Renfrewshire Mental Health Arts Festival

Tuesday 1 - Tuesday 29 May, 2018

Renfrewshire has another busy programme of events for this year’s festival – all exploring the festival theme of ‘beginnings’.

The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival is one of Scotland’s most diverse cultural events, covering everything from music, film and visual art to theatre, dance, and literature.

The aims of each year’s festival are to:

  • Challenge perceptions
  • Make connections
  • Develop audiences
  • Encourage participation
  • Create

There are lots of festival events taking place in Renfrewshire – check the website (address listed below) for more information, and we’ve listed most of the programme here for you on

Exhibitions and ongoing calendar

From 1 May

Photography by Peer Focus
Paisley Job Centre hosts a group photography exhibition of work by Peer Focus, a recovery-based photography group.

1-31 May, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Paisley Job Centre, 49A High Street, Paisley PA1 2AN

Renfrew Job Centre Hosts Art

Renfrew Job Centre hosts an exhibition of photography which documents people’s individual recovery from alcohol addiction. Delivered in association with Renfrewshire Alcohol and Drugs Partnership (ADP), Alcohol Focus Scotland (AFS) and Edinburgh University.

1-31 May, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Renfrew Job Centre, 5 High Street, Renfrew, PA4 8QL

Erskine Health Centre Artwork

A permanent exhibition which reflects the local area and history of Erskine, created by Made in the Mill artists who use creativity as part of their recovery.

1-31 May, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Erskine Health Centre, Bargarran Road, Erskine PA8 6BS

From 4 May

Famous Favourites
A new solo exhibition of artwork by local artist Mandi Mixup. Famous Favourites presents a humorous and at times, macabre twist on famous paintings from the history of art.

4-31 May, Mon-Sat 9am-4pm
Paisley Arts Centre, 15 New Street, Paisley PA1 1EZ

From 7 May

My Time

Voluntary Arts Scotland matched poets with creative groups across Renfrewshire, celebrating local creativity and exploring how getting creative makes us feel. Drop into this exhibition to discover some of the creative groups happening on your doorstep and explore the link between creativity and wellbeing. Supported by Creative Scotland and Paisley 2021.

7-27 May, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Johnstone Job Centre, 11 Floors Street, Johnstone PA5 8QT

From 8 May

Caring Conversations

Brought together by Artist Josie Valley, this exhibition features work by people from across Paisley, exploring the theme of Mental Health Stigma in Health and Social Care. There will also be a chance to take part in workshops with Josie and ceramicist Kevin Andrew Morris.

Exhibition: 8-24 May, Tue & Thu 10am-4pm
RMHAF Hub, Wevolution Paisley Hub, 25 Moss St, Paisley PA1 1DJ

From 10 May

Beginnings: Broken Pages Mend Stages

Changing Stages Drama Group will perform an engaging piece of theatre around the experience and impact of poor mental health and addiction. Everyone is welcome to attend the open workshop, with a performance session the following week.

Workshop: Thu 10 May

Performance: Thu 17 May

Methodist Central Hall, Gauze Street, Paisley PA1 1EB
£1.50 (pay at the door)

From 12 May

Textile Skills Share

As part of the Paisley TH.CARS2 project, the Sma’ Shot Weavers in Residence invite you to join them for a textile skills sharing weekend. Drop in sessions will run both mornings, with a weaving workshop available to sign up for each afternoon. No experience necessary and tea, coffee and cake will be provided.

Sat 12 & Sun 13 May, 10am-12pm & 1-3pm
RMHAF Hub, Wevolution Paisley Hub, 25 Moss St, Paisley PA1 1DJ

From 19 May

Vivid Foliage

As part of the TH.CARS2 project, join us for a weekend of DIY print works, inspired by Paisley’s textile heritage. Try your hand at screen printing, see prints made by Threadlines and RAMH, and get a copy of our collective newspaper Vivid Foliage – dedicated to creative writing and experimental print.

