Tag Archives: Ray Bentley

Fear/Trust Multi-form Collaboration #4 (Poetry/Art)

19 Nov


Creatives Making A Difference

‘Supporting Mental Health’

FEAR/TRUST Collaboration

Welcome to the forth and final collaboration in an eight week, fortnightly engagement with the emotions of fear and trust.  For this particular collaboration we have paired four artists and four poets together. The artists have taken up the theme of fear, and the poets, in response, are engaging  with the theme of trust. In so doing we’re attempting to artistically and accessibly engage with the dynamics between the two emotions – the clashes and the spectrum between the two contrasting feelings. The poets and artists have been exchanging  ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the weeks roll by is the diverse expression of that exchange.
 It’s our intention that these collaborations will form an online resource which will  potentially bring comfort, provide an innovative  means to engage with difficult feelings, and ultimately to provide access to information about mental health in a stimulating manner. The idea is that we will also eventually group these collaborations together into exhibitions and installations to further promote public awareness and engagement with these issues. Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.


This week’s collaboration features

 Ray Bentley (Artist) and Melissa Diem (Poet)




Behind by Ray Bentley

An Empathy for Small Machines

by Melissa Diem


An Empathy for Small Machines

Please do click on the poem to enlarge



You can find out more about Ray and Melissa below:

Ray Bentley  

Ray Bentley is an award-winning painter from Stoke-on-Trent whose still lifes and figurative paintings have been exhibited throughout the UK. He now lives and works near Redcar with his partner and dog, where he spends his days eating biscuits, napping, not doing the housework, tweeting about his favourite things, reading thrillers and – occasionally – painting. You can learn more about him at http://raymondbentley.com/.



Melissa Diem:

Melissa Diem has an MPhil in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin and was awarded a Bank of Ireland Millennium Scholarship. She has published the novel, Changeling [Pan (UK) and Gill & Macmillan (Ireland)] and poetry in several journals including Poetry Ireland Review, The Stinging Fly, The Shop, The Sunday Tribune, and Rival. She was the Featured Poet in The Stinging Fly Spring issue 2010. She was shortlisted for both the Hennessy Literary Awards and the Bradshaw Cork Literary Review Poetry Manuscript Competition and joint runner up for the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award. Melissa has exhibited visual media throughout Ireland including at the RHA, Iontas, Guinness Hopstore and The Ark. The one about the bird and Appraisal are her first poetry films and have been selected for several festivals including Belfast Film Festival 2013, Filmpoem 2013, Visible Verse 2013, 9th Cologne International Videoart Festival and finalist in the La Parola Immaginata – Trevigliopoesia 2013 and Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition, 2013.  She is currently working on her third poetry film and developing artwork for an upcoming book of poetry. 



*If you would like to be a creative involved in one of our ‘Supporting Mental Health’ Collaborations next season do get in touch via the comment boxes or @ArtiPeep

Thank you so much for your interest.

The Divine Mr M: Drawing Mark From Memory

17 Jun

The Divine Mr M: Drawing Mark from Memory

by Ray Bentley


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When Nicky asked me to write something for Artipeeps I was thrilled, even though I didn’t have a clue what I could possibly say that would hold anyone’s interest for 2,000 words. I had a look at the blog and there was any number of posts from people about their personal testimony or their artistic practice which I didn’t feel I could match, simply because my own biography and working methods seem utterly dreary by comparison. My first thought was that I should write something called “What is Art For?”, but this was quickly dismissed by partner as the kind of arid mumbling that had been done a million times before on art blogs.

“I know:”, he said. “Why not write about Mark?”.

“That’s not really relevant”, I said.

“No”, he said, “but he is interesting. Why not draw him as well? It’ll be a good exercise.”

The latter would be a challenge, given that Mark made it a rule never to have his photograph taken and that he’s been dead for ten years, but I thought I’d give it a go. I did draw him once before, a long time ago; he commissioned me to do a pen and ink drawing of him at his prime, but that’s long-lost now.

When I settled on Mark as a subject, I was presented with two new problems: firstly, how could I do justice to his extraordinary life, and, more worryingly, how could I do it in so few words?

I wasn’t sure, so I delegated that part of the task to my partner (who’s also called Mark), which means that everything you’ve read so far – and everything you’re about to read – has been written by him (seeing as it was his smart idea). All I did was talk into his voice recorder for an hour and a half, and do some drawings.

