What makes me smile? By Helen Willmott, Programme Director, Made With Many 18th March 2021 Last week I sat in on a workshop led by Marvin Mudzongo from Lemon Pop Workshops, as part of a series of wellbeing workshops that we have put together for local council employees. Marvin led us through an exercise of exploring who we are, what matters most to us and what motivates us and then helped us to translate those words into pictures on a canvas using marker pens and acrylic paints. The session reminded me of two things. Firstly, how good it can feel to take some time out of a busy day to switch off from the grind of daily life on a grey day. For me that’s endless emails and lengthy zoom meetings, and it will look different for everyone, but for 45 minutes in Marvin’s session I felt a moment of relaxation and was able to focus on what matters most to me. And in that process, I rediscovered those things that are most important to me; creativity, nature, people and food. My drawing skills are far from good, but I’m really proud of what that canvas represents. The other thing that happened last week is that together we started on the journey out of COVID-related restrictions, with many families celebrating the end of home schooling. At Made With Many, we’ve been busy thinking about how and when we can return to in-person activities (there will be more news on that over the next few months). It might not be a straightforward or easy path, but with vaccinations happening at pace there’s a clear glimmer of hope. So, as we move towards being able to enjoy sharing a meal with friends and hugging our extended families, I’m going to try to keep what I expressed on that canvas in mind. Instead of going back to normal, I’m going to think about how I can prioritise the things that make me smile the most. And hopefully, being able to help other people smile too. If you’re looking for creative ideas to make you smile, visit www.madewithmany.org/GetInspired Keep in Touch For future updates on news, events and opportunities please sign up to the e-newsletter or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.