A fantastic May 2019 event with all SEVEN FFabulous FFeatures. Here is a FFlavour of our night and what each FFeature brought to our theme Bravery and Belonging. Our next event is on the 18th July 2019. Tickets available via our link on our events page.

A fantastic May 2019 event with all SEVEN FFabulous FFeatures. Here is a FFlavour of our night and what each FFeature brought to our theme Bravery and Belonging. Our next event is on the 18th July 2019. Tickets available via our link on our events page.

Our first feature speaker of our last feature night: George Bettany, one of the two founders of Sanctus; who are on a mission to completely change the way we work on our mental health. Their biggest vision is to put a mental health gym on the high street. George shared with us his incredible journey of two friends experiencing anxiety through work pressures - the facades we can all hide behind when faced with demanding jobs and the overwhelming factor that no one speaks out about it. Through their courage and bravery to share their own experiences on social media, not only did they create a behaviour of self recovery, the couldn’t believe how much interest and responses they received from people all experiencing similar struggles. So they started creating meeting points were people could simply come and talk confidentially about anything. What we felt from George’s 15 minutes was his absolute determination to change the perception and stigmas surrounding mental health. It made us question ‘why don’t we talk about our mental workouts like we do our physical ones?’ Sanctus is growing rapidly (an organisation that is just two and a half years old) creating partnerships with mental healths most respected organisations - but the biggest beauty of George and James’s mission is that they totally live by their values and respect mental health for everyone. Sanctus can’t say it or claim this but we can; You guys are literally saving lives. The harsh reality is that 5,821 people aged 10 and over committed suicide in 2017, a decrease from 5,965 deaths in 2016. Male suicides have consistently accounted for approximately three-quarters of all suicides in the UK since the mid-1990s. George and James you are making such a difference to the face of mental health and we cannot wait to see your vision happen and that time will come sooner than you think (pardon the pun).

Our first feature speaker of our last feature night: George Bettany, one of the two founders of Sanctus; who are on a mission to completely change the way we work on our mental health. Their biggest vision is to put a mental health gym on the high street. George shared with us his incredible journey of two friends experiencing anxiety through work pressures - the facades we can all hide behind when faced with demanding jobs and the overwhelming factor that no one speaks out about it. Through their courage and bravery to share their own experiences on social media, not only did they create a behaviour of self recovery, the couldn’t believe how much interest and responses they received from people all experiencing similar struggles. So they started creating meeting points were people could simply come and talk confidentially about anything. What we felt from George’s 15 minutes was his absolute determination to change the perception and stigmas surrounding mental health. It made us question ‘why don’t we talk about our mental workouts like we do our physical ones?’ Sanctus is growing rapidly (an organisation that is just two and a half years old) creating partnerships with mental healths most respected organisations - but the biggest beauty of George and James’s mission is that they totally live by their values and respect mental health for everyone. Sanctus can’t say it or claim this but we can; You guys are literally saving lives. The harsh reality is that 5,821 people aged 10 and over committed suicide in 2017, a decrease from 5,965 deaths in 2016. Male suicides have consistently accounted for approximately three-quarters of all suicides in the UK since the mid-1990s. George and James you are making such a difference to the face of mental health and we cannot wait to see your vision happen and that time will come sooner than you think (pardon the pun).

Our second feature of last weeks FF event - Naomi Leake a speaker from  @extinctionrebellion  Shared with us the harsh realities of what’s really going on with our planet. Naomi had a lot of information to impart in her fifteen minutes and some of it was frankly terrifying. If we don’t get a grip as a species within eleven years we will basically not be able to stop the inevitable end of our civilisation. Thats some message to have to deliver but she did it without any of us running for the door! Naomi’s message is one that cant be ignored and although her statistics about animal extrinction made you feel helpless, extinction rebellion are clear that things can change. In the light of the facts on offer their three demands seem more than reasonable: 1. Declare climate emergency 2. Make Zero Carbon by 2025 happen 3. Create a Citizens assembly. Naomis presentation has left me wanitng to find out more.” We couldn’t agree more and from what we could see, there wasn’t anyone in the room that didn’t feel totally saddened by the damage that can’t be undone. That is a man made product. We have created a bomb of mass distruction. And all the time this has been ticking off in the background we’ve been blinkered by other ‘threats’ to society - We all have a role to putting something back don’t we? We still have time… not much but let's make this time count and all think a bit more before we put that damage in. Thank you so much Naomi for reconnecting us with our one most precious shared belonging: our planet.