Mark was twenty five when we first met, and although he’d reached the pinnacle of his working life a few years previously, the long, elegant decline I saw him play out was as compelling as anything I’d missed. I was eighteen, fresh from the provinces, and he immediately offered me the first of the many stark bon mots which would become his trademark over the years.

“Raymond, darling” he said, with a swish of his dinner-plate hands “if ever you are ill, simply disappear, and come back when you’re well. Aaand – if you have any problems, don’t even think for a moment of sharing them with anyone, because they won’t want to know”.

For the rest of his life he continued to hide behind this ineffable mask, and while he steadfastly refused to advertise his frailties, he never gave himself the time to flaunt his successes either; I only found out from a friend years later, for example, that while peers, dignitaries and heads of state were forced to walk from the cordons to Westminster Abbey on Coronation Day, Mark had been limousined from palace to palace to spray the hair and fix the coronets of the world’s aristocracy. Not-yet twenty-one, and under the soubriquet of Mr M (or “Lil” to his closest customers), he’d become the best-placed commoner at the last hurrah of the greatest empire, without even breaking into a sweat.

If ambition had ever been a part of Mark’s make-up, he hid that well too. As far as I know he’d left his native Cardiff as a teenage hairdresser to move to Manchester after catching the eye of Helena Rubenstein, before quickly heading to London, Paris and then London again to find himself teasing the locks of Queen Mary and Princess Margaret before he was old enough to vote, and without that much in the way of effort.

So: in the absence of any palpable hunger, what was it that tossed a working class boy from South Wales to these heights so quickly? I’m not really sure, but I think it was the combination of his impeccable, unforced manners, his beguiling confidence and, more than anything, his looks that taxied him into polite society, blessed as he was with the pompadour, the quixotic flounce, the traffic-stopping nose, the ambiguous physique and the sheer height that would, by turns, disarm, mesmerise or reassure everyone who met him.

Looking back, now, however, I can see how the same un-neediness occasionally informed against him. Had he been more career-minded I feel sure that he would have found it in himself not to throw a chair at one of his more celebrated clients after her late arrival to an appointment. His inevitable dismissal as a result of this naturally curtailed his trajectory, but after retreating to Cardiff to let the dust settle he was quickly lured to London afresh by Oxxxxxx just before they moved to Knightsbridge.

So: less than two years after his expulsion he was preening the elite again, just as his sins were slipping from polite memory, and with the instinct and renewed energy to try something new.

Wigs had slipped out of fashion in the 1920’s, but with the advent of new technology, greater prosperity, and some fledgling interest on the continent, Mark decided that he would bring the revival to the London, and he successfully and somewhat doggedly re-introduced the capital to a passion for hairpieces that would last well into the sixties.

This was another of his unique qualities: he could learn his way into a position of unparalleled expertise on whatever appealed to him at any given time: wigs, clocks, antiques, quadrophonic sound, chimpanzees, his Borzois, exotic African gentlemen or Lord Byron (whose style he comprehensively appropriated) , and this always kept adversity at bay long enough for him to keep the Mark industry ticking over. Such was his authority on the aforesaid poet that he was consulted by Peter Hall – director of the West End première of “Camino Real” – to ensure that the young Robert Hardy played him with exactly the right hair colour.

His passions weren’t always so durable, however. He returned his chimp to Harrods just hours after its purchase when it became evident that the constant screeching and poo-throwing would play havoc with his hosting prowess.

He was also blessed with a selective practicality which, to all but Mark, appeared utterly extraordinary: for example, he thought it perfectly natural that everyone should have at least one overgrown fingernail for those times when there wasn’t a screwdriver to hand. He also thought it was the obvious career move, when, aged just twenty, he received a series of injections from a doctor boyfriend which successfully protected him from hereditary baldness, even if it meant that he’d be forced to live with a pair of perfectly formed but debilitatingly substantial breasts for the next thirty years.

I can’t say exactly what it was that made him leave hairdressing in the early 1960’s, but he made a well-timed exit just before the kid-next-door renaissance of that era turned Mark’s brand of exoticism into a quaint impediment.

