A Generous Donation From Stockport Rotary Club!

On Monday we had a visit from Stockport Rotary Club who came to the centre to make a very Generous donation of £500.

James Campbell met Clyde Raine, Mary Griffiths James and Bernadette Holgate and took them on a tour of the centre. We discussed issues around mental health, funding and how important community based work can be for people.

We would like to thank everyone from the Stockport Rotary Club for their generosity!

CogKNITive Therapy! Knitting Their way to awareness!

CogKNITive therapy is a group that is determined to be seen and heard.

Run by Gill Ball; the group is creating a bandage, not just any bandage. This isn’t a little rag like you might be picturing. It’s a giant 1 stone behemoth. Imagine 31 (and a half) double-decker busses parked end to end and that’s about the length we’re talking about.

The bandage is to raise awareness of mental health issues and to protest against cuts. As they can’t be seen like physical difficulties, the bandage illustrates the magnitude of what 1/4 people cope with every day. Gill hopes to be able to take it to Downing Street to show that mental health is an issue worth fighting for.

Yesterday Gill visited Stockport Mind with the unbelievably large bandage ball, Lynn and Colin (Managers at SPARC and Mind respectively) were there to show our support for this great idea.

New Fundraising!

Hello all! We have decided to start a push for funding for 3 of our most in need services; Cognitive Behavioural therapy, the Under 30s Group, and the Dual Diagnosis Group.

You can donate online by clicking HERE or or on any of the pictures in this post. You are also welcome come into the centre and donate in person. If you would like to donate to a specific service simply write down which one in the ‘donation comment’ box near the bottom of the page.

Cognitive behavioural therapy at SPARC– A part of the wider mental health alliance counselling service. At the moment CBT at SPARC consists of 2 therapists that operate to very high standards and tailor therapy to each individual that they work with. As they are part of SPARC and not bound by the requirements of statutory services they are able to work with each person to identify how many sessions are needed rather than work to a fixed number of weeks. CBTs at SPARC are also able to work with staff to deliver a highly holistic intervention in order to promote sustained positive results. Funding for this group would go towards paying for our qualified therapist so that we can maintain the high quality therapy that we currently have. This service is a new direction for SPARC and we are passionate about keeping it going so we can help as many people as possible.

Dual Diagnosis Group– The Dual Diagnosis group is one of our longer running groups and is an impressive example of peer support in action. The group runs after normal SPARC hours (5-7pm). The group provides a safe place for people to discuss mental heath and substance issues. It is a supportive environment that allows people to speak with others who have similar experiences but also share different insights and coping mechanisms. Alongside this the group also enjoys social activities where people can come to relax and have fun. Money raised for this group would go towards running the group and setting up day trips/outings arranged by the members themselves. This is a very popular and unique group that  is highly valued by both members and staff.

U30s– The Under 30s group was created as here at SPARC we have a core of younger people who were missing out on a place to engage with individuals of a similar age. This group has developed into a highly social and inclusive group where members are responsible for what the group does from week to week. This put the power in the hands of the under 30s themselves and promotes debate, coordination and teamwork. Any funds raised for this group would go towards costs for the group so that they can go to more places and do more varied activities. This group has been running on a shoe string for quite a while now and we really hope we can upgrade this to a boot strap!

Cook N’ Taste!

Calling all budding chefs! The Cook N’ Taste Group is back at SPARC!

This group is a great place to learn how to make tasty and healthy food that’s also affordable enough for you to try at home.

This group is a good place if you want to learn some cookery skills or even if you
just want some new recipe ideas.  The group runs over a 6 week period and meets at SPARC. There’s a great atmosphere of interaction and fun and hopefully it will inspire you to try new food and improve your diet.







Dates of the group are: April- 18th & 25th, May- 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd.

Give us a call or speak to a member of staff if you’re interested.


Lets Look at the Art and Craft In-reach Sessions!