Our second feature of last weeks FF event - Naomi Leake a speaker from @extinctionrebellion Shared with us the harsh realities of what’s really going on with our planet. Naomi had a lot of information to impart in her fifteen minutes and some of it was frankly terrifying. If we don’t get a grip as a species within eleven years we will basically not be able to stop the inevitable end of our civilisation. Thats some message to have to deliver but she did it without any of us running for the door! Naomi’s message is one that cant be ignored and although her statistics about animal extrinction made you feel helpless, extinction rebellion are clear that things can change. In the light of the facts on offer their three demands seem more than reasonable: 1. Declare climate emergency 2. Make Zero Carbon by 2025 happen 3. Create a Citizens assembly. Naomis presentation has left me wanitng to find out more.” We couldn’t agree more and from what we could see, there wasn’t anyone in the room that didn’t feel totally saddened by the damage that can’t be undone. That is a man made product. We have created a bomb of mass distruction. And all the time this has been ticking off in the background we’ve been blinkered by other ‘threats’ to society - We all have a role to putting something back don’t we? We still have time… not much but let's make this time count and all think a bit more before we put that damage in. Thank you so much Naomi for reconnecting us with our one most precious shared belonging: our planet.

Our third speaker(s) for the night - Emmanuel and brother Lemuel Unaji - we hadn’t actually met Lemuel until about 30 minutes before Emmanuel was due to speak - which generally doesn’t happen but does present how our nights tend to roll very spontaneously to say the least - However, it was an absolute pleasure to have both brothers side by side as they spoke so passionately about their brand ‘Unaji’ - this is a brand that is crafted by many disciplines: art, fashion, music and culture - all heavily influenced by social constructs. Emmanuel’s unique artistic style is made up of many layers and fabrications of magazine cutaways which he then mixes a multitude of other techniques to - be it painting, drawing and montaging of mixed elements. His rich expressions do not stop on canvas - they become wearable pieces of art which creates this fabulous fusion of fashion and fine art. As part of Emmanuel and Lemuel’s presentation, slide 3 was the celebration of their mother and her influence on their hunger for success and boy are these guys a success! as humble young souls they really didn’t upsell enough the places they have created live events and exhibited in, (Tate Britain, House of MTV, Circle 1 Gallery Berlin, Frieze Art Fair are just a few to mention) or the interest they have gained from influential music artists through their besoke clothing (Poppy Ajudha, Kojey Radical, Yxng Bane, Jessie J and many more). It’s incredible how much thought goes into their production line - one event will comprise of framed artwork, video projection, music will be created by Lemuel so the atmosphere is tempered just right and then there will be live music. All considered and curated for a fully immersive evening. Now thats what you call brave!

Our third speaker(s) for the night - Emmanuel and brother Lemuel Unaji - we hadn’t actually met Lemuel until about 30 minutes before Emmanuel was due to speak - which generally doesn’t happen but does present how our nights tend to roll very spontaneously to say the least - However, it was an absolute pleasure to have both brothers side by side as they spoke so passionately about their brand ‘Unaji’ - this is a brand that is crafted by many disciplines: art, fashion, music and culture - all heavily influenced by social constructs. Emmanuel’s unique artistic style is made up of many layers and fabrications of magazine cutaways which he then mixes a multitude of other techniques to - be it painting, drawing and montaging of mixed elements. His rich expressions do not stop on canvas - they become wearable pieces of art which creates this fabulous fusion of fashion and fine art. As part of Emmanuel and Lemuel’s presentation, slide 3 was the celebration of their mother and her influence on their hunger for success and boy are these guys a success! as humble young souls they really didn’t upsell enough the places they have created live events and exhibited in, (Tate Britain, House of MTV, Circle 1 Gallery Berlin, Frieze Art Fair are just a few to mention) or the interest they have gained from influential music artists through their besoke clothing (Poppy Ajudha, Kojey Radical, Yxng Bane, Jessie J and many more). It’s incredible how much thought goes into their production line - one event will comprise of framed artwork, video projection, music will be created by Lemuel so the atmosphere is tempered just right and then there will be live music. All considered and curated for a fully immersive evening. Now thats what you call brave!