Mark’s first attempt at reinvention shrewdly mirrored the entrepreneurial hipness of that age, and he utilised his contacts within the music industry to repackage himself as The Mystery Singer. His plan was to release a beat version of “Come Into The Garden, Maude” which would be sang from behind a screen, upon which a back light would silhouette Mark’s unmistakable profile and trademark cigarette holder. Although he couldn’t actually sing a note he considered this wholly unimportant, as he was well aware that they could “do marvellous things in the studio” to rectify this. Unsurprisingly this project never came to fruition in the way he’d hoped, although the concept remains strangely compelling.

It’s from this point onwards that I lose track with the chronology of Mark’s life, because when he didn’t visit he would limit contact to occasional, superficial telephone calls if things were going either extremely well, or extremely poorly. Given that I hardly ever saw him, this will give you some idea of what lay ahead.

His father – who’d diligently tithed Mark’s earnings for over a decade to ensure he didn’t fritter everything away – moved to London from Cardiff in the sixties, and together they relied on Mark’s knowledge of clocks and his father’s engineering prowess to make a comfortable living – for a while, at least.

It was about this time that he also embarked his longest, but most unsuccessful career, as an inventor. His single-mindedness remained as formidable ever, but for the first time, perhaps, the world resisted Mark in ways he couldn’t negotiate. The financial pressure of retaining patents on his ideas, coupled with his unerring taste for the good life meant that his capital was eaten away, and he could do nothing as his better innovations were picked off one by one as his rights expired.

To an inventor, determination is as combustible as oxygen, and the drive that allows you to knock unflinchingly on a multitude of doors eventually blinds you to the limitations of the products you believe in – and invest in – the most.

In Mark’s case he came unstuck because of his unwavering belief that disposable, self-adhesive glove-pads for caterers and car mechanics were the future, and he spend a king’s ransom on research and development until it became clear that it would cost him too much to get his glue to both work effectively and reliably whilst also meeting unsurprisingly stringent trading standards.

A substantial inheritance and the generous returns from the sub-letting of a sitting tenancy in the heart of the West End kept things ticking over financially, and he was able to mask his adversity from the mavens of London life for well over a decade, during which time he continued to make some very important friends despite any tangible success in his professional life.

Consequently, he was invited onto “Clive Anderson Talks Back” in the mid-80s to talk about his inventions, and he proved so popular that he was hurried back for a repeat performance on a following episode.

This flurry of interest in both his ebullient charm and his unlikely devices coincided with the removal of his breasts, but instead of freeing him to enjoy his eminence, it precipitated a deterioration which made it almost impossible for him to fully savour the rest of his life. His demeanour never changed, however, and he remained as dashing, imposing and as infectious as ever, even if he could no longer walk without assistance.

The last time I saw him was about twelve years ago, and even though the money was all but gone, he was living in a grace and favour house in the sticks that was nothing less than palatial, and was able to call on the services of a housekeeper to tend the needs of Mark, his partner, his ever-decreasing circle of friends, and his two enormous Borzois. He talked about how he’d recently appeared on Esther Rantzen’s new daytime show, but was somewhat discomfited by the way in which he and his fellow inventors were now been presented as eccentrics worthy of nothing but ridicule.

Between this visit and his subsequent death, two years later, I spoke to Mark only sporadically. His telephone calls were short, breezy postcards which were as engaging and as occasionally infuriating as ever, but they were never long enough to betray the new realities of his life.

When I went to his sparsely attended funeral I found out that both the house and the housekeeper had been gone for some time, and that he, his partner and his pitifully out-sized dogs had been forced by penury into a council flat which was hardly big enough for one giant, let alone four. A handful of people – mostly local – paid their respects at his service, but there was only me there that knew the many truths about Mark that would otherwise have remained locked away, even from his partner.

The fifty-year-long sunset on his own private empire was finally over, and with it, another un-Google-able life had been lost to history. For all I’ve gone on, you still don’t even know the half of what he got up to.

From this point onwards Me – Ray – the narrator, and Mark (my partner) the writer, differ: given the colour and unthinking vitality of Mark’s life and my own experience of his outlandishness, I only see tragedy in his quiet end.

My partner, however, only sees triumph, given that almost every life, be it eventful or otherwise, usually ends with the same unseemly bathos. Mark, he claims, lived “to the max”, and he feels sure that were he presented with the circumstances of his late penury, death and quiet exit exit fifty years earlier, he would gladly have taken it in return for the richness of the life he was gifted.

