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Whilst we have been receiving a steady stream of submissions, many from Curatorspace, which we upload directly to the blog, we have been busy behind the scenes in meetings. These have been planning and funding meetings mainly.

We’re applying for 2 pots of funding that both require 50% match funding. They are both capped at £1000 for and will fund our launch event in Spring 2019 and newspaper printing (fingers crossed!) We are volunteering all our time including running the workshops so we can also use this as in-kind match too.

One of our biggest issues is that our launch event is very much in planning whilst we build relationships with community organisations and develop the programme, but the deadline for one pot of funding is in a few short weeks. So we have to be able to articulate our plans without a confirmed programme in place.

One of the questions we received at Huddersfield Soup – where we presented the project a few weeks ago – was why such a long lead in time to launch the newspaper (essentially in a full year’s time)? Well, as a small team of 3 volunteering our time in between various illnesses, children and life in general we definitely need a lot of time to make something like this work! It’s important to us that we engage with hard to reach groups. We need to set up workshops that engage with marginalised individuals to support them through a creative process. We need to research and develop our ideas with our partner organisations. We need to get funding in place. We need to make it the best we can make it.

It feels like there is a lot to do in what will inevitably become a short space of time, and what keeps me focussed is the whole reason we’re doing this: We lost our friend to bipolar and depression and he wanted us to make an art project to raise awareness all the (too often silent) problems people live with. Our lives are all affected by mental health issues, directly and indirectly through family and friends. We have lost loved ones, we have suffered ourselves. These things are important but they are still, in 2018, still taboo and difficult, made increasingly more difficult by cuts to critical services and general lack of education and support.

Next week is Mental Health Awareness Week so we will be doing some blog posts about the support services available, locally and nationally, with plenty of good things happening.