My bold ripple…

by Jan Brown

New Haven – Anchor in a Storm

On the advice of the wonderful Suzie Beresford I applied to take part in the bold Programme in January 2022 and the sheer joy and positivity of the activities and the spirit of curiosity of our Cohort 7 saw me through some very dark days that year. I got to revisit my own creativity in response to the bold mindful prompts and from the thoughts and creativity of my peers.

Jan’s collage from Cohort 7 of the bold Programme

Personally the program brought into focus the importance of accepting and braving change and the power of positive thought and ‘travelling hopefully’. Some of you may know that I sing sea shanties, sail in tall ships and share stories of the sea so I am not a stranger to storms. I took a risk, I leapt – I left a stable job in the third sector in Shetland to embark on a fixed term position to manage the Heart Meeting Centre at The Heart of Newhaven Community in Edinburgh. Navigating an un-predicted storm of personal loss and grief over the past three months, the team at Heart of Newhaven Community our Meeting Centre volunteers and our members have been my anchor.

Jan, Willy & Fenella at the Heart of Newhaven

Three months in I look forward to going to work in a vibrant community and meeting like minds and creative spirits. The Meeting Centre training led by the University of Worchester was mindful and thorough. The Joy of the Meeting Centre movement is that, led by members interests, each Meeting Centre in Scotland is different. At the Heart Meeting Centre we share an interest in creative thinking and so we leapt into the Arts in Healthcare Scotland – ITAK art collaboration working alongside the talented Fenella Kerr and Willy Gilder.

Willy Gilder immortalised in paper at the Heart.

The Heart of Newhaven Community in North East Edinburgh believes in the power and potential for intergenerational projects to ‘Bring People Together’ and we started our own ‘ripple’ with P3’s at our local primary school.

The Heart’s Intergenerational project with a local primary school

I have always considered myself to be a bold person with a “If not now when?” mind set. My mother, who had vascular dementia, was a really creative and curious person and she loved to travel. I wish I knew then what I know now but it is her journey that inspired my journey. Her favourite phrases were “Use or Lose it!” and “Seize the day!” At the Heart Meeting Centre we do just that – we bring people together to navigate change – creatively!

Jan Brown & team doodling at The Heart

All welcome to join us on Saturday 1st June at the Newhaven Gala – 11 am at the pier to meet and greet the Fisher King and Queen and at Heart of Newhaven 4-6 Main Street, Newhaven afterwards – you’ll find us in the playground…in the Anchor Building – just writing that makes me smile!

Clay Creativity at The Heart