Hampshire Festival of the Mind – Portsmouth 2018

The third Hampshire Festival of the Mind is funded by Awards for All for 2018.  The first part of the Festival took place in May and included events in Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight, Gosport and Havant.

Further events are being planned in Southampton for September, and the Isle of Wight in October.

The keynote event was at Portsmouth Cathedral on Monday 14 May – at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week.

It was followed by an evening social event at the Square Tower from 7.30pm, featuring Sally Strawberry, WordBass and Walker Broad. Free entry and collection for bands.



Here is the full programme of Festival events in May. Scroll down for more information about each event.

Wed 9 May

Good Mental Health Cafe

A new monthly drop-in event where people can find out what’s available in local communities to help with good mental health, wellbeing and recovery.

2 – 7pm – Portsmouth Central Library – 3rd Floor

Thurs 10 May             

Zones of Avoidance

“This is an ambitious multimedia presentation using film, voices and sound, which works exceptionally well. It is a challenging, painfully open account of a daughter’s addiction, yet it’s an account which also offers graceful good humour. Beautifully written and uncompromising, it’s a modern story that we felt the writer was compelled to tell; it acts as a vivid witness of harsh experiences which aren’t often described in poetry, and Maggie Sawkins’ illuminating descriptions will prove helpful for others to hear.” Denise Riley

Venue: Quay Arts, 15 Sea Street, Newport Harbour, Isle of Wight PO30 5BD
Tickets: £10.00
Box Office: 01983 822490

Sat/Sun 12/13 May               

Hullabaloo Festival

This year, Hullabaloo will see a wellbeing area under the Festival of the Mind banner, featuring the Human Library and stalls from local groups and enterprises supporting good mental health and recovery.

Sandown, Isle of Wight

Tues 15 May            

S.A.D. Portsmouth

S.A.D. Portsmouth is an open access group offering support to individuals and the friends and families of those currently dealing with the effects of stress, anxiety and depression.

Meets weekly at Broad Oak Social Club, Airport Service Road, Portsmouth PO3 5PB.

7.30 – 9.30pm

Wed 16 May           

Beating the Blues

Chase those blues away with a good old sing!
If you get a bit down sometimes, feel isolated or want to improve your health, come along and join in the singing. No previous experience necessary!

Meets weekly 10.30 – 12.30

Eastney Community Centre, Bransbury Park, Eastney, PO4 9SU

Thurs 17 May                 

Creative Connections

An opportunity to relax, socialise, and enjoy exploring creative activities such as mindful colouring, collage or using paints. No talent required!

11am – 1pm

Paulsgrove Community Centre, Marsden Road, PO6 4JB

Friday 18 May

SHIFTing Moods

Poetry and music for recovery – for anyone who wants to play, sing, tell short stories, poems, jokes, or any other creative outlet someone has – all contributions are welcome. Organised by SHIFT, mental health peer recovery group in Portsmouth.

Starts 8pm

The Barley Mow, Castle Road, Portsmouth PO5 3DE

Saturday 19 May

Mental Wealth Trialogue

Join us for the third of four Mental Wealth Trialogue events in Gosport, sponsored by Healthwatch Hampshire.

10.30 – 12.30

Creativity and Wellbeing Centre, 11B North Cross St., Gosport PO12 1BE

Click here to register your interest

Mon 21 May

Talking Heads








Monthly at 2pm

Caffe Lee, Pier Street, Lee-on-the- Solent PO13 9LD

Wed 23 May

SHIFT Coffee Drop-in

SHIFT is an independent, peer-led organisation which develops a range of peer-led activities, either independently or in collaboration with other organisations in Portsmouth. It also champions service user involvement and co-production at all levels of decision making within the Portsmouth area

Weekly 1 – 3pm

Room 7, Buckland Community Centre, Malins Road, PO2 7BT

Thurs 24 May

The Time of Our Lives – poetry workshop with Maggie Sawkins

This workshop will introduce you to a range of ways of writing in a journal.   You will have the opportunity to experiment with several techniques that can be used for self-guidance and expanded creativity. If you wish, these may be used as a springboard for further writing.

1 – 3.30pm

St.Lukes Church, Greetham St, PO5 4LH

Cost £5      Click here to book your place

Friday 25 May


A self-help group providing mutual support for its members, many of whom have experienced mental ill-health, addictions and homelessness. The weekly group offers creative activities, practical life skills, social and spiritual support.

10.30am – 2.30pm

St.Simons Church, Waverley Road, Southsea PO5 2PW

Sat 26 May

SHIFT Creative Group

Portsmouth Recovery Community for people who have lived experience of mental and emotional distress – SHIFT offers a fortnightly creative activities group on a Saturday morning.

Fortnightly 12noon – 3pm

Havelock Centre, 324 Fawcett Road, Southsea, PO4 0LQ

Thurs 31 May / Fri 1 June

Schizophrenia – a Stand Tall Theatre production

A moving, one-hour play, that captures the heart of Schizophrenia and takes the audience on a journey of the mind. Schizophrenia, directed by Carley Dawson and produced by Stand Tall Theatre, successfully merges personal memories with a fictional plot to create a sensitive but impactful production.

Starts 7.30pm

£10 per ticket, £8 Concession

Tickets via Groundlings Theatre, 42 Kent St. Portsea, PO1 3BS

www.groundlings.co.uk or call Box Office on 02392 737370

Please click on the links below to view highlights of Hampshire Festival of the Mind events in 2014 and 2016.

Hampshire Festival of the Mind – May 2016

Hampshire Festival of the Mind – October 2014