Sat 19 & Sun 20 May, 12-4pm
Festival Pop Up Shop, Wevolution Paisley Hub, 25 Moss St, Paisley PA1 1DJ


Tuesday 1 May

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

An educational workshop suitable for any persons supporting 11-17 year olds with mental health issues who want to increase knowledge and skills in supporting others.

St Matthew’s Church, Gordon Street, Paisley PA1 1XL
Free | Book: 0141 404 7788,

Open Mic Poetry Night

Nights at the Round Table present their monthly open mic spoken word event, featuring original poetry and prose with a mental health theme. A chance to share your poems and stories with a supportive audience. Everyone is welcome to come along to listen or take part.

Bianco E Nero Cafe, 27 Gauze Street, Paisley PA1 1ES

Tuesday 8 May

Festival Launch: Caring Conversations

Join us for the launch of the Festival which celebrates the best of creativity and wellbeing in Renfrewshire. There will be performances, activities and a guided tour of the Caring Conversations exhibition.

RMHAF Hub, Wevolution Paisley Hub, 25 Moss St, Paisley PA1 1DJ
FREE | Info:

Workshop Story Cafe: Changing Stories

Glasgow Women’s Library introduces some fabulous women who have taken on the menopause in fiction, poetry and more. Listen to entertaining and thought-provoking readings from the GWL collections and share in relaxed discussion and creative activities to explore how the menopause is the end of some things but can also be a new beginning.

Kairos, Active Communities, 16 Quarry Street, Johnstone PA5 8DZ
FREE | Book:

Wednesday 9 May

Walk A Mile

Renfrewshire Anti Stigma Alliance (RASA) invite you to our annual event to challenge discrimination and stereotyping one conversation at a time. This flat 1-mile walk is suitable for all ages and abilities and everyone is welcome.

12- 2pm
Fountain Gardens, Love Street, Paisley PA3 2DZ
Free | Info:

Thursday 10 May


Members of ROAR, Renfrewshire’s third sector organisation for older people, exhibit pictures that hold some memory, significance or element of a story for them. The images also act as snapshots of Paisley’s industrial or social past.

Roar: Connections for Life, 59 Glasgow Road, Paisley PA1 3PD
Free | Book:

Saturday 12 May

Don’t Panic! It’s Challenge Anneka

Bumbag? Check. Luminescent shell suit? Check. Positive attitude in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges? Hell yeah! Inspired by real life stories, this is a frank, funny and open exploration of a topic that too often remains taboo: the challenge of overcoming anxiety.

Paisley Arts Centre, 15 New Street, Paisley PA1 1EZ
£10 / £6 | Book: 0300 300 1210,

Sunday 13 May

A Night to Make You Well Happy

The Well Happy Band aims to teach people how to improve physical and mental health and resilience through laughter yoga, music, the arts and mind-body science while having fun, connecting with others and learning about themselves. Join us for a night of fun, laughs and audience participation.

The Bungalow Bar, Shuttle Street, Paisley PA1 1YD
FREE | Info:, 07895 444 033

Tuesday 15 May

Workshop Story Cafe: New Beginnings

Relax while you listen to a story and poems being read out loud, then join in the discussion. We will listen to a story and selected poems from writers from the shelves of Glasgow Women’s Library on the theme of Beginnings. A great chance to chill out, discover some new women authors and enjoy the company.

Kairos, Active Communities, 16 Quarry Street, Johnstone PA5 8DZ
FREE | Book:

Breaking the Myths, Fears & Stigma about Mental Health

A mental health awareness workshop focusing on minority ethnic communities in Renfrewshire. There will be a range of presentations, including a video presentation of the Open Secret.

University of West of Scotland, High Street, Paisley PA1 2BE
FREE | Book via Eventbrite –

Wednesday 16 May

Listen & Learn

Renfrewshire Anti Stigma Alliance hosts a learning event for individuals to engage in the discussion and contribute experiences of recovery. There will be stories and recovery focused films in an informal learning environment.

