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Quadrant Arcade’s The Vault teams up with Havering Mind to create magazine

PUBLISHED: 12:00 31 July 2016

Owners of The Vault in the Quadrant Arcade, Romford, Lauren Martin and Charlotte Trowers with their magazine Volume

Owners of The Vault in the Quadrant Arcade, Romford, Lauren Martin and Charlotte Trowers with their magazine Volume

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Writing articles and organising photoshoots may not seem the obvious way to help with mental health issues but Hayley Anderson has spoken to the owner of The Vault who sees how creative workshops help.

Creativity is the key when putting together any magazine as a workshop group found out.

Lauren Martin and Charlotte Trower, owners of The Vault, in the Quadrant Arcade, Romford, which provides courses to encourage learning and development for young adults, has teamed up with Havering Mind to help those with mental health issues.

About 20 people aged 18-30 who take part in the programme have been involved in the 12-week course to create a “zine”, a heavily art-based magazine made popular in the 1970s, which they have named Volume. “The group has really opened up since we first started,” Lauren said.

“We have encouraged them to do creative writing, set designing for pictures, Photoshopping – so things that they could use if they wanted to go into something that’s not your usual office job.

“We have helped them write more interesting CVs as well because even though they could get help to do this at a job centre, they do need to stand out since it’s so competitive out there.”

From articles about the environment and Romford itself, to poetry and opinion pieces, a variety of topics are touched upon in the

magazine that can appeal to anyone.

Lauren said: “We asked them to write a rant about what annoys them and they were just small everyday things like old people pushing past me on the bus!

“Then we asked them to write it again but as if they were addressing the Queen so they can do some formal writing.

“Many do struggle with confidence and social inclusion and coming to the workshops has helped them come out of their shells and read what they have written out loud to everyone.”

Those in the programme have a “coping with life” session with counsellors every Tuesday before they get to express their creativity.

The official launch of the magazine Volume will take place on August 18.

Sue Hagan, project leader at Havering Mind, said: “Charlotte and Lauren have put in so much preparation, thought and time and really do have a passion in working and helping people with mental health problems.

“The group has really bonded and gained confidence from attending these sessions. It has made the group realise how much skill and creativity each individual has.”

Lauren said: “There is such a great atmosphere when we’ve been doing the workshops

and the charity does so much good.

“Writing, reading and arithmetic are obviously important but I think people can develop these skills in a more exciting and creative way.

“We would love to make this an ongoing project.”

Havering Mind’s 18-30 programme takes place at The Vault, Quadrant Arcade, Romford, every Tuesday.

Visit ilovethevault.co.uk


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