Our fourth feature speaker for the evening Lucy -  @lucysullivanuk  sharing her brave story around her own mental health breakdown, how her fathers sudden passing triggered years of trauma and a mental pitfall that almost saw her sectioned. Her passion for drawing - her ‘graphic medicine’ and her fantastic skill of comic artistry enabled her to channel her anxiety, depression and fears through her graphic novel: ‘Barking’ which features a character called Alix Otto - a woman haunted by a recent tragedy (Lucy laughs at the figurative comparison to herself, which of course the book is based on) she is then chased by a big black dog (hence the name ‘barking’). What Lucy’s fifteen minutes with us highlighted (infact it was less than 15 minutes, she was very FFast but thorough!) was how this book really did create a turning page in her life. Creating an enthralling story where she could become a character that she could completely identify with and use visual metaphors to really detangle the madness and grief she was drowning in. Lucy’s hard work has most certainly paid off - she has successfully crowd funded Barking and it is set to be published with Unbound (we’ll let you know when) Lucy’s bravery and courage to explore inside her own mind and express it through her incredible creativity will without a doubt encourage other sufferers to open up and tell their stories too. And hello, how many female comic artists do you know? we are thrilled its Lucy. Thank you again Lucy for sharing your brave story and finding your belonging in barking..: keep barking!

Our fourth feature speaker for the evening Lucy - @lucysullivanuk sharing her brave story around her own mental health breakdown, how her fathers sudden passing triggered years of trauma and a mental pitfall that almost saw her sectioned. Her passion for drawing - her ‘graphic medicine’ and her fantastic skill of comic artistry enabled her to channel her anxiety, depression and fears through her graphic novel: ‘Barking’ which features a character called Alix Otto - a woman haunted by a recent tragedy (Lucy laughs at the figurative comparison to herself, which of course the book is based on) she is then chased by a big black dog (hence the name ‘barking’). What Lucy’s fifteen minutes with us highlighted (infact it was less than 15 minutes, she was very FFast but thorough!) was how this book really did create a turning page in her life. Creating an enthralling story where she could become a character that she could completely identify with and use visual metaphors to really detangle the madness and grief she was drowning in. Lucy’s hard work has most certainly paid off - she has successfully crowd funded Barking and it is set to be published with Unbound (we’ll let you know when) Lucy’s bravery and courage to explore inside her own mind and express it through her incredible creativity will without a doubt encourage other sufferers to open up and tell their stories too. And hello, how many female comic artists do you know? we are thrilled its Lucy. Thank you again Lucy for sharing your brave story and finding your belonging in barking..: keep barking!

Our FFith FFeature Dave, He came to speak from the heart, to face his demons head on but not only that he was sharing it with a room full of strangers. His journey to Featured15 started when his ffantastic wife Emma spoke at April's FF...Dave was alcohol dependent he had only recently acknowledged this Dave told us how he started drinking from a young age pointing to the photos of himself and even gained a nickname from it glugs ...his drinking escalated from teenage experimenting to dominating his everyday life and routines. We all felt the vice like grip alcohol held over him, his words pulling us into this dark space. It defined him, his persona , his identity couldn't exisit without alcohol to colour round the edges. Taking himself away from his area in a half hearted attempt to change his life drink become a solitary exercise in self deception. Dave created a successful outward appearance to everyone playing up to the gregarious blokes bloke... inside he struggled to understand the insatiable need to obliterate his feelings with alcohol. His success brought him into Emma's life, we felt the deep connection he has to Emma and depth of love for this in his words "beautiful beautiful woman" he made us laugh and cry at his love story and a little known pop star Peter Andre and using Twitter "sliding into her DM's" we thought we'd be hearing about love conquering all ..instead Dave couldn't stop the same patterns of behaviour re-emerging like Emma's cancer it came back and he couldn't run from it or hide it from Emma. Still not enough to stop him. He disappeared for 3 days drinking himself drinking into a stupor leaving him incapacitated on a bench that was his lowest point. We felt his sense of shame and isolation. Emma's 3rd diagnosis and a friend trying to reach out to him suggesting that they both try to stop drinking for January was the catalyst, it was as though a light came one he could suddenly see a way out..."i have no off switch" he said "so it was all or nothing". This marked his journey to being  @sober_dave_today  . His bravery lies in humility