I’ve attached three drawings I did of Mark: the first was a pencil sketch I did as a refresher; the second was a profile based on that and further recollections, and the third was a much more impressionistic rendering I did after this article had been written; none of them, it has to be said, do him justice. If, on your travels, you ever chance upon a pen/ink sketch of a tall, naked reclining man with pendulous breasts, spectacular cigarette holder and an even more spectacular male appendage then you’ll have completed the set, and you’ll have a much better visual analogue for what it was that made this man so unique.

So: in a roundabout way maybe I have addressed my initial conceit, and I’ve perhaps unintentionally demonstrated just what it is art is for and what it can aspire to. It can reach up to the condition of excellence that makes humans so special, even when they’re maddening, frustrating, inscrutable or just too plain big to be pinned down.

We will almost certainly fail to do that as artists, just as we invariably fail as humans to reach our full potential, but when it gets close to the truth, it’s always worthwhile.


You can find more about Ray and his painting here:



The Recovery Project Collaboration: ‘Creatives Making a Difference’

4 Jun


More than several months ago I had an idea about creating a mini-collaboration on the theme of the mental health term  ‘Recovery’. This is not only particularly relevant to me because I have bi-polar and am in a state of recovery myself, but also because ‘recovery’ is important for lots of people (including creatives) who are affected my mental health issues. It’s a universally important theme and experience.

With this in mind I asked the poets Carol Robson, John Mansell and Rebecca Audra Smith (all accessed via Twitter)  if they would like to collaborate on this and write a poem for the project, each taking up a particular facet of the path to recovery. Carol took up the theme of DESPAIR, John, MUDDLING THROUGH and Rebecca ‘RECOVERY’. I asked 3 artists who were then paired with the poets: Ray Bentley, Photographer Jeremy Moseley and Hugo Smith (all accessed via Twitter) to produce artwork inspired by the three poems. I also asked audio visual artist Shaun Blezard to write an accompanying soundpiece for the three sections. So this whole project is completely fuelled by new literary pieces, artwork/photography and sounds. The piece can viewed in sections or be taken as a whole. I have also produced a mini-film  which includes audio versions of the poems, and will give you an idea of the piece as a whole and how it could be turned into an installation of sorts (watch this space…).  It is worth mentioning that everyone involved in this project either has direct experience of the issues or an explicit interest.

The Recovery Project is an important bench-mark for ArtiPeeps for it really represents the first contribution to a new mental health initiative we are going to be instigating more explicitly in October: ‘Supporting Mental Health’.  This ongoing  initiative will produce collaborative material which will form an online artistic and  therapeutic resource for people in need. This will be part of other larger shifts in ArtiPeeps’ intent. There will be more news of this and its implications as time unfolds. But it’s all good.



“Recovery is being able to live a meaningful and satisfying life, as defined by each person, in the presence or absence of symptoms. It is about having control over and input into your own life. Each individual’s recovery, like his or her experience of the mental health problems or illness, is a unique and deeply personal process.”Scottish Recovery Network 2009

Recovery is not about ‘getting rid of problems’. It is about seeing people beyond their problems – their abilities, possibilities, interests, and dreams and recovering the social roles and relationships that give life value and meaning”Julie Repper and Rachel Perkins, 2002



by Shaun Blezard

Section 1


Restraint Chair No.1 (crop)

Restraint Chair No.1 by Ray Bentley


Another Psychosis

by Carol Robson


Here in a place, which I should be
I need to be here and in all places
Yet! an urge to run rages through me
fear of physical contact, my brain now in overload
here, feeling alone in a place full of people.

Like a frightened gazelle
taunted by its hunter
I search for the exit to safety
an egress to my solitary state
my place of safety in my Prozac stained mind.

Neural networks firing their manic impulses
ignoring my vain attempt of rational logic
craving for their mania overload
knowing again, they will fight a long battle
against the Lithium army, that will bring them down.

Highs and lows come and go
trying to live your normal life
my exterior facade is all you see
as it hides a mind and soul in turmoil
just trying to get through to the next hour.

A life in a day to day existence
that craves for whatever is normal
a time bomb mind with a fragile trigger
controlled by whatever the drug of choice is.

Clinging to a life of hopes and dreams
that is out of this drug controlled despair
I will one day rise again like the Phoenix
out of the ashes, of Another Psychosis.

© Carol Robson 2011


Section 2:


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Photography by Jeremy Moseley




Solitary Lights in a Forsaken Landscape

by John Mansell


Day opens like a strange flower.
Had it really closed?

