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Bearsden Church Organises Mental Health Festival

Thursday April 11 2019

A parish church in Bearsden has organised an ambitious community festival next month.

The Bearsden Festival 2019 will feature 35 events over 10 days on the theme of mental health and wellbeing. The festival is organised by New Kilpatrick Parish Church, working with over 100 other organisations including the local council, schools, community groups and charities.

Among the participants are by comedian and chef Hardeep Singh Kohli, TV presenter Ali Douglas, award-winning author Lisa Ballantyne and health blogger Alex Murray-Reynolds. There will be performances and displays by mental health arts groups such as Common Wheel Carnival club, Sounds of the Gallery and Paragon Music; and talks hosted by University of Glasgow academics and charities such as Playlist for Life and Bipolar Scotland.

There will also be outdoor play, a festival cafe, a 'creative zone' and opportunities to try out various wellness therapies.

The festival founder, New Kilpatrick minister the Rev Roddy Hamilton, says: "Of all the festivals we have organised, this one has easily been the most popular. Inspiration and inputs have come from all parts of the community and you can see the result of that in the breadth of our programme.

"Mental health is something we all share, and this festival is all about bringing people together to talk, be inspired and find that a creative community being together is good for our mental health and wellbeing.

"We want to celebrate our diversity and feel safe with each other and we do that best by getting to know each other, which is what a festival can do so well.”

The festival has joined up with the well-established Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, an annual event run by the Mental Health Foundation.

Lee Knifton, Head of MHF Scotland, said, “MHF Scotland are proud supporters and partners of such an exciting and ambitious event. It’s wonderful to see the ambition and enthusiasm the organisers have brought to this, reflected in such a diverse programme across community spaces and places. They are keen to emphasise that we all have mental health and that means that there truly is something for everyone - from comedians, writers and academics, to street festivals and more."

The festival takes place from May 10-19. All events except the fundraising dinner are free, but some are ticketed. For full details visit www.bearsdenfestival.org


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