Tag: wellbeing

On-line Art Workshops with Shelley

Weekly on-line 1 hour art workshops with practical group activities such as drawing, painting, clay sculptures, collage.

Art has the potential to inspire, promote wellbeing and team building. Working in a group, even though online can bring a feeling of being connected, learning from others and exploring individual creativity.

The emphasis will be placed on simple, fun projects with the scope for individual flair, broken down into easy to follow steps. Aimed at all levels of ability.
Art/ craft material requirements to be emailed to participants beforehand with links to online shops. The materials will be easy to find and safe to use.
Examples –

Example 1 : Two-Weeks Vase/ Plant Pot Making Workshop – using air drying modelling clay and acrylic paint
Week 1 – participants will use clay to model a small vase or plant pot after visual examples and a demonstration, to be made in the workshop with advice from Shelley and feedback from the group. The objects will be left to dry thoroughly until the following week.
Week 2 – we will paint/ decorate the vases/ pots and have a finished piece.

Example 2 : One-Week Group Collage Workshop to encourage team bonding
A picture is broken down into squares of the number of participants and emailed to each person to print beforehand. In the workshop participants colour in/ paint their individual square with ideas and advice on how to use the materials from Shelley. The squares will then be photographed and
placed together to reveal the bigger picture.

The sessions will be led by Shelley Hopkins.

From 2000 to 2013, Shelley was a Support Worker, Activity Development Worker, Craft Group Volunteer and Art Teacher.
These various roles in social care environments involved working with clients holistically and delivering quality activities to clients. Shelley ran various groups including art, creative writing, filmmaking and photography and coordinated many projects which led to exhibitions, spoken word/ art events, a performance at the Old Vic and the publication of an art/ poetry magazine which is still running today. Shelley linked in with major galleries and their Education Department at the Tate Modern, V & A, ICA and the Soane’s Museum etc.Shelley also continues to enjoy life drawing, model making and photography.

In parallel, Shelley is also a filmmaker and video editor, specialising in experimental films, art videos and music videos. She has collaborated with musicians including The Heavy North, The Cheating Hearts and Carly Paradis.

Her Qualifications
BA (Hons) Fine Art (Sculpture)
MA Psychoanalytic Studies. The emphasis on this degree was on ‘the gaze’ and the relation of theory to film and fine art

Training and CPD courses : Various courses in :

  • Pottery, model making, life drawing, filmmaking,
  • Art and meditation and mindfulness,
  • Health and Safety, Risk Assessment, Equality at Work, First Aid,
  • Specialist training in Mental Health and Substance Use,
  • Training the Trainer, Motivational Interviewing, Assertiveness Skills.

On-line Mindfulness Meditation

Image par John Hain de Pixabay

What is Mindfulness?

The word Mindfulness means COMPASSIONATE and LUCID AWARENESS, a sense of knowing what is happening in the external and internal world, as it is happening.

Most of us are more used to its opposite: “mindlessness” –when we are not really conscious of what is going on, and liable to make mistakes.

In the Buddhist tradition, Mindfulness is explained as a momentary sense and impression of how past, present and future moments arise and cease.

And in practice, Mindfulness purposely brings one’s attention in the present moment without judgment, and has two main parts: attention and acceptance.

  • Attention typically involves directing one’s awareness to breath, thoughts, physical sensations in the body and the feelings experienced on the moment.
  • Acceptance involves observing those feelings and sensations without judgment. Instead of responding or reacting to those thoughts or feelings, one aims at acknowledging them and letting them go, the result being an increased ability to manage them.

The scientific back-up of Mindfulness

In the 1970’s, the professor Jon Kabat-Zinn and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre researched thoroughly Mindfulness and gathered evidence for its effects on focus, anxiety, stress, depression, chronic pain and general health.

As a result, a growing awareness of the importance of our emotional fitness through Mindfulness has risen, in a very similar way to the journey of acceptance of physical exercise in the 20th century. Early on, sports were not recognised for their physical and mental positive effect, and somebody going to jog would be labelled as a lunatic!. But after a large body of scientific evidence was gathered, sports became identified as a powerful tool to regulate health.

The introduction of Mindfulness in UK and USA institutions

Mindfulness meditation benefits now from a general acceptance, and the Pr Jon Kabat-Zinn is one of the Patrons of the UK Mindfulness Initiative which has led the Mindfulness programme in the British Parliament.

Mindfulness is recommended by the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a way to prevent depression in people who have had 3 or more bouts of depression in the past.

Mindfulness has also entered the corporate work environment, for instance at the Californian Company Google where meetings are used to start with a Mindfulness intro.

Chade-Meng Tan, head of Mindfulness training up to 2015 at Google states:

 “If you are a company leader who says employees should be encouraged to exercise, nobody looks at you funny, the same thing is happening to meditation and mindfulness, because now that it’s become scientific, it has been demystified. It’s going to be seen as fitness for the mind.”

Tan also says that mindfulness opens the doorway to loving kindness, which is at the heart of business success.

«In many situations, goodness is good for business, if you, as the boss, are nice to your employees, they are happy, they treat their customers well, the customers are happy to spend more money, and so everybody wins.”

The On-Line Mindfulness session

A 20 min seated session, with a few gentle twists and breathing techniques, bringing the feeling of grounding and clarity into our daily lives.

The session teacher: Aneta Grabiec

Aneta Grabiec is already providing the same format session to many UK companies very successfully.

Author of 3 Well-being eBooks and numbers of wellness articles published nationwide, Aneta Grabiec has always been passionate about the science of wellness through her studies of psychology (BA), NLP (MA), Nutritional Therapy (Nutritional Therapist Diploma ), Detox  and Toxicology (The Detox Specialist and Toxicology Expert Diploma), the Science of Yoga (BWY, Yoga Alliance). With over fifteen years of experience and care for the others, Aneta helps people reach a healthy mind-body connection, with exercise and nutrition as the recipe for longevity and happy, healthy living.

Her Website:


Image par Okan Caliskan de Pixabay