Eyes adrift with bitter tears.
I see you viewing me with unease,
…………toothbrush in hand;
Do not call me stranger.
Do not make me mute
……….by filling my mouth with dread.
Lined linear colour,
the implements of survival
…………in their little compartments
…………………….with designated times…..
Consumption of the divine;
a woman purled in momentary
silence forages the impression
that once she knew me.
And then, like a shoot that appeared too soon
……….is gone…..
Each moment a disgrace to pleasure:
………..the floods of worry
…………………..have strewn me along
…………………..various embankments…..
And when certain suns shine,
I know it is a worry
as unnecessary as
…………the solitude I veil myself with…..
Walk with me these grim corridors.
Though I was able yesterday, today I have fears
that arrest me.
I see faces and eyes rimmed with farewells.
I hear names spoken,
and children laughing…..
If I listen intently enough, I am sure
one of those children is me…..
I am sure there were good days once…..

Shift the falling grains
so they rumple not to the
………..gathering years
but the trench of a memory
…………you think may have held yesterday;
as if your yesterday never existed.
The moisture of dreams drowns
the fallen edifice of your time…..
You are, but never was
because you fear
what you were for it would exhibit
………what you
………………..would be…..
you keeper of empty paintings.
Sleep in a place
where time is a flick of a page;
the dying groans of lost hope,
the flippant drapery
………..of a night
that will come despite
…………your efforts, thief of my life
…………despoiler of all I held beautiful…..

Day closes like a strange flower.
Had it really opened?

 Section 3:


trying for the brighter by Hugo Smith

‘Trying For the Brighter’ by Hugo Smith



by Rebecca Audra Smith


Hunting for the key
that can slot into my ear
unlock who I am, with
its slow turn and click.
I can hear it in my head,
doors open to staircases lead
to cellars where weeds chatter
about sunshine, light and seed.
Fumbled fingers in the bed
searching for a lighter
to set fire to the sun,
board a chariot, ride far.
I could have burnt my home
to ash, to dust- my family
rooting for my bones;
I’m trying for the brighter.
Planting keyholes inside tulips,
my hands are full of keys
each day a little lighter,
a stronger step for me.

The Recovery Film:



Bunny Hops: ArtiPeeps Update

1 Apr



It’s been a little while since I’ve given everybody an update of what’s afoot with ArtiPeeps, so I’m taking this Easter Monday as a cue to do so. I am trying to embody all the energy of the hare above at the moment but not the speed- slow and steady is what I’m aiming for; trying to build something solid and meaningful in the long term. All of what you’ll find below is part of that trajectory.

Today is the launch of the new ArtiPeeps logo that you’ll see to the right at the top of the sidebar. It has been designed by artist and illustrator Gary Caldwell and Gary and I have been working on it for a number of months. The logo’s aim is to embody all that ArtiPeeps stands for in a clear and precise way and to communicate the notion of collaboration visually. There is also an explicit nod to another one of ArtiPeeps’ concerns -well-being. We’re going to use the logo on all our official documentation and business cards etc. It will also be the logo I use for my various social media profiles. It’s one of the stages in our professionalisation, so it feels good, and Gary has been a great collaborator. Artipeeps likes Gary.

In terms of present and future collaborations our Transformations Poetry Project is going on a pace. It’s our 3rd month in and the quality of the poems has been extraordinary. Long may it continue!  You can find all the poems here, here, here & here. My aim is to also bring in artists into this project to contribute one painting, illustrating one book. We have two artists so far. If you are an artist and would like to get involved with this please do contact me. The poems and art will form an exhibition/collaboration next year and this will, in real terms, move the virtual collaboration into something concrete and tangible (which is an important intent); foregrounding all the creatives involved. The exhibition which hopefully will also include the poets involved will take place in Kings Lynn late next year; I will be crowdfunding for this exhibition starting in July (that’s the plan).