Our FFith FFeature Dave, He came to speak from the heart, to face his demons head on but not only that he was sharing it with a room full of strangers. His journey to Featured15 started when his ffantastic wife Emma spoke at April's FF...Dave was alcohol dependent he had only recently acknowledged this Dave told us how he started drinking from a young age pointing to the photos of himself and even gained a nickname from it glugs ...his drinking escalated from teenage experimenting to dominating his everyday life and routines. We all felt the vice like grip alcohol held over him, his words pulling us into this dark space. It defined him, his persona , his identity couldn't exisit without alcohol to colour round the edges. Taking himself away from his area in a half hearted attempt to change his life drink become a solitary exercise in self deception. Dave created a successful outward appearance to everyone playing up to the gregarious blokes bloke... inside he struggled to understand the insatiable need to obliterate his feelings with alcohol. His success brought him into Emma's life, we felt the deep connection he has to Emma and depth of love for this in his words "beautiful beautiful woman" he made us laugh and cry at his love story and a little known pop star Peter Andre and using Twitter "sliding into her DM's" we thought we'd be hearing about love conquering all ..instead Dave couldn't stop the same patterns of behaviour re-emerging like Emma's cancer it came back and he couldn't run from it or hide it from Emma. Still not enough to stop him. He disappeared for 3 days drinking himself drinking into a stupor leaving him incapacitated on a bench that was his lowest point. We felt his sense of shame and isolation. Emma's 3rd diagnosis and a friend trying to reach out to him suggesting that they both try to stop drinking for January was the catalyst, it was as though a light came one he could suddenly see a way out..."i have no off switch" he said "so it was all or nothing". This marked his journey to being @sober_dave_today . His bravery lies in humility

The FFinal FFeature  @thalesthegreat  shifted our gears, immediately making the room erupt in laughter as he highlighted the salubrious surroundings of Catford to Forest Hill. We knew that this was a ride we wanted to take. Thales The Great is a talented artist taking incredibly strong lyrics to his own sound. Informed by the great rappers and lyricist of the hip hop scene, he painted a vivid picture of his love and passion woven with his humour. We laughed as he told us of his early start making and selling mix tapes at school. To eventually having the confidence to speak his own words and the journey this took to being on the cusp of success only to be disillusioned by the industry he'd spent his whole life wanting to be part of. Stepping away from his dream lead to a his mental health suffering but he found strength by reaching out and asking for help. His path to healing lead him back to his inherent need to be a creator and make his voice and story be heard. Culminating in his career taking off again supporting Rag and Bone Man on his last tour. Thales had found his greatness and where he belonged on stage.

The FFinal FFeature @thalesthegreat shifted our gears, immediately making the room erupt in laughter as he highlighted the salubrious surroundings of Catford to Forest Hill. We knew that this was a ride we wanted to take. Thales The Great is a talented artist taking incredibly strong lyrics to his own sound. Informed by the great rappers and lyricist of the hip hop scene, he painted a vivid picture of his love and passion woven with his humour. We laughed as he told us of his early start making and selling mix tapes at school. To eventually having the confidence to speak his own words and the journey this took to being on the cusp of success only to be disillusioned by the industry he'd spent his whole life wanting to be part of. Stepping away from his dream lead to a his mental health suffering but he found strength by reaching out and asking for help. His path to healing lead him back to his inherent need to be a creator and make his voice and story be heard. Culminating in his career taking off again supporting Rag and Bone Man on his last tour. Thales had found his greatness and where he belonged on stage.