This week we have 5 deadlines. ‘Deadline’ has been the word of the day.

We are finishing our latest commission of awards ready for the Social Value Awards 2017, run in partnership with the Department for Culture Media and Sport. Today the glass has come out of the kiln, M has finished shaping the recycled wood base, N has prepared the text and the logos ready to engrave the winners.

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(sneaky peek of awards, can’t show you the finished award until next week!)

On Saturday we start the installation of our commission for Baby Bird Cafe. Today R and K have set 3 large mosaic panels in concrete, J has nibbled away at the tiles to finish the last design on another mosaic panel, and 30 birds have been sent away to add the designs selected by our members from workshops with families at Baby Bird Cafe and pupils at The Meadows Primary School.

50 Grief Leaves have been cut, coloured and sprayed to fulfill our next order from CEDAR Education.

In the office we have submitted 1 funding application and 1 funding review. PHEW!

We all work to deadlines at Designs in Mind, it is an important part of what goes on here. We are a working design studio, supporting people living with mental health challenges to live and work with purpose. The clients that we design and make for have expectations and we aim to exceed them.

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It is a difficult balance to get right, what is the right amount of pressure or challenge for someone?

We have so many projects at any one time, members of Designs in Mind can be involved at different points of the design and making process. There are always projects starting, whilst others are finishing and this multilayered approach is essential so that everyone can find their place.


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What is it like working to a deadline?

‘It makes me feel secure, with things so up and down in my life it is good to have certainty’

‘It is a good thing. It motivates us and drives us forward.’

‘It gives a buzz to the atmosphere here’

‘When I am feeling unwell I am not so reliable, which is a hard feeling.’

‘I need to spend time doing it properly, so it can be a challenge’

‘I feel like I am being pushed sometimes, it is hard, but it’s a boost to morale and I feel like I’m making progress and achieving things’

‘It can be a challenge to manage pressure, when I have so much at home’

‘It gives me worth, a reason and makes me feel important.’

Do you think deadlines are important here?

‘We can prioritise, and they give us the impetus to complete things.’

‘Deadlines can motivate us when we are feeling less driven.’

‘They bring us together and we can work as a team.’

‘Deadlines are fun here!’

‘Different people work at different speeds, it helps us to plan’

‘They are part of the world I want to break in to, this is practice’

‘They get the adrenaline going and make us accomplish things’

‘As long as they are realistic, they are good.’

‘Deadlines prepare people for working life. There is always backup here, for people to fill the role if someone is ill, that is the great thing about Designs in Mind’

‘Deadlines here are different, there are people here to back you up, a good team here.’

As you can see we had an interesting discussion today about ‘deadlines’ whilst finishing the day with all the boxes ticked.