We are Many Minds, a Bristol based mental health charity that facilitate creative spaces and make performances that put people who identify with experiences of mental ill-health in the driver’s seat as a way to break down stigma and trigger generosity and equality. Many Minds was founded by Olivia Ware (Director) and Viki Browne (Artistic Director) in 2017.

We work with individuals to engage with their creativity,  improve confidence, self-esteem and build social skills and networks. We run weekly workshops in theatre making skills to devise and create high quality contemporary performance. Click on our productions tab in the menu bar to learn more about these.

We do this
in a variety of different settings this year we have worked running weekly workshops with St Mungo’s at one of their Bristol Sites, at Riverside Adolescent Unit in partnership with Avon and Wiltshire NHS trust, Cardboard Citizens and 1625 Independent people.

We have performed our work at The Wardrobe Theatre, The Watershed, City Hall and We the Curious in Bristol and at Cardboard Citizens HQ  in London in front of audiences that have included Councillors, decision makers, representatives from housing and mental health services.

“The stories were so real that I think it really challenged the audience.’

87% of the audience at city hall made up of 160 professionals, council members and decision makers said it inspire them to do something differently in their practice.

We can provide bespoke creative workshops and training to suit the needs of your group or organisations. We work currently work with community groups, mental health providers, hospitals, schools, charities and local businesses to challenge the stigma surrounding mental ill health.

Performance workshops We offer workshops to suit the needs of the group using play, text, music, movement and personal narratives. We deliver one-off workshops or a series with the option of leading towards a sharing of the work or public performance.
Workshops improve:
– Wellbeing and mental health
– Confidence and self-esteem
– Social and group work skills
– Access to creativity and the arts
– Understanding of self and their personal journeys

Workplace workshops Mental ill-health costs employers between £33 billion and £42 billion annually in UK. Three quarters of people feel like they cannot talk to anyone at work about their mental health.
We provide bespoke creative workshops that explore issues around mental health to help break down stigma and create a better sense of wellbeing in the workplace.
Our participatory approach allows employees to explore mental health together in a safe, accessible and fun environment that helps facilitate open conversations in an exciting way.

We offer training in;
Mental health and facilitating workshops (for facilitators and workers)
Mental health and engaging the public (for staff with public facing roles)
Mental health and arts organisations (For staff, managers and boards of trustees)

A consultancy would involve a review of current policies and procedures,
governance structures supporting wellbeing, recruitment, training, contracting, and surveying the accessibility of buildings and engagement and outreach.
We have worked as consultants with with The Watershed, Bristol Old Vic and Theatre Bristol.

For bookings and inquiries contact:
Olivia Ware : 07843210272

We are a members led organization, here’s what some of our members have to say about us;

Toby. “It stops me feeling isolated and depressed” “I love being creative and doing active things, from music, drawing, gardening and woodwork. I heard about Many Minds through Bristol drug services where I used to volunteer. I have been a drug addict for 35 years and been in some dark places with my mental health through addiction. The drama group stops me isolating and getting depressed. I love the people in the group. There is a good mix of men and women. My favourite thing about it is losing myself in laughter. It is so much fun.”
Anna. “I love the creativity and community” “I’m Anna and I’m 24. Mental health problems have been turning my life upside down for the past few years. I have always loved drama and theatre but haven’t been able to do much since being ill. I wanted to come to this group so that I could carry on doing what I enjoy but in a more supportive environment with people who are understanding of my needs. I always come away from sessions feeling a bit better. I love the creativity, the community and the sense of achievement I get from performing with other people.” Anna has recently run the Bristol 10km for Many Minds.
Tyler “My name is Tyler I’m 20 I suffer with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) I started drama last year with cardboard citizens but then moved over to many minds It has helped me come out my shell a lot and embrace who I am and embrace my mental health I also do my own spoken word, here’s a bit of it; This is me Proud to be My BPD Don’t define me Let me be for I am free My mind is trapped lost at sea I can’t escape this hellish dream All I want is to wake up and breath For soon I will break and be relieved For I’ve been deceived by the demons in me You won’t believe what I’ve seen But it’s shaped the legacy of what I’ve been Accept me and be freed Or leave the scene for I don’t need your greed This is me and the f***ed up life i lead Let me be I plead”
Sarah. “Drama helps me be myself and feel accepted” “I have a rare genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis that affects me physically and mentally and I have struggled with depression and anxiety since I was a teenager. I was bullied when I was younger and it stopped me participating in activities and made me lose confidence and belief in myself. I have had multiple operations over the years to remove the tumours that grow under my skin as part of my condition and have been in and out of hospital my whole life. On bad days I don’t feel like going out at all and feel like being here anymore. Drama has really helped me to feel happier and less stressed about life. When I come to Many Minds workshops, I don’t have to worry about anything and I can just have fun and be myself. It is like a big family and everyone accepts me for who I am. Before I joined, all I did was stay at home, sleep or watch Netflix. Now I have something to look forward to doing every week. I have now been in five performances and I have realised that one day I want to be a drama assistant. Being involved in drama has helped me so much with my depression and helped me not to be afraid of showing my feelings. I feel more relaxed and less stressed and I want to help other young people benefit from being involved too.”
David. “It has helped improve my confidence and self-esteem” I have had paranoia, depression, anxiety and have experienced hearing voices and psychotic episodes. I was told about the Many Minds drama group through a life recovery group and thought it would be good for my mental health to meet new people and have a laugh. It is a fun, safe environment and really good for my confidence and self-esteem. It gives me a way to express my feelings and emotions and feel connected to others. I have made lots of positive friendships and it has helped me discover some of my hidden talents. My favourite moment was when I was performing on stage at The Wardrobe Theatre in a scene where I had my shorts on my head.


We wouldn’t be able to function without a team of committed and highly talented volunteers. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts (you know who you are!)
We tend to work with 3 volunteers per-project. Volunteers attend one workshop per week (usually on a Tuesday evening running 6-8.30PM) with additional rehearsals as we work towards a performance. Each project generally runs for 3 months.
We particularly welcome interest from people who self-identify as male, trans and BME/ BAME individuals.
Please get in contact with olivia@many-minds.org if you are interested in finding out more.

Many Minds Board of Trustees is made up of Joanna Smith, Claire Short, Anna Harpin & Doreen Johnson. We are currently recruiting board members and welcome interest from people with experience of mental-ill health, young people and individuals who Identify as BME/BAME. We welcome interest from anyone, whether you have experience of being a board member or not. At the moment we are particularly interested in gaining board members with skills in communications & finance or someone to be chair.
Please get in contact with olivia@many-minds.org if you are interested in finding out more.