Every year, the first day of February marks Time to Talk Day. It’s a day that gets family, friends, colleagues and community groups talking about our mental health. However, when we hear “I’m not too bad”, it often means I feel lost and alone. At, Paul’s Place, we bring our members together with a full range of lively activities in our day facility and evening programmes. We offer a safe space where people with physical disabilities can feel vulnerable and connected. And this month we’re launching our very own Creative Den for our members. A colour will be chosen every week to explore deep rooted emotions by using an art expression of their choice.

According to the census data in 2021, having a physical disability can increase feeling lonely compared to non-disabled people. The data also showed that the more physical limitations we have the more isolated we feel.

Paul’s Place significantly reduces feeling alone by bringing physically disabled adults together for life enhancing activities, where they can share their wisdom, skills, knowledge and life experiences. We’ll add to our existing activities by launching a new Creative Den project called Life in Colour. The final results could showcase a poem, a song, a performance or a painting.

For instance, the colour green may give members at Paul’s Place a Time to Talk about nature, their worries about climate change or being green with envy. The discussions will then open doors for a creative expression, which may involve leaf rubbings, using stencils, crayons, paints or writing a poem, a script or a song. The final masterpiece will show the journey, and how our members will share and learn from each other. The opportunities to talk and express emotions is priceless. But their creative expressions may lead to an exhibition or a performance premiere.

Mental Health Charities, Mind and Rethink Mental Illness lead Time to Talk Day in partnership with the Co-op. The campaign runs across the UK to support communities up and down the country to have more mental health conversations than ever before. The Time to Change campaign launched Time to Talk Day in 2014, a campaign to end mental health stigma and discrimination.

Two very experienced Occupational Therapist and Artistic Expression volunteers at Paul’s Place will facilitate the Life in Colour project. They said, “the achievements will be endless. The project will show that our members have stories, which are worth sharing through their creative expression, so they can learn from each other and educate the general public.” They continued saying, “our project is about creative expression through art, words and people. It will open doors for sharing our emotions, thoughts and ideas, so we can support each other. We will use the colour spectrum to speak about ourselves in a creative way and share our mutual experiences in life.”

Paul’s Place members, Rebecca, says, “Without Paul’s Place I wouldn’t be here. A week ago, my pain condition was a ten out of ten. I couldn’t eat, sleep or dress myself, which left me feeling tired and exhausted. At times my pain feels too overwhelming. At Paul’s Place I can talk about these issues without feeling embarrassed. I feel safe at Paul’s Place where people understand me, and we can support each other.”

Paul’s Place won’t stop until we see a world that embraces disability and includes everyone, so everyone can live their life to the fullest. With your help Paul’s Place can continue making sure that physically disabled adults are not alone, feel valued and connected. To get involved, please visit: Support us