The art and craft in-reach sessions have been taking place on Arden and Norbury wards since 2013.

They provide an activity and something creative to do for anyone on the wards. The group helps people socialise, work together and of course have a bit of fun. The projects that the group work on are often displayed on the wards which allows people to have an impact on their environment that they can be proud of .

There are a variety of activities that take place in the sessions, sometimes focused around small pieces of work such as making cards and sometimes people work together on a larger project. The picture below is of the most recent project completed by the group. 

We hope that this group strengthens ties between people on the wards and the rest of SPARC. People often come out of the wards and start attending the centre and we hope that groups like this and the Music In-reach (more info on the way) can make that transition a little bit easier.


Womens Group: Dance Movement Therapy

Good news for the Womens Group! If you want to try a different kind of therapy that uses creativity, body senses, movement and stillness you now have the opportunity to get involved with Dance Movement Therapy at SPARC.

This therapy is for anyone who would like to develop emotionally, cognitively, physically, spiritually and in particular developing in relationship to one’s body.

Dance Movement Therapy can help with: Depression, anxiety, stress, confidence, body image, social functioning, physical functioning, creativity and focus, balance and poise and issues with loss/grief.

It will run on Wednesdays from the 25/01/17 between 11:00 and 12:00.

This group is for members of SPARC and women only, please ask a member of staff or give us a ring if you would like to get involved.

SPARC United is top of the league!

The Cheshire Ability Counts Football League that is!table





Ability Counts was formed as part of the FA’s strategy for developing football for people with mixed abilities. SPARC United have been training hard and honing their skills and have finally made it to the top. Lets take a moment to bask in the glory of being at the top; and keep our fingers crossed for the rest of the season!

Click here for the official webpage.

Psyche by 100

We recently submitted a piece to the 100 moments project. This piece was completed using the contributions of 100 members, staff and volunteers from SPARC. If you want to have a look at it on the website you can click here and you can see the full size picture below. This is a great example of shared experiences and working together to create something meaningful.


“SPARC was contacted in September 2016 to be a part of Manchester Devolution’s Live Well Make Art social movement, designed to promote the benefits that art has on well-being.

The 100 moments week was a showcase for community/health/arts organisations to provide a ‘moment’.

A moment could be a public event or workshop, a talk or interview with a participant, an online moment or a collection of images. As the time frame was narrow I decided to facilitate a piece that would capture the thoughts of members, staff, volunteers and associates of SPARC about the things that keep them well.

The Comments are written on butterfly shaped pieces of white card and presented on a white canvas as a minimalist artwork (white on white) which draws attention to the text.

The title alludes to psyche, who in Greek and Roman mythology was the personification of the human soul and from whose name we have psychology and psychiatry.

The submitted pieces to the 100 Moments will be published on the 100 Moments blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts, and will be incorporated into a publication that will be sent to all Public Health and NHS commissioners in February 2017.”

-James Campbell

Give As You Live

Good news if you ever do any online shopping!

You can now donate to SPARC simply by doing your normal online shop. Give As You Live is a company that helps charities raise money online. Simply sign up with the link below and select us as your chosen charity. Then when you do your shopping remember to sign into your Give As You Live account. And that’s it! The retailer will then give a percentage of your shop to SPARC so it won’t cost you anything extra.

Click here to sign up: GiveAsYouLive

It would be great if we can get the word out there as this is a truly free way of raising money for the centre.

Happy shopping!

Lets Look at the Under 30’s Group!

The Under 30’s group is a great group if you are looking for something to break up the routine. It is a supportive, social group for young adults with a mental health issue. The group aims to reduce stigma and isolation by bringing together people of a similar age in a relaxed and supportive environment.

They do a different activity each week and all the activities are chosen by the group members.

Have a look at the list below if you for an idea of the kind of thing they get up to.

The group runs at the centre every Tuesday from 1:30 to 4:30. If you are interested please give us a ring or ask a member of staff before attending.