Are you a dazzling designer or Picasso with a paint brush?

We are searching for brilliant Christmas card designs from talented Primary School artists to use in our Christmas Card Campaign to highlight the importance of children’s mental health and wellbeing. 

Four designs will be chosen from the entries, and printed Christmas cards will be made available to purchase from our website to raise funds for the charity’s work in schools around the country 

We are working to deliver training to 151,000 teachers across the UK in the basics of mental health support, giving them the skills to teach the new mental health curriculum and the confidence to be the mental health front line in the classroom 

How to get involved 

If you would like your pupil’s designs to be considered, pictures must be of one of the following themes and how you see it tying in with mental health and wellbeing: 

  • The Great Outdoors 
  • Friends and Family 
  • Animals  
  • School Days 

For example: a picture of their favourite place to visit, because it makes them happy, a drawing of someone who makes them smile, a picture of their pet that reassures them when they’re nervous or scared or a drawing of their best day at school.  

There is no limit to the number of pictures / entries by an individual or a schoolPlease title the jpegs with the pupil’s first name and your school name – for internal identification (between you and us) when the winners are announced. The names of the four winner’s schools will be printed on the back of all the cards 

Completed picture(scanned or photographed and saved as JPEGs) must be sent by email to by the closing date: Friday 2nd October 2020. Note: due to COVID safety rules, we will not accept posted pictures. 

All entries will be shown to our special panel of judges who will pick their favourite four. Winners will be informed by 16th October 2020. 

The designs will then be turned into Christmas cards and ready to purchase from the Shaw Mind website from 19th October 2020.  

So what are you waiting for? Grab your pens, paints or crayons and get creative! 

Conditions of entry (please read) 

By submitting an entry you agree to letting us use the name of your school in publicity and on social media, however, we can confirm that the names of the individual children involved will NOT be shared by us on any platform.  

Judges are appointed at the discretion of Shaw Mind and their decision is final. No correspondence regarding their rationale for decision-making or criteria for selection will be entered into. 

Neither the schools nor the children creating the pictures will be eligible for any compensation and by submitting a picture for this competition the artist and the school grant Shaw Mind a royalty-free licensto use the image in its original form or in amended form on our Christmas Card design for 2020. 

Winning Schools offer 

Each of the winners’ schools will be eligible for a free teacher training place on two-day Mental Health First Aid  course presented by Shaw Mind’s MHFA England-registered trainer. 

In addition, we’re delighted to be able to gift each of the winner’s schools with six children’s picture books, published by Trigger & Upside Down Books, all of which promote positive mental health and wellbeing and are approved by a mental health professional. 

We look forward to receiving your entries. 

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Walk a Mile in My Shoes This September

From Thursday 10th September 2020, Shawmind is inviting people to take part in its month-long activity to encourage gentle exercise, raise funds and increase awareness around suicide, mental health and wellbeing.

The campaign, Walk a Mile in My Shoes, aims to get people thinking -and most importantly- talking to one another about mental health and emotional wellbeing while they walk a mile between World Suicide Prevention Day (10th September) and World Mental Health Day on 9th October.

Supporters will walk alone, with members of their household or with a friend, while adhering to the latest Government advice on social distancing. They might chart their miles throughout the month or simply build themselves up to a couple of miles by the end of the month. The campaign is open to all abilities.

Peter Wingrove, CEO at Shawmind, said:As well as providing an opportunity for people to get out and enjoy some fresh air we hope participants will use Walk a Mile in My Shoes to address the stigma surrounding mental ill health and talk more openly about their wellbeing needs.

“Funds raised through this campaign will go directly to training primary and secondary school teachers in basic mental health support, which is important because they are the front line of mental health in our classrooms.

“75% of diagnosable mental health conditions present before a child’s 18th birthday, so it’s crucial that teachers are well prepared to deal with mental health and can recognise the signs of children in distress”.

