• Creating a Community Where Everyone Belongs

Our members’ artwork is selected for the prestigious Manchester Open Exhibition 2022!

Our members’ artwork is selected for the prestigious Manchester Open Exhibition 2022!

We’re delighted to announce that My Life Opportunities members Amy, Nathan and Bronte and our art facilitator Tracey have each had their artwork chosen for The Manchester Open Exhibition 2022!

This is a HUGE achievement, with only 500 out of 2,271 entries selected for this prestigious exhibition, which will take place at HOME, Manchester’s centre for contemporary theatre, film, art, music and more.

The exhibition is HOME’s open-entry art show celebrating the creative talent of Greater Manchester residents – a very competitive field, with HOME saying of this year’s entries: “The judging panel was impressed by the range, quality, differing artistic styles, and inspirational work being created across Greater Manchester.”

My Life’s entries have certainly proven to be a diverse range of pieces, created in a variety of media, from Amy’s striking pen portrait to Nathan’s intricate watercolour image of a city railway bridge, Bronte’s bright and bold painted portrait to Tracey’s incredibly life-like felt teddy bear.

We’re exceptionally proud of all four, who were rightly over the moon when they heard the news, with Bronte telling us that she was “shocked and happy that my painting was selected. When I told my mum she was tearing up – I think she’s proud of me. Now I’m just excited to see my work in the gallery.”

Nathan, recognising the significance of this huge achievement, describes feeling “privileged to have been selected as it’s not every day your artwork is chosen by a panel of judges. I’m honoured to be a part of Manchester Open.”

Mirroring their jubilation, Amy added that she’s “not always great at expressing my feelings but when I found out my artwork had been selected it made me very happy.”

Tracey, one of My Life’s art facilitators, otherwise known as local artisan Birdie and Blossom, is a fibre artist and supported the members to develop their own individual artistic styles. Caroline Tomlinson, Founder and Chief Executive of My Life says:

“Amy, Bronte and Nathan’s incredible success is testament to their hard work and talent. We’re immensely proud of them and of course, Tracey. We’ve made it our policy to recruit people with a strong professional background in their fields, whether real life artists, actors, musicians, professional chefs – whatever the subject, our facilitators use their experience to help our members recognise their own incredible gifts.” 

Equally elated, Tracey adds: “I’m absolutely thrilled for the members who’ve had their work selected for the exhibition. I’m over the flipping moon to see their artistic talents shine and I’m proud to have been able to support them. Such a great start to the new year.”

The Manchester Open Exhibition 2022 takes place Monday 24th January – Sunday 27th March 2022  at HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, M15 4FN. Find our more here.


With over two thousand people experiencing our events and activities this year, what do you fancy taking part in, in 2022?

With over two thousand people experiencing our events and activities this year, what do you fancy taking part in, in 2022?

Our aim has always been to connect people with their communities.

Never has this proved more vital than during the pandemic, when we all joined together, making and delivering PPE to local hospitals, delivering food to those who needed it and most importantly, looking out for each other.

As things have eased in 2021, we’ve been delighted to welcome the whole community back in to My Life and continue our mission to connect people, make new friendships, embrace diversity and combat loneliness and isolation. Over 700 people attended our Halloween Spooktacular alone. 

All ages have felt the benefit of community. Toddlers have enjoyed getting messy in our Little Orchard and Animal Life sensory classes, we’ve made festive wreaths, experienced the mindfulness of horses, decorated cakes, enjoyed Easter picnics and hosted birthday parties, all under Covid guidance, we might add.

We’ve welcomed old friends and new, with one parent saying of our Bank Holiday Picnic: “It was my daughter’s first interaction with horses and she’s never seen animals so up close before. She really enjoyed it and she’s actually been asking to go back.”

We’ve focused on feeling better after lockdown, with an Equestrian Guided Learning participant reflecting back on “a fabulous experience that has had a lasting impact on my mental health and wellbeing.”

And we’ve all joined together and had fun. One of our Halloween Spooktacular visitors described her experience as “incredible seeing everyone smiling and having an amazing night.”

Once again My Life is a vibrant destination for the whole community, with local groups including our brownies and guides using our amazing facilities and families and friends celebrating weddings and christenings at our Stable Door Café & Ice Cream Parlour. We’ve even launched our own gift vouchers, so you can give the gift of one of these amazing experiences to your loved ones! As with all our events and activities, any income generated is reinvested into our work making life better for people of all ages who need support to live a good life.

We’d encourage you to think of My Life as your own. Learn a new skill, meet new people, join with old friends, maybe even push yourself out of your comfort zone. My Life is always here for you.

We’d love to welcome you in, in 2022! Here’s a sneak peak of just some of our exciting events to come… We’re excited to announce the return of The Live Life Festival, Tough Swampy and, following their success this year, our very vibrant Easter Picnics. 2022 is also a very significant year both for us and the country, as we celebrate our 10th anniversary and the Queen’s Jubilee with extra special events!

With all this and more to come, follow our Facebook page for news of our events and activities or, if you’d like to enquire about your group using My Life as a venue, please call us on 01257 472900 or email info@my-life.org.uk.


