Cycle For Good

This July, we are cycling around Essex to help raise funds for Art2Print, a community graphic design studio based at Blackfriars Settlement in London.

What makes Art2Print Studio unique is that their designers are people who have experience with mental health issues. Their mission is to reduce stigma surrounding mental health, whilst providing opportunities for people who have experienced mental health issues to gain confidence and skills to move into employment or further training. They believe in inspiring creativity and making a positive difference to mental health through graphic design.

Earlier this year, The Plant began supporting Art2Print Studio in a number of ways. On hearing Art2Print's story, we really want to help Llie and the team, to see the studio flourish and grow and in turn help many others, by encouraging them to join Art2Print Studio.

While Art2Print Studio has been doing wonderful work over the years, it does need extra support. Funding cuts has meant Llie, who heads up the Art2Print team, is unable to be supported by a wage. Without this, it can prove difficult to maintain and manage the studio and all the volunteers who take part.

Furthermore the studio is working on old, tired computers and outdated software, which causes issues when working on projects.

For the past number of months, we have been mentoring Llie in our studio weekly, helping her develop her skills in graphic design as well as helping her with other areas such as art direction and project management.

We are also endeavouring to help with further activities such as providing "Clinic" down at Art2Print, where one of our team members would run a half day session with the volunteers there. We also hope to do a computer drive, to see if any studios around London might have any unwanted computers that they might like to kindly donate to Art2Print Studio.

Fundraising for Art2Print is another key activity we have planned.

Like Art2Print, cycling is a excellent outlet for your mental health. This summer, The Plant team would like to transform our annual bike ride "Le Tour D'Essex" into a sponsored cycle, with the entire team cycling 50km around Essex for a day in support of Art2Print's cause.

All funds donated will to go directly to Art2Print, to help support Llie and hopefully to also raise enough to purchase an Adobe CC Licence subscription for Art2Pint Studio, which is a costly £50 per month.

So were asking kindly for any donations you might be able to make and if you could please spread the word- that would be greatly appreciated!

For more and to donate, click here and check out Art2Print Studio here.