“It costs £100 to train each teacher and we would like to train 151,000 in the next five years, so that they can make a real difference to the lives of young people now and in the future. To achieve this, we are asking people to get behind us and Walk a Mile in My Shoes.”

How to Take Part

At the end of their first mile, walkers are encouraged to upload a photo or video to their social media channels and tell everyone about Walk a Mile in My Shoes, before challenging four friends to do the same.

Walkers are invited to tag @Shawmind_ in the posts and use the hashtag #WalkAMileInMyShoes. Shawmind will share as many posts as possible during the campaign and will release a montage video featuring as many posts as possible on World Mental Health Day on 9th October.

How to Fundraise

Fundraisers are welcome to set up their own fundraising page or they can call for donations to be made directly through Shawmind’s Just Giving or Go Fund Me pages or through Facebook.

Similarly, if they prefer to collect donations in cash and transfer it to the charity, they can send cheques or a transfer via PayPal, or via BACS/EFT into the charity’s bank account. Visit for more details.

Need some inspiration to take part?

 Walk with Donna*

Donna is walking a mile with Shawmind in memory of her father, Graham, who she lost to suicide in 2008. Donna has attended one of our suicide prevention sessions and has found it has brought her some peace as she’s been able to think more about what her father might have been thinking and feeling in the final weeks and days of his life.

Donna knows that she could not have done anything to change the outcome of her father’s choices, but now she has attended the training she feels better equipped to be able to offer help to someone else if she spots the signs. Being empowered to help someone when they need it the most has helped Donna process more of what she has been through and fills her with hope for the future.

Walk with Mandy and Chris*

Mandy and Chris are walking a mile with Shawmind to celebrate the support they have both received from the charity and a range of other healthcare providers following Chris’ OCD diagnosis in 2015.

Chris often joins our Mancave men’s mental health group to share his experiences with others and has the ongoing support of one of our volunteers when he needs it. Both keen walkers, Chris and Mandy use their time outdoors to talk more openly about the challenges they both face and to boost their wellbeing. The pair are aiming to clock up the miles this month and get other people to join in.

Walk with Maryum*

Maryum is a published author and mother to two boys, who experienced post-natal depression after the birth of her second child. Maryum has written a book about her personal experiences and shares her journey on a popular parenting blog.

Maryum is one of Shawmind’s incredible champions and often mentions us, and our support services, when she is speaking to the broadcast media and giving talks.

Along with her family, Maryum is taking part in the Walk a Mile in My Shoes campaign to highlight the importance of talking more openly with family and friends about your mental health.

Walk with Luis*

Luis is 10-years old. When Luis was eight, he started self-harming as a coping strategy after months of being bullied at school.

Having previously loved being at school, Luis’ parents noticed a huge change in his behaviour and when they realised what was happening sought professional help.

Luis’ mother regularly drops into our Breathe Café to seek reassurance and additional signposting from our team of volunteers.

The whole family are only at the very start of their journey, but they will be taking part in Walk a Mile in My Shoes to raise awareness of mental health among other families in their community.

Join Donna, Mandy, Chris, Maryum, Luis and the team at Shawmind as they challenge the stigma associated with mental ill health and suicide, together.

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Support Us as You Shop with Savoo

We’ve just renewed our partnership with Savoo, a money-saving and online fundraising website with thousands of great exclusive discount codes and deals from the UK’s biggest retailers.

How do I start raising money for Shawmind?

First, select Shawmind as your chosen charity, simply click ‘support this charity’ here:

Then start searching for deals and vouchers for the products and stores you love.

Every time you make a purchase using one of these vouchers or promotional deals, Shawmind will receive a small contribution which will build up over time, without costing you a penny!

So, what are you waiting for? Have fun shopping, knowing that you are supporting a good cause!

Sign up here today 


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Pay it Forward to Tackle the UKs Mental Health Crisis

With awareness of the support needs of children and teenagers growing, we are calling on the nation to ‘pay it forward’ and donate to ensure the next generation has the best mental health support available.