My Life at My Life

People are what makes My Life what it is. Whether you’re a member or learner, staff member, volunteer or visitor, it’s good to get to know each other. This month,  we meet Amy Galvin, one of our My Life Opportunities members, to find out about her experience of My Life.

How long have you been at My Life?

I was one of the first students at My Life Learning, so I’ve been here quite a while. Now I’m at My Life Opportunities and I’m sometimes supported by My Life Support too.

What do you like about attending My Life Opportunities?

I like that there’s lots of different things to do. When I’m coming to My Life, I think ‘I’ll have a go at that!’ I’ll try anything – splash and fluid arts, floristry, trips. I did a felting workshop a while back and made a hare, after that I got the bug – I do a lot of felting at home now and at My Life I show other people how to do it, if they want to listen to me!  At the moment I’m helping to make My Life’s Christmas Tree Lady – she’s going to look great.

How does coming to My Life make you feel?

When I finish something like the Christmas Tree Lady, or I help someone, I feel really proud of myself. When we were doing our drumming session everyone got confused by the rhythm we were taught, so I broke it up and made it easier and they got it right then. When I help someone, it’s mission accomplished! I really like learning things at My Life and then doing them on my own at home, like horticulture – I grew my own cucumber at home.

What would you like to do in the future?

I’ve got a Diploma in Small Animal Care, so maybe something to do with animals. I’ve got 3 guinea pigs, 3 rabbits, 3 dogs and 2 cats, one we call ‘the ginger ninja’ because he keeps catching wild rabbits. I like animals – unlike children, they don’t answer you back!

Any memorable moments whilst at My Life?

I’ve had some great times staying in the chalets and having tea with my friend Haydn. Sometimes we have a chippy tea or a Chinese. Going to the Britain’s Got Talent auditions in Manchester was really exciting – we met David Walliams and Simon Cowell – he’s really short, I didn’t realise how short he is!

Sum up what My Life means to you in three words

‘Meaningful things to do’ or, ‘a good day.’ I look forward to My Life. We laugh all the time and I always wonder what we’re going to do, what new things I’m going to learn.

Don’t suffer in silence this Christmas – help is out there

Don’t suffer in silence this Christmas – help is out there

Whilst Christmas is traditionally viewed as a time of happiness, enjoying time with loved ones, sharing festive treats and special moments together, it can be a tough time for many, not least because we often feel the pressure to enjoy ourselves at this time of year.

This year, the pandemic may have  brought extra difficulties, with many of us feeling it’s been a time of uncertainty, of missing those who are important to us, of making connections.

If, for whatever reason, you don’t feel on top form this Christmas, or at any time, please don’t suffer in silence. Here at My Life we’re always here to listen. 

MIND have put together this useful information that explains how the period around Christmas and New Year might affect your mental health, along with tips on how to cope, suggestions for supporting someone else and contact details, in case you need to talk to someone.

Please don’t feel you have to struggle with any difficult feelings alone. You can find everything you might need to help, here

Would you know how to save someone’s life? My Life member Zack takes part in My Life’s Basic Life Support Training, now available to members

Would you know how to save someone’s life? My Life member Zack takes part in My Life’s Basic Life Support Training, now available to members

You never know when you might be called upon to save someone’s life.

Our My Life Support member Zack is all too aware of this and has had the goal of undertaking first aid training on his list since last year, with the pandemic unfortunately causing a delay – up until now that is.

We’re delighted to say that, along with his team, Zack was able to take part in My Life’s Basic Life Support training earlier this month. After guiding his staff through CPR and recalling the Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing and Circulation procedure incredibly well, Zack proved himself to be top of the class.

Explaining what it meant to him to have taken part in the course, Zack underlined the important fact that “if my staff or my family fall ill I know what I need to do,” adding of the training “I felt that I was very involved. I was happy for the opportunity.”

Many peoples’ lives are saved every year simply by people like Zack learning what to do when someone needs lifesaving attention. We’re really proud of Zack for pressing ahead with this goal and displaying such excellent knowledge during his training.

And what’s next on Zack’s list? “I want to do fire safety training and any other training that involves helping others.”

We’re currently rolling out this opportunity to all of our members and staff teams. If you’re interested in taking part in My Life’s Basic Life Support training, please call 01257 472 900 or email info@my-life.org.uk

Give the whole family a pre-Christmas treat, with our Farmer for a Day Family Experience!

Give the whole family a pre-Christmas treat, with our Farmer for a Day Family Experience, Saturday 11th December 9.30am -12.00pm or 12.30pm-3.00pm.

  • Look after our farm animals!
  • Horses! Piggies! Chickens and more!
  • Enjoy cuddles in our small animal farm!
  • Feeding! Petting! Planting and more!

From just £30 per family, book now on 01257 472900 or email info@my-life.org.uk.

Takes place at My Life, Thompson House Equestrian Centre, off Pepper Lane, Standish, Wigan, WN6 0PP.

Please note: we have indoor areas in case of adverse weather. 

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