Our mental health ‘Recovery Project’ is also well under way- 3 artist (Ray Bentley, Jeremy Moseley, Hugo Smith); 3 poets: (Carol Robson, John Mansell and Rebecca Audra Smith) 1 audio visual artist, (Shaun Blezard) working on the theme of recovery *. You can find full details of the project here just last week the 3 poems were passed to the artists. Indeed, the first section of our piece ‘despair’ is already complete as is the soundscape for the whole piece written by Shaun . The artwork combined with the poetty will be ready by the end of April and then it will be a matter of combining all three sections into a whole of some sort in May and releasing it to the world. It’s an extremely affecting and powerful piece we’re creating, I can feel that already. We’re getting a mental health charity involved with us and I’m working towards placing the piece in some way within psychiatric hospitals and/or like-minded organisations.

In relation to the well-being aspect of ArtiPeeps, it is also my intention to create a sister site (ArtiPeeps Well-being) that is dedicated to supporting creative minds. The two sites will be interlinked, but there will be a very clear psychological imperative to the sister site using art, literature and poetry therapeutically and creating links with similar groups and organisations such as Space2Create (with whom we’ll be forging a firm link shortly).

We also have our first prose collaboration Hot Potato kicking off in the middle of April, where 8 prose writers (Ben Cooper, Gail Aldwin, aksania xenogrette ,  CJ Sullivan, AK AndersonLaura Besley, Gwendolyn S, Natalie Beech (over a period of 16 weeks, will be writing one short story sequentially). It’s going to be good. We’ve got great potatoes!! 

We have also found another visitor peep/artist in residence Kelly Occhiuzzo who will be with us for the month of May co-ordinating and taking part in a 4 artist project she has developed in which 4 separate new pieces of art will be created over the period of a month. We’re in the process of firming everything up at the moment. We’re so glad to have her with us!

My focus is still firmly fixed on building as many individual and group opportunities into ArtiPeeps as possible, and the well-being sister site will be developed steadily alongside everything as best I can. I have to admit that balancing the running of ArtiPeeps with actually doing what I need to do to develop it is difficult. Finding the time to do business plans, make connections etc. At present I am in the process of trying to find not only someone to help me with all the day-to-day computer work but also someone who can help me with the budgeting of my 5 year business plan which will act as the foundation of ArtiPeeps’ business equity and project crowdfunding plans. I am approaching CamCreative in relation to this….

In terms of individual opportunities, ‘Weekend Showcase’ is running smoothly every Friday with a new creative featured each week. Every creative showcased is then offered the option of taking up ‘FreeSpace’ (3 separate slots which can be taken up in a cluster or spread across months for mini-projects or for further platforming). James Knight has already done so and Koos Kleven (cartoonist) is also taking up this offer as has poet Oregon McClure. I am also starting up another mini-opportunity called ‘FullSpread’ which will offer creatives: a showcase, ‘FreeSpace’ and a guest blog. This could work particularly well for groups and organisations that want to not only communicate what they do but also want to foreground individuals and projects. We are in fact in the process of offering this to Space2Create.

In terms of features our usual ones,Frenzy’s Flash Feature’ (Greg Mackie), ‘Flash Fortnightly’ and ‘Classic Friday’ ( Nisha Moodley) are going strong, and we have now introduced a new monthly ‘writerly’ feature ‘The Tiniest of Things’ with poet Tiffany Coffman.

Last week ArtiPeeps was nominated by Ant DiMartino for the ‘Very Inspring Blogger Award’ which caused me a bit of concern because it’s not me that does all the writing and the contributing it’s you. As I said to Ant I’m thinking hard how best to handle this and I will only proceed if I can foreground creatives from within ArtiPeeps and its environs… and they might not want to participate…so we”ll see.

As you can see there’s a lot going on; things shaping and shifting in every direction. It’s all really exciting but there’s such a lot to do so it’s about being slow and steady whilst embodying boundng hare-like energy that moves us consistently forward. It’s a matter of stepping forward each day and leaning into every opportunity I can to develop ArtiPeeps and all those who sail in her.

I thank every single contributor and supporter of ArtiPeeps. You are growing ArtiPeeps by your sheer presence and that is an amazing gift, and if you want to get involved just contact me!



* “Recovery is being able to live a meaningful and satisfying life, as defined by each person, in the presence or absence of symptoms. It is about having control over and input into your own life. Each individual’s recovery, like his or her experience of the mental health problems or illness, is a unique and deeply personal process.” Scottish Recovery Network 2009

Recovery is not about ‘getting rid of problems’. It is about seeing people beyond their problems – their abilities, possibilities, interests, and dreams and recovering the social roles and relationships that give life value and meaning”Julie Repper and Rachel Perkins, 2002

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