I have been part of the Designs in Mind crew for almost a year. Spent roughly ten to twelve weeks in the land of Zoom, due to the restrictions that were in place at the start of 2021. Was a little unsure to begin with, as I didn’t know much about the place, but it soon turned around, and now I’m glad that I have found it. Not only has it helped with my mental health issues, Designs was suggested to me by a member of the Cambrian Railway Orchard Project, who helps run the local Orchard. At first wasn’t keen, but I gave it a go and loving it ever since.

It’s also helped me appreciate all types of different artistic forms. From Screen Printing, Lino Printing, drawing with brio, felt tip, and using different fabrics and textures to create anything, your imagination takes you. And now I am a regular in the studio, it feels like home from home. For some reason, on the first day I walked in there I felt like I have been there already. Everyone treats everyone with no judgement, and they make you feel wanted and part of something, whether you’ve been there for years, or just started.

The staff are amazing. They throw out the conventional rule book saying it has to be spot on. Which helps, as it makes you feel relaxed, and as long as you can understand the actual process of things, that seems more than actually painting a Van Gough. They encourage you to find what you like as an individual and ask you to run with it. Once you have accomplished it, that makes you feel more inclined to continue it. Yes there are the basics like manners and respect, to all members, volunteers and members of staff like any other place, but everyone has a right laugh at times, I consider them friends, and some of the other members close friends. I’d be lost without it. It’s brought me out of my shell, never thought I’d like the singing group, as well, but I do. It’s odd how people I didn’t know a couple of years can actually be like family itself.

People want to be feel valued, and important. At Designs In Mind you definitely do. It’s a rarity, I’m glad to be part of it.