My Life Learning closes on Friday 17th December and will re-open on Wednesday 5th January. My Life Opportunities will close at 3pm on Friday 24th December and re-open on Wednesday 5th January.
We’d like to wish you all a peaceful Christmas time and look forward to meeting up with everyone again in the new year!
Everyone returned to some kind of ordinariness, the summer was kind to us and more opportunities started to evolve. The My Life football team was born and we started to use Standish Leisure Centre for our practice sessions, we discovered some amazing artists who have been chosen to exhibit in Manchester art galleries, our Leigh team gained a new minibus, one of our first learners to leave My Life Learning gained employment, we hosted an amazing Halloween event and we have provided a lifeline for so many community groups who were unable to meet in their usual places. Despite the challenges we have continued to thrive and we are looking forward to our tenth year in 2022.
We have some exciting plans ahead to secure more space, which will be used to develop more meaningful opportunities for members and learners to get involved in making a difference through social enterprise. This will include the launch of ‘My Life Works’ at a new location, Harlor House, off Grove Lane in Standish.
Here, we will be developing a wide range of micro businesses, from up-cycling school uniforms to developing high quality products from recycled wood, upholstery and textiles, bike repairs and more. This is the next piece of the jigsaw as we prepare each person to be as independent as possible and enable everyone to make a contribution to the community.
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
We will also be opening our doors for a wide range of events and have some exciting opportunities lined up for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. As this will be our tenth year we will be celebrating in many ways and hope to have some exciting news to share in the new year.
Thank you so much for all your support over the last year. We wish you and your family a peaceful festive season and we look forward to an exciting year.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
‘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.
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.