/help/

“When I made HELP! very few people knew about my experiences of mental ill-health. I sort of ‘outed’ myself in a very public way. I never expected the reaction that I got from the show. Audience members came up to me afterwards, wanting to talk about their experiences of mental illness. The fact that they have seen a performance gives people a permission to talk that they might not otherwise give themselves. Young people especially have a positive response,” says Viki.

In the wake of news that the eight Bristol student committed suicide in the last 18 months, Viki feels that it is more important than ever to be helping others start conversations about mental health.

“Making performance was a way for me to process and understand myself and the world better. From working with others that have experienced mental ill-health over the past two years, I have seen what a positive impact it can have on people’s lives,” she says.

We will be running FREE workshops with Many Minds on 7th and 14th Feb at Meanwhile BS3 on Mill Lane Bedminster to explore issues of mental health.

Click here for more info

The art of asking for help

There are hundreds of reasons why we find it difficult to ask for help, from pride that we don’t need it and can do things on our own, to embarrassment or fear or rejection. When it comes to metal illness and the taboos that still very much exist around talking about it, the barriers to asking for help are even more pronounced.
However, I was still shocked when I read the statistics about how many people who are struggling with their mental health don’t ask for help. A YouGov survey revealed that only 28% of men and 19% of women who have had mental health problems admitted that they had not sought medical help. Furthermore, more than a third of men and a quarter of women, either waited more than two years or chose never to tell friends or family about their problem.
So, as my colleague Viki Browne and I were planning the launch of our new mental health and performance arts charity Many Minds, we decided we wanted to do something to address this.
Firstly WE asked for help. We asked friends, loved ones, people we had worked with, our members and everyone we could contact via Facebook! We were overwhelmed with the response of people offering to help. People we hadn’t seen for ages and people we didn’t even now came out of the woodwork to get involved.
A team of us took to the Galleries shopping centre on Blue Monday, deemed the Most Depressing Day of the Year, dressed in silver sparkly outfits and carrying around sparkly clouds and banners saying ‘FEELING BLUE?’ ‘CAN WE HELP?’
We didn’t know what to expect but our team helped a double amputee veteran with his shopping, went to lost and found with someone who lost their wallet, and gave a lozenge to someone with a cold. Although we couldn’t help everyone with what they needed, we had dozens of conversations about mental illness and people were very open about sharing their experiences of things they do to help their mental health.
Sometimes just being there, asking people what they need can be a powerful way to open up those much needed conversations about mental illness and pave the way for people to feel more comfortable asking for help. We had so many conversations that might otherwise not have happened if we hadn’t asked people how we could help and been there to listen.
This is why we at Many Minds believe that performance arts can be such a powerful tool. It gives people permission and opportunity to talk, discuss, debate and relate to feelings and experiences.
We have been going in to schools, hospitals, supported accommodation and community settings and we are looking to work with universities and businesses to use the arts to bring these necessary conversations to light because we know how powerful it can be.
Viki’s show HELP! about her own experiences of mental illness will be showing at The Wardrobe on 22nd – 24th Feb. http://thewardrobetheatre.com/livetheatre/help/
The Guardian describes the show as ‘endearingly comic piece cleverly uses metaphor to point up the importance of asking for help’ and presents another chance for us to help get people talking about mental ill-health.
Many Minds is a new Bristol based mental health charity that make performance with people experiencing mental ill health to engage their creativity, improve confidence, self-esteem and build social skills and networks whilst challenging stigma. For more information about workshops and performances visit: http://www.many-minds.org
Olivia Ware, Director at Many Minds

Do you need a little HELP! on the most depressing day of the year?


A team of Many Minds volunteers dressed in silver sparkly outfits will be taking to the streets of central Bristol to encourage people to ask for help this January 15th also known as ‘Blue Monday’, or the ‘most depressing day’ of the year.

We will be spending the day asking shoppers in Broadmead and the Galleries shopping centre; Are you ok?  What do you need? What can I help with? and delivering dozens of random of acts of kindness. We will also be offering people cards with suggestions of how they could help and open up conversations with others about mental health.

“This day is labelled Blue Monday as due to the weather, debt level and the come down from Christmas that it can be a challenging time of year for lots of people,” says Viki Browne, Artistic Director of Many Minds. “We know that mental ill health can affect people at any time of year. We know that so many people suffer in silence and don’t ask for the help and support that they need Today we are asking people if we can help them, to try and begin a conversation about what people need to better support them with their mental health.’

Twenty five year old Viki has experienced depression and anxiety and has made a performance based on her experiences called HELP! that is coming to the Wardrobe Theatre in Bristol from 22nd – 24th February.

“I have struggled with periods of mental illness, not understanding what was going on I left it until I was at breaking point to reach out and ask for help. There is still a lot of stigma surrounding mental ill health and that is why I felt it was important to make a show about it to help get people talking about it more,” says Viki.

Statistics show that 28% of men and 19% of women who have had mental health problems admitted that they had not sought medical help. Furthermore, more than a third of men and a quarter of women, either waited more than two years or chose never to tell friends or family about their problem.

Today in Bristol city centre we hope to get people talking about their mental health.