The WHO reports that half of mental ill health conditions start by the age of 14, though many go undetected and untreated, and 75% develop by the age of 18. Pre-Covid19, British children as young as five years old were being diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

Launching on Wednesday 26th August, our Give Five, Save Lives campaign aims to raise funds to enable us to train more teachers in mental health and wellbeing as the topics become part of the curriculum in the UK from September.

Peter Wingrove, Operations Director at Shawmind, said: “We owe it to the next generation to do all we can to help prepare them to live happy, balanced and resilient lives. But we have to equip them with the knowledge and support to be able to do that for themselves. We do this in three distinct ways: reaching out and training the children themselves, training the parents, and training the teachers who are in effect the ‘front line’ for children’s mental health at school.

“We’ve been working in schools since our successful Headucation campaign led to a discussion being tabled in parliament in 2017 to get mental health and wellbeing included in the curriculum.  

“Now our interactive online training courses for teachers will prepare them to confidently deliver the new curriculum as well as identify possible signs of distress in the children under their care, while at the same time taking into consideration the limited time that teachers have available to take on additional training.”

Thanks to financial backing from the National Lottery Communities Fund, Alchemy Foundation, Charities Aid Foundation, Souter Charitable Trust and the Mary Robinson Trust, we have been able to start offering this training to schools.

However, to enable us to train anywhere near enough teachers to make a significant difference to the next generation, we are asking the nation to dig deep and get involved in our ‘Give Five, Save Lives’ campaign on the Aviva Community Fund site.

Peter added: “Its costs £100 to train one teacher in one school, but that teacher will go on to support hundreds of pupils during their career. We want each teacher to be well-equipped and confident in offering that support to pupils, whether it’s now, or in ten years’ time.”

To make a donation to ‘Give Five, Save Lives’, click here.

Simultaneously, we are calling on schools to get in touch to take up the offer of training to equip more teachers and support staff within the education system to feel confident in teaching this vast subject and supporting their pupils.

For more information about our courses for teachers visit our Get Trained pages or call us on 01636 600830 to discuss your needs.

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Free Suicide Awareness Training – With Us

With almost daily headlines focusing on suicide rates and the rise in mental ill health, thanks in part to the Covid19 lockdown, we are planning to offer free suicide awareness training to all.

On Thursday 10th September 2020, World Suicide Prevention Day, we are hosting an online training session to help people gain a better understanding of mental ill health and equip them with the knowledge, skills and empathy needed to feel confident in offering support to someone in need, or in a mental health crisis.

Su Hallam, Charity Manager at Shawmind, said: “Having a basic knowledge of mental ill health and awareness of the support systems available to people who are experiencing mental ill health or suicidal thoughts can make a real difference in a mental health crisis situation.

“How many times do you hear ‘I wish I knew they were feeling that way, they could have talked to me’ when someone has died by suicide?

“Spotting the signs early on and having the confidence to approach someone (as long as it’s safe to do so), to start a conversation can be all it takes to enable someone with the help they need.

“We want to reassure people that they won’t make things worse by listening to someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts. But by taking the time to listen to them, you might pick up on something that could offer them hope – hope is a very powerful thing, hope can save lives.”

Death by suicide claimed the lives of 6,507 people in the UK in 2018, the majority of whom were men –  who are three time as likely to die by suicide than women. Men in their late 40s still have the highest rate of suicides, but alarmingly under 25s accounted for a startling 23.7 per cent of suicides in 2018.

Mental ill health affects one in four people each year – around 792 million people worldwide. In England, mental illnesses are more common, long-lasting and impactful than other health conditions.

Su added: “Our volunteers have been even busier than usual during lockdown, with more and more people from all corners of the UK approaching us for support.

“I’m hopeful that if we’re able to equip more people with a basic understanding of mental health disorders then the whole of society will benefit in the long-term as we learn to help each other.”