Methodist Central Hall, 7 Gauze Street, Paisley, PA1 1EB
FREE | Info:

Tips for Girls

Is it permissible to “spoon” with a young man before you’re engaged? Should you singe the hairs off pigs’ trotters before roasting them? Is dancing bad for your ovaries? Find out the answers to these burning questions and check out more useful, quaint and downright dangerous advice, fashion and health and beauty tips contained in the archives of Glasgow Women’s Library and the National Library of Scotland film archive.

Glenburn Library, Fairway Avenue, Paisley PA2 8DX
FREE | Book:, 0300 300 1188

Mindfulness and Creative Writing

Explore how the practice of mindfulness can inspire the creative process, particularly in creative writing. Take time out to observe, explore and create.

St Matthews Church, Gordon Street, Paisley PA1 1XL
FREE | Info:, 07837 110 504

Friday 18 May

Jessie Newbery & the Impact of Women on Paisley’s Design Heritage

As part of TH.CARS2, The History Girls give a presentation about Paisley born Jessie Newbery,  Glasgow Girl and founder of GSA’s Embroidery Department. They will then lead a workshop exploring the impact women have had on Paisley’s design heritage.

Paisley Arts Centre, 15 New Street, Paisley PA1 1EZ
FREE |, 0141 618 7939

Tuesday 22 May

Ladies A, B and C

A short docufilm created in partnership with Media Monty in which a group of Renfrewshire women explore and rediscover the life and times of some who lived in the 19th century: Jane Arthur, Mary Barbour and three of the Mrs Coats’.

Chancellors Hall, Paisley Campus, UWS, High Street, Paisley PA1 2BE
FREE | 0141 848 1123,

Wednesday 23 May

Recovery Fest: Recovery Showcase

Celebrate the Sunshine Recovery Café’s 5th birthday with a free buffet and open mic performances from the Creative Writing Group, drama from Changing Stages, music from the Paisley Guitar Group, and comedy from William ‘Big Will’ Clark.

St Matthew’s, Gordon Street, Paisley PA1 1XL
FREE | 0141 849 2297,

Poverty Safari: Author Event with Darren ‘Loki’ McGarvey

Darren McGarvey, aka Loki the Scottish rapper, presents an event of rap, comedy and spoken word. His best-selling book Poverty Safari explores the themes of poverty and social inequality and the effects these can have on our emotions. Refreshments provided.

Paisley Central Library, High Street, Paisley PA1 2BB
FREE | Book: 0300 300 1188,

Thursday 24 May

Buddy Beat Open Morning

If you’d like to try drumming, meet new people or simply want to get out of the house and do something new, join Buddy Beat for an open morning of drumming, music and wellbeing!

Johnstone High Parish Church Hall, Ludovic Square, Johnstone PA5 8EE
FREE | Book:

Friday 25 May

Paisley Artists Collective

Join other creatives in a relaxed open mic style evening based around making and sharing original art, writing, poetry, spoken word and music on the theme of new beginnings. Art supplies will be provided.

Blend Coffee Lounge, 25B Causeyside Street, Paisley PA1 1UL
Free | Info: 07725347009,

Saturday 26 May

Fundamental Conduit

Fundamental Conduit are a collective of musicians and writers who create a unique combination of music and spoken word. Viridian City Beat Police bring their house grooves with a chilled out feel and sci fi inspired sounds.

Calum’s Cavern, 66 Old Sneddon Street, Paisley PA3 2AP
£5 | Book:, 07837 110 504

Sunday 27 May

Sounds for SAMH

An all-day extravaganza with some of the most accomplished cover bands in the West of Scotland, rocking an iconic live music venue, followed by a jam night. Celebrate the Spring Bank Holiday weekend with all proceeds going to SAMH.

The Bungalow Bar, Shuttle Street, Paisley PA1 1YD
£6 | Info: 0141 889 9976

Tuesday 29 May

Frame by Frame: Reimagining Renfrewshire

The story of how Community Arts Engagement got us to Paisley 2021… and beyond! Frame by Frame presents the Festival edition of its regular film night, showcasing the best of local film making.

Paisley Arts Centre, New Street, Paisley PA1 1EZ
FREE | Info:

Renfrewshire's first-ever youth mental health arts festival

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