Hosted on our YouTube channel,, the suicide awareness training will be delivered by Su Hallam live at 10am and 2pm. It will then be made available to stream at any time for those who cannot make the daytime sessions.

If you subscribe to our channel then you will be able to find us more easily on the day.

If anyone has a question about the training or would like to get access to a dedicated Shawmind support volunteer, get in touch by email to 


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Introducing Our Mindful Meander Group

We are delighted to invite you to join our Mindful Meander walking group.

The group has been established thanks to funding from The National Lottery and Sport England, delivered through an active partnership with Active Notts.

The first bi-weekly group will meet by the back of the registry office in the Newark Castle Grounds at 10am on Tuesday 8th September.

The walk will begin at ten past the hour and will take in the Castle, Riverside Park, Trent Locks and Millgate before returning to our starting point. We estimate the walk will take no more than an hour.

Together, we will enjoy some exercise, share our lockdown stories, and perhaps lean on each other for some peer support.

There will be a trained Shawmind Mental Health Champion on hand if you want to make use of the opportunity to talk.

Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear and bring along your hand sanitiser, sunscreen, a bottle of water and a snack, as appropriate.

If you need any further information please call us on 01636 600830.

We look forward to seeing you there!



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Free Mental Health Taster for Families this Summer

Teenagers and their parents are set to benefit from free mental health and wellbeing taster courses thanks to a partnership between Shawmind and Newark & Sherwood District Council.

The East Midlands mental health and wellbeing charity and its associate trainer, Tana Macpherson-Smith from Clearminds Education, are offering one-hour taster sessions of their Monkey Wisdom courses to teens and their parents over the next two weeks, as the summer holidays begin.

Awareness of the importance of good mental health and wellbeing had been on the rise even before Covid-19 struck, but the pandemic has pulled the looming crisis into sharp focus, particularly in young people.

Research by MHFA England suggests that half of mental ill health starts by the age of 15 and 75% develops by the age of 18.

To address this and to help reassure pupils and parents ahead of the planned return to school in September, Shawmind has partnered with Newark & Sherwood District Council to deliver two free  live sessions for parents and their children on YouTube.

The first Monkey Wisdom session, for teenagers, will be streamed live on Shawmind’s YouTube channel on Thursday 30th July, 6pm-7pm. Parents will have access to their own dedicated session a week later, on Friday 7th  August, 6pm-7pm.

Anyone who is concerned about their teenager’s emotional and mental health or who would simply benefit from some pointers on how to start conversations about mental health with their children, should join the free session. 

Tana Macpherson-Smith, Founder of Clearminds Education, said: “At a time when we are experiencing health concerns and conditions previously unknown to most of us, the anticipated return to school in September has caused many children and parents to become understandably anxious about the possible impact of the new-look school system under the Covid19 regime.

“This one-hour training will address the key areas of concern for both teenagers and parents; explore the prevalent emotions at this difficult time and provide seven simple steps to help support your child as they prepare for their return to school.” 

Peter Wingrove, Operations Director at Shawmind, said: “We are delighted to be working with Tana and Newark & Sherwood District Council to offer these free sessions to teenagers and parents.

“We are aware that anxiety can have a lasting impact on an individual’s mental health and long-term wellbeing, so by equipping teenagers and their parents with the tools to acknowledge, address and resolve anxiety, we’re hoping that young people will return to school in September feeling much more reassured.

“The Monkey Wisdom courses have been proving popular with children, teenagers and parents across the country, but thanks to our partnership with the council, we’re excited to be able to offer these taster sessions to our community.”

Anyone interested in watching the free sessions should tune into the Shawmind YouTube channel from 6pm on either Thursday 30th July or Friday 7th August to watch the live stream, here:

For more information about Shawmind’s extensive training courses for children visit the website

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Small Change Funds Big Change

In these challenging times, extra pennies can have a big impact and therefore Shawmind is proud to be available on Pledjar – a new and innovative mobile app. Through Pledjar you can securely connect your bank account and round-up your transactions and pass on your ‘spare change’ to benefit our charity.

Shawmind aims to provide resources and support to those experiencing poor mental health and their families. As well as our popular text and telephone support service, we are making mental health training available to everyone from children, their parents and teachers to employees, HR staff and business owners. We believe that everyone should have a better understanding of the different mental health disorders, in order to help themselves and others when a crisis looms.

With Pledjar you can follow our recent campaigns and give one-off donations with a tap, without changing how you spend. Please download the app and use code SMF001 when asked during sign up, so you can select Shawmind as your charity of choice.

Signing up is simple, and only takes a few minutes:

Sign up today



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Bring a Bro to Our Next ManCave Group

Our ManCave group was developed to encourage guys to open up, talk to and support one another.

The next group meets this Wednesday, come along and talk or bring along a friend who needs to.

The guest speaker this month is Fabian Devlin.

Fabian Devlin biography

Communications Consultant & Co-author of ‘Big Boys Don’t Cry?’

Fabian has worked in communications for nearly 20 years, publicising major organisations like Sky, ITN and The National Lottery, heading up the comms team for national children’s charity Chance to Shine and, most recently, setting up his own freelance consultancy, Devlin Communications.

Fabian is passionate about mental health and, following his own experience of anxiety and depression, he has co-curated a men’s mental health book, ‘Big Boys Don’t Cry?’. The collection of 60 stories from men from different backgrounds with lived experience of a range of mental illnesses, was launched in May 2020 (

Fabian lives with his wife and daughter in South West London and enjoys mindful meditation, playing cricket and walking his King Charles Cavalier Spaniel Star.

When: 15th July, from 5.30pm
Where: Via Zoom

Please register for your free place here:

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Men Open Up About Their Mental Health Thanks to Charity

Men’s mental health was high on the agenda during Men’s Health Week (15th – 21st June) for mental health and wellbeing charity, Shawmind.

Shawmind, which is based in Newark, Nottinghamshire, kicked off a week focusing on men’s mental health by hosting its first virtual men only ManCave group, via Zoom, on Monday 15th June.

The charity, which had been hosting bi-weekly ManCave meetings at a local Newark venue before lockdown rules kicked in, was pleased to see men from as far away as London, Grimsby and Manchester join the hour-long interactive meeting.

On Monday, 10 men from across the country joined the group and heard from guest speaker Dave Cottrell from Mindset by Dave.

Dave, a long-standing supporter of Shawmind, is a mindset coach and host of the mental health podcast Master the Mind Master Anything.

After his talk, the “room” was opened up and participants asked questions, listened to one another’s stories and offered advice and support.

Peter Wingrove, Operations Director at Shawmind, said: “Our ManCave meetings have proven popular from the start and before lockdown we were regularly welcoming around 15 men from as far away as Lincoln, Hull and Nottingham.

“The statistics around men’s mental health are truly shocking; one in eight men have a common mental health problem, but men are often more reluctant than their female counterparts to ask for help or disclose their concerns to loved ones.

“Tragically, men are three times more likely than women to die by suicide in the UK. And men aged 45 – 49 have the highest age-specific suicide rate.

“Having a space to talk freely about their feelings, worries and anxieties with other men in a safe environment can help guys to process what they are going through and start to see a way forward. The ManCave was set up specifically to support that first step.”

The ManCave group will now take place in the middle of each month, with the next one already in the diary for Wednesday 15th July. Those who want to attend can get the registration link for the online session from our website.  

Peter adds: “There are no expectations that those who join us for ManCave are expected to share their story unless they want to. Similarly, people regularly benefit from listening to others or offering advice to the group, so there is no pressure to speak up if guests don’t want to.

“That said, the group is a great place to share what’s on your mind. I strongly encourage all those who join to get involved and participate. That way everyone benefits.”

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